As shopping continues to evolve, Mars Wrigley Confectionery has found nontraditional retail outlets for its products, calling the new program “Emerging Impulse Platforms.”
The program is designed to help retailers decrease the time between “when I think of it” to “when I can get it” for consumers. This demand shift will have major implications to impulse categories, such as confectionery.
“Today’s shoppers are everywhere and looking to purchase things like gum and candy at any point in time,” said Jayesh Shah, director of business development at Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. “Our business development team is continuously looking for new places and ways for people to purchase our products. We will always have our products available at our longstanding brick-and-mortar stores, but at the same time, we are excited to introduce new and different expansions.”
Skittles vending machines
Candy and movies have gone hand in hand for many years, but today consumers are looking for new experiences at the theater. To meet these new expectations, Mars Wrigley Confectionery introduced a Skittles-branded vending kiosk, so consumers could create personalized mixtures of their favorite Skittles flavors.
What started as three kiosks in 2016 has grown to more than 100 machines across the country to reflect movie-goers’ need for new types of product offerings.
“No matter the venue, the fan following has been very positive as indicated through the revenue the kiosks produce,” Sean Hanna, executive v.p., operations, for The Pelican Group. “When comparing the Skittles kiosk to generic unbranded kiosks, the Skittles kiosk performed a surprising 151 percent better.”
As the customized kiosks continue to enhance concession offerings, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Atlas Cinemas will extend their partnership.
“Skittles are one of our best-selling candies,” said Chris Baxter, director of operations for Atlas Cinemas. “We are excited to have the very unique Skittles Create-Your-Rainbow kiosk in our theaters for our guests. It is a great addition to our concession program.”
Partnering with ridesharing commerce platform
Ridesharing has become one of the most popular travel options worldwide, and confections are in demand when riders are traveling to their destination. As a way of joining the consumer along the ride, Mars Wrigley Confectionery teamed up with Cargo, the leading provider of in-car commerce, to help riders refresh with their favorite treats.
Today, a large part of Cargo’s total retail transactions include a Mars Wrigley Confectionery product as riders across the country grab gum, mints and confections during their trip. In fact, Extra is the most popular gum item sold to Cargo passengers and Skittles is the No. 1 retail item sold by volume to Cargo passengers in its eight key markets.
While consumers continue to make ridesharing a part of their day, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Cargo will work together to offer products that instantly satisfy riders.
Partnering with gyms
Mars Wrigley Confectionery and 24 Hour Fitness, the world’s largest membership fitness chain, saw an opportunity to provide a simple solution for gym owners to enhance gym experiences while also creating a new sales moment.
The partnership began as a test in 2017 when 24 Hour Fitness offered gum at the check-in counters at select gyms, along with other grab-and-go products gym-goers might want to buy before or after a workout.
It generated positive sales for gym owners and increased overall gym member satisfaction. Now, 24 Hour Fitness members everywhere can grab their favorite gum packs, including Orbit and Extra at the counter and in special displays around the check-in.