Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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68 Convenience Store News | NOVEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Chocolate + Non-Chocolate + Gum + Salty Snacks CANDY & SNACKS emotions consumers associate with particular properties without being limited to a short-term cam- paign. CandyRific, which offers a wide range of novelty confec- tionery based on movies and well-known brands, "works to build in play value and imagi- native play into our products," said Clark Taylor, vice president of sales. In particular, the supplier seeks to evoke "feelings of joy and excitement" through its products, thus creating a positive association for the consumer — an association that endures. While c-store candy suppli- ers do their part to bring con- nection opportunities to their retailer partners, it is important for the retailers themselves to do research and understand the emo- tions that drive their specific custom- er base to make the candy choices they do. Armed with this localized knowledge, Mark Krull, senior manager, Go2Market for Hershey, advises that c-stores can then make use of certain in- store tactics to coordinate with suppliers' advertising spots and, in turn, get the strongest returns possible. Krull recommends that c-stores with loyalty apps load content into the app for the products that are currently being promoted through events or emotion- based advertising. This will help build trial and awareness. The point-of-sale (POS) is also a prime point of strategy. Having an impactful POS with a cohesive, engaging theme is an effective way to con- nect with shoppers. C-store operators shouldn't just sit back and wait for suppliers to launch the next promotion. Year- round, retailers can drive confectionery sales in three ways, said Lupo: • By communicating to consumers before they're in-store; • With merchandising displays and aisle flow once in-store; and • With adjacencies of complementary categories, such as placing chocolate bars by the store's bever- age coolers. CSN "Rather than take center stage, Hershey's products become part of the storyline that helps spark these moments, and the focus becomes simple moments of connection," the com- pany explained. Seasonal candy, par- ticularly themed around holidays, is also a major area of opportunity for c-stores. While sales of seasonal candy based around Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas have grown in recent years, there is still considerable room for growth in the convenience channel as it is significantly under-leveraged in seasonal chocolate sales. "Americans love the seasons and holidays, and they go to great lengths to make their celebrations extra special. Each season has a unique appeal, connecting to shoppers' emotions differ- ently," according to Lupo. POSITIVE ASSOCIATION, POSITIVE SALES Taking it one step further, some successful candy marketing programs ask consumers to get invested, strengthening their connection with that brand even more. One example is the summer 2016 Wrigley campaign that asked consum- ers to choose between original flavors and sour varieties of Skittles, Starburst, Juicy Fruit, Orbit and Eclipse. This tied in with the Marvel film "Captain America: Civil War," which saw two groups of superheroes facing off. Consumers could choose one type of candy over the other and declare which team they were on. Tie-in opportunities don't have to be limited to just one time period, however. C-stores can stock candy products that are designed to appeal to the

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