DERRY TOWNSHIP, Penn.—Suppliers are increasingly helping retailers stay competitive by providing fresh approaches to selling their goods, Confectionery News reports. “Retail in general is changing,” said Todd Scott, corporate brand manager for Hershey. “We’re looking more at customer experiences at every level of retail. Whether it’s convenience or big box or grocery, customer expectations are different. They want to be able to find everything immediately.”
Hershey has taken that knowledge and used it to assist retailers in untangling the candy aisle, which can be prone to shadowy shelving, lay-down packs and disorganization. An August Mars Wrigley survey found that consumers view the candy aisle as “100% more difficult to shop” than other categories. Plus, customers often research their purchases online before heading to the store.
“Marrying that online experience to the physical experience is sort of the reasoning behind the packaging, but then, of course, working with retailers to maximize their growth—[that’s] a big way the shelf has changed,” Scott said.
Two packaging innovations that have begun to transform the candy aisle are stand-up pouches and share packaging. “Making a product findable—when you really consider the most basic concept of search—is really important,” he said. Dale Clark, senior director of category management for Hershey, added, “How that aisle is organized has become even easier with some of the packaging changes that we’ve made as an industry, not just Hershey.”