The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show has been held at the Las Vegas Convention Center all week, and the big names in candy were there showing off their latest C-Store innovations.
Hershey and Mars both showed off new products, with an eye toward convenience stores. Below is a look at what Hershey debuted, and how they hope to help C-Stores sell more candy. And be sure to check out what Mars was debuting here:
Hershey has some of the most recognizable and beloved confectionery brands and is focused on expanding these iconic brands to other categories and parts of the store. Additionally, as snacking and “on the go” are becoming more prevalent with consumers, the company is looking at ways to expand its portfolio across the snacking continuum.
Some of Hershey’s most recent innovations that deliver a differentiated snacking experience are being showcased at NACS. And in addition to Hershey’s expanding snacking portfolio, the company also is focused on growing its core confectionery business.
Hershey is showcasing upcoming, new products and packaging updates at the annual NACS show, including:
1. Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars
New Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars are made with real fruit, whole roasted almonds, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and signature Brookside dark chocolate.
2. Hershey’s, PayDay and Mr. Goodbar Snack Bites
These new Snack Bites deliver an exciting snack experience by combining delicious nuts and Hershey’s iconic confection brands. These tasty snacks are packed with crunchy nuts in every bite.
3. Hershey’s and Reese’s Snack Mixes
New Snack Mixes from Hershey provide a delicious combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy. Hershey’s Snack Mix is packed with almonds, pretzels, and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. Reese’s Snack Mix combines salty, crunchy peanuts and pretzels with Reese’s Pieces Candy and Reese’s Minis.
4. Allan Candy
Allan Candy is a non-chocolate line that offers both traditional and unique flavors to meet the growing consumer demand for gummy candy. These various gummy candies will be available in 5-oz. peg bags.
5. Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews
Ice Breakers Cool BlastsChews provide an icy cool blast of freshness in a quick-dissolving chew. Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews will be available in a new wintergreen flavor in a 0.8-oz. innovative slide pack.
6. Kit Kat Big Kat Bar
The same Kit Kat treat consumers know and love — only bigger and crispier! Kit Kat Big Kat Bar features five layers of wafers and just the right amount of smooth milk chocolate.
7. Take5 Layer Candy Bar’s New Look
A bold, contemporary look is coming to Take5 Candy Bars! Take5 Bars provide a unique taste experience by combining pretzels, caramel, peanuts and peanut butter, and covering it all with chocolate for a delicious salty sweet snack unlike anything else.
Hershey shares C-Store Strategies
The Hershey Co. continues to spearhead success in the convenience class of trade through innovative new products and strong partnerships with retailers that drive sales and profit growth.
At the show, Hershey shared its key priorities to put every C-store on a path to growth. David Nolen, senior director, CSI, The Hershey Co., shared three specific goals for c-stores, including:
1. In-line set: Priority No. 1 is getting the in-line set correct.
2. Location, location, location: Ensuring that confections are present under the counter and in secondary locations.
3. Take-home packages: Lastly, Hershey is recommending growing take-home package type space — take-home package types are growing at twice the category because consumers are increasingly shopping smaller format stores for everyday items.
“While key category strategies are applicable across the channel, we know that each C-store is different for a number of reasons. The age of ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions is over,” Nolen says. “We are on a journey to use multiple, disparate data sources to understand the unique demographics around every single C-store in the United States, so that we can bring high-impact, customized solutions to our retail partners.”
Growing seasonal at C-stores
The Hershey Co. is the seasonal confectionery leader in North America with more than 78 percent share and all 10 of the top 10 seasonal items. It’s highly incremental to everyday sales, and that has been demonstrated in other channels year after year.
In C-stores, seasonal confectionery sales have an annual category growth rate of more than 19.6 percent in the last four years. Notably, Hershey has seen continued growth is the holiday-themed Reese’s 1-lb. Peanut Butter Cup, which is the third best-selling seasonal item in the convenience store channel.
This season, novelty items are expected to have a larger impact in 2015 due to increased distribution. Those customers purchasing the Reese’s 1-lb. Peanut Butter Cup typically added another 1-lb. item such as Hershey's 1-lb. Milk Chocolate Bar or a gift card to their basket, spending an average of $22 on the shopping trip.
“Seasonal items are special to consumers and have been a unique growth driver in convenience stores,” Nolen says. “These limited-time only products are often on front counters in stores and become additions to the planned purchases.”