At Mars, the world we want tomorrow is one where everyone is valued and respected for who they are, and Pride Month 2021 is the perfect time to show our solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Here are just a few ways we’re supporting, celebrating and promoting the importance of LGBTQ+ visibility:
Consumers in the U.K. can buy their cats a treat and support the LGBTQ+ community by grabbing a pack of Dreamies™, which is temporarily sporting the iconic Pride rainbow on packs. The rainbow Dreamies™ also display the LGBT Foundation’s logo and mental health hotline number—a service that has been inundated since the start of the pandemic. The LGBT Foundation is a non-profit which aims to secure a safe, healthy and equal future for all LGBTQ+ people, and their mental health hotline has been inundated since the start of the pandemic. With more than half of the LGBTQ+ community experiencing depression during the last year, the Foundation’s hotline is a critical need—and we’re happy to help keep it open with funding.
With millions of these rainbow Dreamies™ packs already on shelves, the more than 70% in the LGBTQ+ community who own pets and non-pet owners can easily see where they can get support while we drive awareness for LGBTQ+ rights!
One place you won’t see a rainbow this month is the candy aisle—at least not on SKITTLES® packs in the U.S.! For the second year in a row, the colorful candy is keeping the focus on Pride—and showing their strong support for the LGBTQ+ community—by going gray with limited-edition SKITTLES® Pride Packs (but don’t worry—the taste is the same!) We’re also donating $100K to our partners at GLAAD in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
But the aisles of your favorite grocery store aren’t the only place you’ll see us—we’re taking our Pride outside, too! We’re partnering with Blair Imani, a critically acclaimed historian, author, educator and influencer, to promote LGBTQ+ visibility, using our platform to spotlight artists, influencers and creators through the SKITTLES® QueeR Codes program in cities across the U.S. and at SKITTLES® QueeRCodes.com during Pride Month. Additionally, we’re teaming up with four LGBTQ+ artists from across the country to create original murals that demonstrate how they see the rainbow and how they celebrate Pride. Check out locations and the artists behind the Pride murals:
- ATLANTA, in the Little Five Points neighborhood (mural by @ARRRTADDICT)
- NASHVILLE, Tenn., in the Germantown neighborhood (mural by @SARAMORONIPIZZA)
- NEWARK, N.J., in the Ironbound neighborhood (mural by @7OVECHILD)
- SAN ANTONIO, in the Tobin Hill neighborhood (mural by @DOODLEMEALIVE)
Each mural has a QueeR Codes (think QR code, but Queer; pronounced Quee-R) that connects you to information from LGTBQ influencers, educational resources from GLAAD, and features our Mars Wrigley North America PRIDE! Associate Resource Group (ARG).
SKITTLES® packs are also missing their rainbow in the U.K., but we’re working hard to “Give the Rainbow” by injecting color into vintage black and white photos from ‘70s and ‘80s Pride parades.
Photograph colorization professionals in the U.K. are grafting individual layers of color onto these archived photos, all while painstakingly maintaining historical accuracy. Once the images are complete, we’re donating them to Queer Britain, a charity working to establish the U.K.’s first national LGBTQ+ museum.
Queer Britain is currently building its culturally significant collection of photos, artifacts and stories, but there’s a lack of Pride parade images from this time period—likely due in part to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. With our partner Gay Times, we’re developing a portal where, beginning June 24, anyone with photos taken during early Pride parades can submit images. We’re also donating a portion of sales from our “rainbowless” SKITTLES® packs to Switchboard, a charity that provides a helpline for the LGBT+ community.
The New York City skyline will be a picture-worthy PRIDE moment in late June when KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) illuminates the city’s skyline with its second annual rainbow light display near The Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the Gay Rights Movement. KIND is also donating $1 (up to $10,000) for every “Pride” text they receive until July 1 to the Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation's largest non-profit organization aiding homeless LGTBQ+ youth, plus a $50,000 donation to aid the AFC's healthcare and shelter services. KIND is also featuring information about the AFC and the colors of the Pride flag on its KIND® PRIDE Bar packaging while supplies last.
Additionally, we’re celebrating our very own LGBTQ+ Mars Associates with Pride Month events throughout June, from virtual happy hours and trivia nights to an Instagram live takeover—all led by our Mars PRIDE! ARG, an Associate-led and leadership-backed group promoting responsibility in diversity and equality.
At Mars, Inclusion and Diversity is a top priority, and we’re committed to fostering an environment where everyone can be themselves—and thrive and succeed. While we’re proud of our progress, we’re continuing to learn and grow. And taking action to recognize and support the LGBTQ+ community is something we can do today and every day, with Pride!