Hershey: Transforming the Candy Aisle Experience

By making it easier and more convenient for shoppers to find their favorites, we’re also providing retailers with exciting opportunities for growth.

Originally Published by The Hershey Company.

In our review of the biggest snacks retail trends and insights, titled Experience and Convenience in a Shopper’s World we highlight the importance shoppers place on easy to navigate, cohesive digital and physical shelves. In our continual study of how and why people shop for snacks, we discovered that after the last few years of in-aisle transformation work, two-thirds1 of shoppers agree the candy aisle looks nice, is well-organized and enjoyable.

That being said, 20 percent of shoppers2 surveyed said that difficulty finding a specific product played a large part in not buying candy. Never satisfied with the status quo, our team has taken these insights and put them to work in way that transforms the experience further through packaging. By making it easier and more convenient for shoppers to find their favorites, we’re also providing retailers with exciting opportunities for growth.

Starting in late March, retailers will begin to receive Hershey’s latest innovation in stand-up bags that solve for a variety of consumer wants, and enhance their shopping experience:

  • Making the right products easier to find.
    Shoppers want to find what they’re looking for quickly.Our new packaging features larger branding and, colors that stand out (shoppers know that Reese’s orange and that Kit Kat red!), and enhanced graphics clearly show the size of the item within so shoppers know exactly what they’re getting. Our research shows that “findability” with the new designs is 25 percent3 more effective than with the previous bags. Shoppers found what they were looking for, and they did it quickly. In the past, it took them 51 seconds4 to find a bag of candy, whether it was Heath or Hershey’sKisses or some other treat. With the new bags, it takes 40 seconds5. This leads to bigger baskets and less frustration.
  • Responding to new packaging.
    In our research on shopper behavior, we’ve observed the ways that shoppers respond to control items versus the new Hershey packaging. We found that they were 1.6 times6 more likely to engage with our new packaging than the control, and they were nearly twice7 as likely to put items in the new packaging into the basket. That means more dollars per trip for retailers.
  • Appealing at first sight.
    Our latest packaging is covered in tempting imagery of the candy inside. Take the Reese’s Miniatures, for instance. The package shows a wrapped miniature, it shows a miniature that’s been bitten in half and it shows a full unwrapped miniature. So it almost tells you, at the shelf, what to go do with this. Don’t be surprised if you see customers opening those bags as they leave the store!
  • Standing up to the competition.
    The new packs have a wide base so they sit flat on the shelf, making them harder to tip over. In fact, they’re sturdy enough that they can act as a kind of candy dish once the shopper gets them home.
  • Branding lifts for all.
    Our smaller brands are no longer hidden on the shelf.  Shoppers looking for brands like HeathRoloYorkAlmond JoyMounds will see the product picture, the size and count of the product and that familiar logo without having to search.
  • Combining items creates visual unity.
    Our new planogram design suggests placing candy-dish items next to on-the-go items. And with the new packaging, the items, together, form vertical blocks of color that really stand out and draw shoppers in.
  • Expanding the strike zone.
    The strike zone, which is generally three and four shelves down from the top, right around eye level, grows with these new bags and has a more organized appearance. That’s because the bags take up a little more space, acting as a larger billboard and attention magnet.

As we prepare for our latest packaging and merchandising innovation to hit shelves, we’re excited to work with our retail partners who want to improve the shopping experience for consumers and drive great results for their stores.