Happy (belated) Independence Day to our U.S.-based Candy Industry readers!
Hopefully you all enjoyed time with family and friends, at the pool or at the grill. As we return to regular routines today, I wanted to share a story to keep the positive, celebratory vibes going.
Last fall, Mars Chocolate North America launched the 3 Musketeers “#ThrowShine” campaign, designed to give young people a chance to spread positivity and good will. That’s opposed to “throwing shade,” a slang phrase for publicly criticizing someone on the Internet or otherwise. 
To help its consumers “throw shine,” 3 Musketeers introduced bars with 24 unique, uplifting messages on the packaging. The messages vary from "you are awesome" to "you're one of a kind.” The brand also sponsored a video series illustrating what can happen when teens choose to be nice to one another.
"This is an amazing opportunity to leverage the power of our brand to create a platform that spurs an environment of positivity," Allison Miazga-Bedrick, 3 Musketeers Brand Director, said in an October news release.
Two students at West Springfield High School in West Springfield, Va., took the idea of “throwing shine” to heart. After seeing the #ThrowShine videos, Rodney and Audrey, as they were identified by Mars Chocolate, began anonymously leaving 3 Musketeers bars around their school with encouraging sticky notes on them.
“People are just so mean on social media,” Rodney says in a two-minute video about their efforts. “I wanted people to feel that they’re cared about, feel that they’re wanted. I just wanted to spread that around.”
Rodney also created a Twitter account, WSHS_ThrowShine, which shares photos taken by students who found the  candy bars around their school. Having a social media presence helped grow the movement, Rodney said.
And Mars helped spread the love, too. In November, the company sent West Springfield High 2,500 3 Musketeers bars to hand out to students and faculty.
“Being a teenager nowadays is not like it used to be – with technology and social media at their fingertips, it’s easy to get immersed in the negativity that spreads across our digital world,” Miazga-Bedrick said. “That’s why we think it’s critical to spread the #ThrowShine message and continue to share stories like Audrey and Rodney’s to remind teens about the power of positivity.”
3 Musketeers will also fund a new mural at West Springfield High, which will be created by a Washington, D.C. artist. Rodney and Audrey announced the plans for the mural at the school’s recent seniors honor assembly, helping to ensure that positivity remains a cornerstone of the West Springfield High School experience in the future.
With all the negativity that bombards us daily, it’s nice to see a major manufacturer contribute to a positive movement while it builds a strong image for one of its main brands. And, of course, producing and sharing candy is a great way to share sweetness, no matter what the product is.
Here’s to throwing more shine, in any way we can.