CHICAGO -- Candy aisles are enduring a sour moment. Of the 30% of shoppers who enter the confectionery aisle in c-stores, only 14.5% actually buy something, according to Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s C-Store Path to Purchase Insights. Moreover, 30% of shoppers who enter the aisle only do so as a pit stop while heading toward the beverage coolers.
Mars Wrigley's C-Store Path to Purchase Insights not only outlines current struggles for candy aisles, but it also discloses ways retailers can provide a holistic shopping experience to ultimately increase candy sales.
Jim Dodge, vice president of convenience for Mars Wrigley, said the insights provide a road map for shelving products based on how shoppers perceive a category.
“Mars Wrigley Confectionery has been working with retailers to develop customized recommendations to ensure they have strategic product placements where shoppers are already seeking out confections, gum and mints,” he said.
Here are four tips on how c-store operators can increase shoppers’ experiences and enhance confection sales, according to Mars Wrigley …
1. Focus on gum and chocolate innovation
Mars Wrigley Confectionery, which has a global hub in Chicago, suggests c-store operators focus on new products from the gum, mint, fruity candy and chocolate sectors to meet consumer demands and maximize profits. On average, gum is the most profitable segment within confectionery, followed by mints, fruity confections and chocolate, according to Mars Wrigley. And because chocolate and gum are the largest segments based on dollar sales and household penetration, retailers should lead with them to attract consumers to the candy aisle, Mars Wrigley said.
Shoppers are also attracted to unique packaging, furthering the need to display various packaging sizes and designs, the company said.
Photo courtesy of Sam Howzit.
2. Recognize purchase drivers
Acknowledging purchase drivers may also help c-store operators sway customers toward candy aisles. Package type is the top purchase driver for fruity confections, while brand type is the top purchase driver for chocolate, said Mars Wrigley. Chocolate is often purchased as a “for me” item, while fruity candies are often bought “for others” due to its various share sizes. This means purchase drivers for chocolate are individual-based, while those for fruity candies lean toward group settings, the company said.
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3. Merchandise wisely
Retailers should stock gum in bulk and in bottled packs since consumers chew more often when they can physically hold it, said Mars Wrigley. And the more shoppers use these packs, the faster they return to stores to buy more gum.
For chocolate, stocking popular brands together, such as Reese’s and M&M’s, helps consumers navigate shelves, because they’re often looking for these brands to begin with.
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4. Use out-of-aisle promotions
Having multiple interruption points stationed throughout high-traffic areas of the store may intrigue shoppers just enough to reel them into the candy aisle, said Mars Wrigley. Some of the company’s various promotional options that can achieve this include:
- Displays on pathways to and from coolers.
- Navigational signage on both sides of the candy aisle.
- Perimeter placements near destination categories.
- Cross-promotion by foodservice items.
- Top brands advertised on the lot during holidays.
- Pump toppers and gas TV advertisements for high-margin basket-builder categories.
Photo courtesy of pxhere.