Hershey said its previous “store-within-a-store” concept is not always realistic because it was a “real estate play” for its retail partners. The company has since withdrawn the perimeter candy display after testing the concept at a Winn-Dixie store in Louisiana.
Brian Kavanagh, senior director of insights driven performance and retail evolution at Hershey, recently told ConfectioneryNews, merchandizing is a challenge especially for the confectionery category because it mostly depends on store opening or remodeling.
“Many retailers are remodeling right now, so we believe Hershey has a lot more to accomplish within that 40-foot confection aisle,” he said. “We have to look at how we live in the footprint we have now and still accomplish the same things that were successful at Winn-Dixie.”
One of the keys to bringing brand clarity in the candy aisle is using standup pouches, Kavanagh said.
“We got a lot of bags that are lay-down flat, kind of like the world of rice and beans,” he said. “We have not gone to package displays like a 12-pack of coke for example. You go down the aisle, you see them immediately; you go down the confections aisle, or what we call packaged candy or candy dish section, it’s a bunch of bags with shining films.”
“Converting them over to standup bags can get the ‘billboard effect’,” Kavanagh said.
Using standup packs also lets Hershey stock more SKUs on the same amount of shelf space, according to the company.
What did Hershey learn from in-store concept?
Despite the discontinuation of the in-store display, Hershey said it has learned better retail skills to further drive confectionery sales in the center store.
“We think confection has a high emotional connection with the shopper, and that’s what we learned from the in-store strategy: Whether it’s a giant Reese’s Cup or M&Ms, people resonated with that, and they even took selfies with it,” Kavanagh said.
“Those individual pods are the biggest sales drivers,” he added.
“For store-within-a-store, we actually kept exactly the same assortment, but people thought there were tons more in that environment. We know there is an opportunity to bring clarity and bring our brands to life in the aisle as well.”