Case Study: Mars Pure Dark Chocolate Retail Experience

A new brand and retail design for the premium chocolate market

Mars Pure Dark brand and retail experience by Nottingham Spirk
Mars Pure Dark chocolate retail design point of sale kiosk

An Open Innovation Partnership

Pure Dark, a new brand and retail experience, enabled Mars to expand their revenue by tapping into the $4 billion premium chocolate market.

When Mars, a major candy company, came to Nottingham Spirk, they were leaders in mass-market chocolate products with well-known brands such as M&M’s and Snickers. Despite their success in large-scale cocoa production, they recognized the need for an open innovation partner to work with them to address the high-end chocolate market.

Consumer Insights Team Uncovers Unmet Needs

Nottingham Spirk’s consumer insights team began by gathering consumer research to discover the unmet needs of chocolate lovers. In response to customer insights and after a careful industry analysis, we collaborated with Mars to create and design:

  • The Pure Dark name
  • A distinctive product line
  • Unique packaging and point of sale displays
  • A memorable retail experience

Our insights, product design, and prototyping teams worked closely with Mars’ branding and promotions agencies to design a retail experience that was immersive, interactive and delivered a heightened sensory experience.

Mars leveraged our open innovation network to create and source packaging materials and to quickly create a new small-scale supply chain, which would have been challenging inside Mars. We worked with Mars in many aspects, from finding a medical supply company that could create an airtight seal for the parchment packaging, to designing modular mobile display components.


Learn more about Nottingham Spirk’s expertise in the retail experience design industry, as well as our innovation approach.

Mars Pure Dark chocolate product logo

Pure Dark Chocolate

Pure Dark Packaging

Pure Dark NYC Store

Pure Dark Retail Environment

NS collaborated with Mars to design a distinctive product line along with unique packaging and retail display design, as well as a memorable retail experience.

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