Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 66

CANDY & SNACKS

Bite-Sized Opportunities
C-store retailers and suppliers share best practices to increase
basket size with candy and snacks By Danielle Romano
THE CONVENIENCE CHANNEL has long been
known for its cokes and smokes and, in
more recent years, its suds and grub.
But if you ask any convenience store
retailer, supplier or distributor what has
the ability to drive profits by increasing
basket size, they will tell you it's the
highly profitable and highly impulsive
candy and snacks categories.

"Candy and snacks - both salty and
sweet - are very important to a c-store's
profitability. These categories carry
above-average margins and provide a
strong impulse purchase opportunity for
many of our guests," Ken Hagler, senior
director of merchandising for Tri Star
Energy LLC's Twice Daily Convenience
Stores, told Convenience Store News.
At Twice Daily, the candy and snacks categories account for about 11 percent of inside
merchandise sales and 15 percent of total
inside gross profit dollars, Hagler added.

senior manager, c-store category strategy and insights
for The Hershey Co. "With 47 percent of purchases being
unplanned, and more than 80 percent of purchases consumed within an hour, a candy and snacks consumer is in the
market for these product on pretty much every trip."
So, the question becomes: What are the most effective
ways convenience store operators can lean into the candy
and snacks categories to drive both impulsive and purposeful purchases?
Retailers and suppliers shared the following tricks of the trade:

More, Please
For Twice Daily, operator of 50 c-stores across Tennessee
and Kentucky, two primary reasons for customer visits are to
get something to eat and to get something to drink, so the
retailer focuses on its fresh food and beverage offers to drive
in-store traffic.
Once in-store, Twice Daily emphasizes its candy and snack
items to entice extra buys. It does this by strategically
displaying these categories on the way to and from destination zones, such as the beverage cooler, fresh food area,
and along the sales counter.

More than half of respondents (51 percent)
in the 2018 CSNews Realities of the Aisle
consumer study - which surveyed 1,500
consumers who shop at a convenience
store at least once a month - said they
purchased candy or gum in the last
month, and 56 percent made a snack buy,
like a bag of potato chips, pretzels, cookies
or doughnuts.

"We believe this provides us with the greatest opportunity
to garner that additional add-on sale of a candy or snack
item to go with a customer's food or beverage purchase,"
Hagler explained. "We also merchandise top-selling candy
and snack items at the sales counter to capture that
last-second impulse purchase to go along with the other
items being purchased."

"Candy and snacks play a key role in building
baskets at c-stores," remarked Alan Tobin,

Hershey's Tobin believes in this approach as well. The senior
manager suggests utilizing secondary merchandising in
high-traffic locations - namely, the front counter because
this is where shoppers spend the most time dwelling.
"About 17 percent of a shopper's total time in-store is
spent at the checkout. With an average of 23 percent of
candy and snack sales coming from the checkout
area, retailers have a huge opportunity to increase
basket sizes through maximizing merchandising in
this space," he said.
Tobin recommends incorporating one of
three merchandising systems at every
pay point:
1. Counter unit: With limited space,
retailers should only merchandise
the best-selling brands and items here.
About 75 percent of candy sales from a
counter unit are incremental, he reports.

66 Convenience Store News C S N E W S . c o m


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