How exactly do you take an instantly recognisable and distinct flavour like a hot cross bun and squeeze it into an M&M?
Ballarat's Mars facility is home to an award-winning research and development team, which has come up with several inventions to bring new angles to its chocolates - that includes the hot cross bun M&Ms.
Interestingly, the strange seasonal flavours that occasionally appear in stores are planned out years in advance, with collaboration from across the world.
People in different parts of the world like different flavours, so a fresh idea in Australia, for example, could be adapted in a different way in Europe.
Senior manager of product development, James Hayward, is a mechanical engineer by trade who seems to have worked in almost every department at Mars over his career, said it's often a problem-solving exercise.
He used the example of honeycomb-flavoured crispy M&Ms - the flavouring was to be added to the centre of the chocolate, which presented a challenge which the Ballarat-based team worked out.
"This is something that's a new innovation I'm really proud that the team have worked on," he said.
"We've tried a number of these things globally before and nobody had been able to crack it, but we kept going, kept trying, and it ended up being nominated for a global Make A Difference award."
Once they solved the problem, other Mars factories could take that idea and run with it, he added.
"Honeycomb crispy might not work in France, but they can take that concept and apply it to a flavour that does," he said.
"Tropical (M&Ms) was in January - pineapple, coconut, chocolate - which is like building on that flavour innovation of having multiple flavours in the one pack.
"That's opposed to (a place like) the US (which) did Neapolitan after we did it, but they did it as all-in-one Neapolitan flavour for every piece, whereas this is three different pieces to blend it up."
But how do you get to the point where these new flavours hit the shelves?
Using the example of the hot cross bun M&M, which were sold in Australia around Easter, Mr Hayward said the process began with thinking about concepts - in this case, seasonally-appropriate ideas.
"In the US, they've been doing seasonal products for years, like pumpkin spice - but would that work here?" he explained.
"So (what are) seasonally relevant flavours that we can activate in our market - what's relevant in Australia? Bush tomato M&Ms, probably not, but hot cross buns are pretty popular."
From there, it's an "iterative" process to nail down exactly what makes a hot cross bun a hot cross bun, because everybody has a different idea of what that means - the balance of fruit and spices, for example.
"We did a lamington flavour last year - but a key question was, do lamingtons have jam?" he said.
"That's very conflicting - some people grew up with no jam in their lamingtons."
The product development team works with flavour houses to find the right blend for prototypes - natural and man-made flavours are used, and the ingredients list on the back of the packet just lists "flavours" - which are then tested internally.
"It could have come from 20 different flavours we've brought in from different suppliers, but then once you've got the flavour profile, then you've got to do a range of levels from stronger to weaker to appeal to hopefully appeal to the mass of people in the centre," Mr Hayward said.
The development process for that particular flavour took between nine to 12 months, he added, though it can take longer, especially if there needs to be changes in the production process like with the honeycomb crispy M&Ms.
Mr Hayward encouraged students to think big, especially if they were afraid of being pigeon-holed.
"I went to uni to learn how to learn, to problem solve, and I've found that with every role I've done, that's all you need - pick up things quickly, be curious, be prepared to take risks and challenge yourself, and surround yourself with good people," he said.
"It's a classic quote but it's so true."
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