Alongside introducing new products destined to hit shelves, Mars Wrigley Confectionery announced at NACS Show in Las Vegas this week it will release updated confection aisle shelving guidelines.
Over the past year, Mars Wrigley Confectionery has conducted research to ensure its planogram incorporates the most recent shopper behavior data. The shopper-based study met the customer in various stages of their journey to understand what influences their c-store purchases. The updated shelving guidelines incorporate key findings from this research and the end result is a comprehensive set of recommendations that deliver proven solutions for retailers.
“In 2016, we unveiled our best-in-class planogram based on intensive shopper research, and it consistently delivered an average of 4-6 percent growth compared to control store test or competitive test set,” said Tiffany Menyhart, v.p.of U.S. category leadership at Mars Wrigley Confectionery. “Since then, we’ve updated our recommendations based on new insights and we’re excited to see this new version continue to deliver positive category growth.”
Jim Dodge, v.p. c-store channel at Mars Wrigley, noted that half of confectionery purchases are decided in-store, but only 30 percent of shoppers walk down the confectionery aisle. They also don’t spend much time there.
“ With this in mind, Mars Wrigley Confectionery has made key updates to the shelving principles focused on attracting c-store visitors to the confections aisle and ensure they can easily find what they want,” he said.
Mars Wrigley has launched a multi-store test to revamp the full confectionery aisle in partnership with a large national c-store retailer. Early results indicate positive category growth with the full results being delivered in 2019.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery also featured these new products at the show: 
• 3 Musketeers Birthday Cake: The brand’s first new flavor in six years, the Birthday Cake 3 Musketeers bar features a vanilla-flavored nougat and colorful sprinkles covered in rich milk chocolate. It will be available in Walmart beginning October 2019 and nationally January 2019.
• Combos Jalapeno Cheddar: New in 2019, Combos is nationally launching Jalapeño Cheddar. The combination of cheesy goodness plus a mix of spice inside a baked tortilla shell is sure to excite consumers’ taste buds.
• M&M’S Hazelnut Spread: The newest M&M’S variety, the Hazelnut Spread variety is launching in April 2019 and features a creamy hazelnut center, covered by milk chocolate and wrapped in the brand’s signature colorful candy shell. M&M’S Hazelnut Spread will be available in 1.35-oz. singles, 2.53-oz. share size and 8.3-oz. standup pouches.
• M&M’S Bars: M&M’S is launching new bars in five flavors, each consisting of smooth milk chocolate and M&M’S Minis throughout a molded tablet bar format. The combination delivers a distinctive multi-textural sensory taste experience and will be available nationwide starting in December 2018. Chocolate lovers should try all five varieties: Peanut (3.9 oz.), Milk Chocolate (4.0 oz.), Crispy (3.8 oz.), Almond (3.9 oz.), and Crispy Mint (3.8 oz.).
• M&M’S White Chocolate Peanut: M&M’S White Chocolate Peanut is made of peanuts surrounded by white chocolate and a candy shell. Building off of the success of M&M’S White Chocolate, the product will launch in September 2018, in three pack types to fit everyone’s needs: singles, share size and standup pouch. (S.R.P.: $0.99-$3.39)
• Orbit Freeze Mint: Packed with intense arctic freshness and an icy-cool flavor, Orbit Freeze Mint leaves your mouth feeling clean. It will be available December 2018 in a 1.1-oz. singles pack (S.R.P.: $0.73) and a 3.58-oz. multipack (S.R.P.: $1.99).
• Skittles Darkside: Skittles Darkside contains a mix of mysterious, dark fruit flavors inspired by the other side of the rainbow. They include Dark Berry, Black Cherry, Forbidden Fruit, Blood Orange and Midnight Lime. They’ll be available January 2019 in a 1.76-oz. single pack (S.R.P.: $0.99), a 4-oz. share size (S.R.P.: $1.79) and a 14-oz. laydown bag (S.R.P.: $3.19).
• Creamy Snickers: Hitting shelves in December 2018, these new bars feature caramel and a milk chocolate coating along with creamy nut butters including Almond Butter, Peanut Butter and Maple Almond Butter.
• Starburst Duos: These fruit chews will be available in Strawberry Watermelon and Blue Raspberry Lemonade flavors starting January 2019. Pack sizes include 2.07-oz. single packs (S.R.P.: $0.99)  and 14-oz. laydown bags (S.R.P.: $3.19).
• Twix Triple Chocolate: This bar features chocolate cookies and chocolate caramel cloaked in milk chocolate for three times the chocolate goodness. It will be available December 2018 (S.R.P.: $1.69-$1.79).