France’s heat wave almost proved costly to Masterfoods’ (Mars Group) French unit.

Several months ago, the company launched an ad campaign to boost sales. This centred on offering to reimburse customers for their purchases of the ice cream versions of Twix, Snickers, Mars and M&Ms, made between 15 May and 15 August, if the temperature in Paris on 31 August exceeded 31 degrees C.

What the company wasn’t banking on was that 2003 would turn out to be the hottest in France for over 50 years. This saw temperatures soaring to 40 degrees C for several days running around mid-August.

Thankfully for Mars, yesterday’s temperature in the French capital did not get beyond 20 degrees so a potentially hefty payout was avoided. Meanwhile, sales estimates for Mars ice cream products this summer indicate strong growth, making it a happy ending all round for the food giant.