NACS 2021

Hershey goes to NACS Expo armed with key retail insights

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

NACS is back in Chicago after last year's postponement. Pic: NACS
NACS is back in Chicago after last year's postponement. Pic: NACS

Related tags: NACS, Hershey

Hershey has pitched up at the 2021 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show Expo in Chicago to reveal its key consumer insights to help retail partners meet evolving consumer needs.

A leader in the snacking category, the giant confectionery company said it is showcasing how it is leaning into new instant consumables innovation and making more moments through new snacking occasions.

The first in-person NACS Show since 2019 runs from 5-8 October at the city’s McCormick Place, and visitors to the Hershey booth (#4631) will discover how the company is driving trips to c-stores through key consumer insights that address evolving needs and trip missions.

While consumers changed the way they shopped at c-stores during the COVID-19 pandemic, snacks innovation continues to make c-stores a destination for consumers, it says.

It was especially important this past year that we were able to create innovation and excitement to help drive trips, increase basket size and optimize the category, and that’s exactly what we did,”​ says Glenn Frazier, Director of Category Management for US Convenience, The Hershey Company. “While core brands remain the bedrock of the business, new products and limited-edition products continue to make c-stores a destination for the candy, mint and gum category – a top-dollar sales category for the channel​.”

Sweet insights

Hershey’s key insights show that, while unplanned and ‘treat myself moments’ remained key drivers for consumers shopping c-stores during the pandemic, with a spike in stock-up trips and larger pack purchases, the industry can expect some continued changes moving forward.

Our insights show that consumers will still prefer to shop the channel in-store versus online and app ordering, which still represents less than 10% of transactions,​” says Frazier. “We also found that while ‘need it now’ is a top motivator for those purchasing in the category, and retailers are seeing an uptick in afternoon visits for treats and meals, more shoppers will pivot from larger pack sizes to instant consumable packs moving forward.”

Effective merchandising is also essential to sparking impulsive purchases and building baskets. Out-of-aisle merchandising throughout the store drives sales and is rooted in the consumer decision process to help shoppers locate products quickly.

With 58% of category purchases partially planned or not planned at all, merchandising is critical to boosting unplanned purchases, Hershey reveals at NACS.

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