M&M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies has been named the 2011 Product of the Year in the candy and snacks category by Product of the Year USA.   

The tasty confection composes part of the “sweet and savory” line of Mars products, marrying an iconic American snack with Mars chocolate.  

“We felt confident that the delicious combination of salty and sweet was a winner, but this award solidifies that M&M’S Pretzel are truly irresistible,” says Debra A. Sandler, Mars Chocolate North America’s chief consumer officer.  

The annual accolade spans 28 countries and is the world’s largest consumer-voted program featuring innovation in consumer-packaged goods. 

 “This award is especially gratifying because it was decided by consumers,” says Sandler. 

In its third year being conducted in the United States, the Product of the Year honor surveyed more than 60,000 American shoppers asking them to judge products based on four key elements: appeal of innovation, usage, satisfaction and purchase intent.  

M&M’S Pretzel scored particularly high in satisfaction with many consumers noting the delicious combination of salty and sweet flavors. Participants also cited the fact that the treat contains 30% less fat, on average, than other leading chocolate snacks as a key factor.  

According to the 2011 Product of the Year US Shoppers Survey, conducted by TNS, the world’s largest custom research agency, 68% of shoppers say a consumer voted award means more for a new product than an expert’s opinion.  

M&M’S are also available in Milk, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, dark Chocolate Peanut, Coconut and Almond. They can be found in food, mass, convenience, drug and specialty stores, as well as vending machines nationwide.  

For more information visit www.mms.com or www.facebook.com/mms  

-G.W.