HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Co. has unveiled its new Mobile Customer Insights Center (MCIC), a 53-foot expandable semitrailer and collaborative work space that mimics the layout of a convenience store on the inside. Starting Sept. 19, Hershey’s MCIC will visit cities such as Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco to provide shopper insights and snacking expertise to retail customers.
“The retail landscape is shifting at an unprecedented rate,” said Phil Stanley, chief sales officer of Hershey. “To stay ahead, today’s retailers need a new playbook and that’s exactly what we’re bringing to their front door. The MCIC is an important next step in our insight-driven journey to ensure Hershey provides our retail partners the most tailored, strategic insights we have to offer. And since we’re bringing the MCIC right to our customers, we’re able to set even more of our retail customers up for success.”
Through MCIC, Hershey looks to provide retail customers with insights that can be directly applied to their stores, such as strategies for merchandising, store layouts, queues, checkout counters, foodservice, product innovation and shopper marketing. Additionally, MCIC will explore e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shopping channels.
The semitrailer is a miniature version of Hershey’s Global Customer Insights Center (GCIC), the company said. It contains four expandable panels and opens into a 22- by 53-foot work space that can seat 15 people. Despite the smaller size, Hershey intendeds to provide the same expertise in the MCIC as its parent facility.
“We’re committed to helping retailers succeed and we do this by putting the shopper at the center of everything we do,” said Todd Tillemans, U.S. president of Hershey. “The MCIC is a direct output of this strategy. With more than 25 visits planned before year end, we look forward to strengthening our partnerships with customers across the U.S. and helping these retailers better serve their shoppers’ needs.”
Hershey, based in Hershey, Pa., has more than 80 brands that drive more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. The company recently added Pirate Brands, the maker of Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings, to its portfolio for $420 million.