Hershey Shares 2019 Snack Trends

The food manufacturer reveals the seven key trends that will impact brick-and-mortar and digital retail next year.

December 21, 2018

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Company has released its year-end review of the biggest snacks retail trends and insights, titled “Experience and Convenience in a Shopper’s World.” The piece also looks at seven key trends that will impact brick-and-mortar and digital retail in 2019.
The report follows the snacking powerhouse’s 2018 retail report, The Power of Search in A Shopper’s World, and continues to build on Hershey’s decades of experience working alongside its customers to develop retail strategies that drive snacks growth. 
“Our expertise in understanding how and why consumers snack is shaping our innovations in products, packaging, services and shopper experiences to drive growth for our retail partners,” said Phil Stanley, Hershey’s chief customer officer, in a press release. “This piece dives into how snacks shoppers move between brick-and-mortar and digital retail along their path to purchase. Building a seamless shopping experience will be critical to driving growth in the new year.”
As the retail landscape continuously evolves, Hershey is invested in understanding the snacks consumer and how they navigate between and within brick-and-mortar and digital retail environments. The power of search in both physical and digital modern retail remains critical to providing shoppers both a convenient and positive shopping experience.
The same deep confection category expertise Hershey built in brick-and-mortar –merchandising the candy aisle based on snacking occasion – is translatable to the digital environment. While merchandising and packaging in aisles are foot-stopping, winning content online is thumb-stopping. “Winning how the consumer searches – in-store and online – is the key to winning the sale,” said Stanley.
As the line between physical and digital continues to blur, shoppers navigate seamlessly between online, in-store and mobile along their path to purchase. With smartphone penetration rising to 87% of U.S. homes, every consumer now has a store conveniently located in the palm of their hand, creating ample opportunity for retail penetration. 
“In modern retail, we know that digital is the first trip. So, if you don’t merchandise the digital shelf correctly, people may choose not to shop with you in the digital or physical store,” said Doug Straton, Hershey’s chief digital commerce officer.
In fact, out of all shopping trips, 76% begin online. Once in-store, 58% of consumers are using a device to shop the digital shelf while simultaneously being in the physical store4. In 2019, it’s critical for manufacturers to build strategies for the whole snacks shopping ecosystem – online and off – based on how one influences the other.