Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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66 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 Grocery Candy & Snack Merchandising product packaging. Te header cards will reinforce the deca- dent theme of our holiday in- dulgent line and give a uniform look on displays." Candy's Still Dandy Of course, seasonal candy's still a big deal. Although it's a mature category with no major major shifts in brands or favors, and therefore experiences only to moderate year-over-year gains, United's Osornio notes, "Seasonal candy sales are approximately 20 percent of all candy sales." "Seasonal favors, shapes and packaging continue to drive excitement for the category," afrms Brandy Woolford, associate manager, brand public rela- tions at Te Hershey Co., whose upcoming products include limited-edition Lancaster Caramel Apple caramels in the fall, and Kit Kat Dark Chocolate Mint Miniatures and Hershey's Peppermint Bark Bells, the latter previously available only at Target, for the winter holidays. "From pumpkin spice or caramel apple favors during the autumn to pep- permint in the winter, consumers want to enjoy their favorite seasonal favors in new forms, including candy. Seasonally themed packaging is defnitely an important factor, as packaging is often one of the frst things that catches a consumer's eye." Over at Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America, whose M& M's brand is the most-purchased chocolate brand for gifting, stufng stockings and flling candy bowls, according to the "Christmas Beacon Report," seasonal products include redesigned variety bags and fun-size packaging to "really stand out on shelf " during Hallow- een, and M& M's White Peppermint Candies, according to Larry Lupo, VP of sales/grocery, convenience & drug channels. Another seasonal innova- tion: Snickers Baking Bites for the Holidays, which, he notes, enables "consumers to add their favorite candy bar to their family recipes." "Vibrant seasonal packaging adds excitement to the seasonal aisle, attracts attention to stand out on shelf and is a very important cue to connect with the shopper," says Lupo, echoing Woolford's observation. "Secondary displays are key to grabbing shoppers' attention," he adds. "Two new displays from Mars that showcase single bars and seasonal shapes are the Mixed Shapes Miniwings — which keep the aisles clear and can hang anywhere in the store — and the Mixed Shapes & Singles Towers, which retailers can stand, hang or mount to capture impulse purchases." Te company's seasonal promotions include Holiday on the Go, slated for November and December, during which consumers who buy Mars' Singles products can send a text for the chance to instantly win free Mars Chocolate and cash cards. Bethlehem, Pa.-based Just Born, maker of the iconic Peeps candies and other items, also embraces the importance of packaging for its seasonal ofer- ings. "At Christmas, consumers are looking for a product that fts into a stocking, and for Halloween, a snack size for the Halloween bowl," notes Mat- thew Pye, VP of corporate afairs and trade relations. Te company's fall and winter holiday lineup in- cludes Mike and Ike Zours Zombies in fve intense sour fruit favors and Red Velvet Christmas Peeps dipped in cream-favored fudge. In common with Mars, Just Born looks beyond mer- chandising only in the sea- sonal candy aisle, seeking out "secondary placement such as in the specialty sections, baking aisle or on displays," notes Pye. To that end, Just Born has teamed exclusively with Target on an item that, like Snickers Baking Bites, aims to inspire consumers to include their preferred seasonal candy in baked goods. "Te new Peeps Halloween Marshmallow Top- pers kit includes a variety pack of Peeps tomb- stones, pumpkins, cats and ghost-shaped marsh- mallows with a recipe on the back of the package that encourages consumers to bake cupcakes with Betty Crocker products and top the cupcakes with Peeps," explains Pye. "Te kit is a test and will be placed in the seasonal set." If the item — Just Born's frst in the baking set — does well, "it will be rolled out nationally with additional seasonal kits to drive baking and crafting activity," he says, noting that the company will also team with Universal Pictures for the winter holiday DVD releases of "Minions" and "Jurassic World." Whether candy or snacks, fall- or winter-themed, seasonal items defnitely have an impact on retailers' sales. Afrms United's Osornio: "As soon as product lands in our stores, we begin to see sales spike." PG For more about seasonal candy and snacks, visit Progressivegrocer.com/seasonalcandysnacks. From pumpkin spice or caramel apple flavors during the autumn to peppermint in the winter, consumers want to enjoy their favorite seasonal flavors in new forms, including candy." —Brandy Woolford, The Hershey Co.

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