Leading snack food manufacturer M&M/Mars Inc. announced today that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Spanish confectioner Chupa Chups S.A. to distribute and market Chupa Chups, the world’s best-selling lollipop, in the United States. Under the agreement, Chupa Chups will leverage M&M/Mars’ vast distribution network and innovative marketing expertise to deliver their flagship product to millions of consumers across America.

Chupa Chups is a round, hard candy lollipop that has captured the public’s imagination with its unique array of flavors, plastic sticks and striking daisy logo designed by the legendary surrealist Salvador Dali. The marketing and distribution efforts will begin January 1, 2001. To this end, M&M/Mars has assembled a talented group of cutting-edge advertising and promotion agencies that will employ both traditional and non-traditional methods to build mass-market awareness and establish Chupa Chups in the U.S. market.

The team includes D’Arcy’s office in St. Louis, who will handle advertising; Philadelphia-based Gyro Worldwide will organize special events and product sampling; VIP sampling will be executed by Los Angeles-based CNB Entertainment; and Buzz Marketing & Public Relations Inc. of Toronto will be responsible for media relations.

“Chupa Chups is an excellent, high-quality product with a unique personality,” says M&M/Mars Marketing Vice President Bob Gamgort. “We are very pleased to be able to partner with Chupa Chups and have the opportunity to introduce the world’s favorite lollipop to the American market. With our distribution network and leading-edge marketing team, we are hoping to make Chupa Chups the No. 1 lollipop in the U.S.A.”

Chupa Chups S.A. President Xavier Bernat is looking forward to tackling the vast U.S. market. “We want to entertain every American mouth with our pops,” said Senor Bernat. “In partnership with M&M/Mars we are sure to succeed.”

M&M/Mars, Inc., one of America’s leading snack food manufacturers, is a division of Mars, Inc. Headquartered in Hackettstown, NJ, M&M/Mars, Inc. owns some of the world’s most favorite brands including “M&M’s” (R) Brand, SNICKERS® Brand, 3 MUSKETEERS® Brand, TWIX (R) Brand, STARBURST® Fruit Chews, SKITTLES® Bite Size Candies, MARS® Bar, MILKY WAY® Brand, KUDOS® Milk Chocolate Granola Bars, DOVE® Brand, and COMBOS®/Snacks.

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Chupa Chups S.A. was founded in Barcelona in 1958. A family-owned company, Chupa Chups today distributes lollipops to more than 160 countries around the world. Global sales in 1998 totaled 448 million Euros. Chupa Chups are manufactured in Toluca (Mexico), St. Petersburg (Russia), Bayonne (France), Shanghai (China), Barcelona and Asturias in Spain.