CHICAGO — Sixty-two percent of convenience-store shoppers make their confection purchase decision at the shelf; however, most customers who enter the candy aisle do not end up purchasing a treat, according to Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s updated recommendations for c-store retailers on how to best drive confection sales in 2020.
Highlights of the tips from Mars Wrigley, maker of 3 Musketeers, Snickers and Skittles, include providing new ways to help shoppers find candy and treating candy as a treat rather than a snack.
“C-stores will always be a crucial component for shoppers, and the candy aisle will continue to be a main source for purchases,” said Jim Dodge, vice president of convenience for Mars Wrigley. “Mars Wrigley‘s new path-to-purchase strategy and best-in-class shelving were created to help retailers connect the right products and create an engaging environment for every shopper who enters the c-store.”
Those path-to-purchase recommendations include:
- Using occasions for confections to drive conversion: Mars Wrigley’s research shows that consumers buy snacks for four main reasons: to recharge, reward, connect and celebrate.
- Helping shoppers notice and find candy in-aisle: Retailers can update candy merchandising flows by creating a more intuitive and visually appealing shelf by remodeling the flow based on the category vision growth drivers; clearly defining and blocking chocolate, fruity confections, gum and mint; and driving conversion through signage aligning with the candy occasions mentioned above. Closer to the shelf, retailers can leverage power brands, flavor profiles and share size over singles to entice shoppers to walk down the candy aisle.
- Treating candy as a treat rather than a snack: Mars Wrigley research shows that consumers view candy as a treat to be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle. The company said it is important retailers provide consumers with a range of formats, calories and options to drive sales. Examples include 100-calorie bars and packs and low-calorie gum choices.
Shoppers find the confection category nearly 100% more difficult to shop than other comparable categories, according to Mars Wrigley, and shoppers spend nearly all of their 57 seconds in the confectionery aisle searching rather than shopping.
Mars Wrigley and Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go are partnering to help understand optimal aisle flow and shelving recommendations. Tests will include merchandising flow, signage and strategic category adjacencies aimed at measuring increased conversion.
Mars Wrigley developed the recommendations over several months with input from multiple countries and 40,000 respondents in 22 categories of consumables. The Chicago-based company also took into consideration anecdotes from shoppers globally and quantitative research across all channels and candy segments.