Get Smart About the Seasons
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It’s always good to be able to put together a report that shows growth and a general positive trend in an area of the confectionery category. You’ll see our special Seasonal Smarts section — sponsored by The Hershey Company — in this issue. We like to think of the theme in this way: “Two Strong Seasons — Two to Go!”
One of the questions I’m frequently asked by retailers is ‘When is the ideal time to put seasonal confectionery on display?’ I’ve never been able to find a magic answer, but I can recommend the following retailing basics. Put it out early, merchandise it well, price it right, advertise the season and the products you’re featuring, cross-promote, and keep the seasonal section looking fresh at all times.
Timing is a real challenge because you do want a break from seasonal merchandising if it’s at all possible. Consumers need to have a chance to get excited about a season and interested in what’s coming up. If the store merchandise seems to flow from one season to the next, it’s hard to communicate that feeling of different and fresh that consumers are always looking for.
It was very interesting to see that premium is becoming more important for the seasons, particularly for the Winter Holidays and Valentine’s Day. Of course, manufacturers are working hard to ride that upscale train and respond to shoppers’ clear signals that they’re open to the idea of ‘better’ products, especially when it comes to gifting.
The Gourmet Marketplace exhibit section at the upcoming All Candy Expo — it’s close to sold out — has been an excellent proactive move to give manufacturers of upscale/gourmet products a home of their own at the show. It’s also been nicely handled that manufacturers who market upscale/premium products in addition to other lines have the opportunity to be part of kiosks in the Gourmet Marketplace, where they can highlight their premium products and direct buyers to their booth in the main part of the show.
Confectioner will be publishing a special supplement called “The Gourmet Showcase”— which will be mailed with both the July/August and September issues of the magazine —and focuses exclusively on this vibrant sector.
Confectioner’s Retailer of the Year
I’m delighted to announce that Confectioner’s 2007 Retailer of the Year is Mejier, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Meijer, now more than 70 years old, is a family owned and operated supercenter chain with 177 stores across the Midwest. Executives at Meijer will be presented with the prestigious ‘Flame of Excellence’ at an upcoming event in Grand Rapids. Meijer will be featured in the July/August issue of Confectioner. Congratulations, Meijer!
On a final note, the Hershey’s Kisses brand celebrates its 100th birthday this month. Congratulations to all at The Hershey Company, who ensure that this iconic brand is as beloved by consumers today as it has been throughout its celebrated 100-year history. Check out the July/August issue of Confectioner for coverage of Kisses centennial events.