Progressive Grocer - September 2017 - 73

Holiday Candy & Snack Merchandising

Grocery

The 5 P's of

Seasonal
Success
For the fall and winter holidays, punctuality, placement,
presentation, pricing and product are crucial.
By Bridget Goldschmidt

A

t SpartanNash, it's never
too early to start thinking about the holidays.
"The fall/winter holiday season is
very important to take advantage of
the increased customer traffic in our
SpartanNash stores," notes Larry Pierce,
EVP of merchandising and marketing
at the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based food
wholesaler and retailer. "In mid-August,
our stores will be set and ready for Halloween, which is when our holiday candy
season starts. We drive incremental Halloween candy volume by offering product
early, because it helps our customers shift
their mindset. When a customer buys
seasonal candy earlier, they will
consume it and buy more!
"From there, we move
right into Christmas
candy and follow the same
process," Pierce continues.
"We focus on having

stores set and ready the first week in
November."
Tops Markets LLC also begins
working on its holiday candy and snack
merchandising plans long before the
proverbial frost is on the pumpkin. "We at
Tops hold a Holiday Food Show in June
that aims at allowing our store operators
to purchase product our merchandising
departments feel could be useful for the
holiday time frames from October to
December," explains Russell Daniels, the
Williamsville, N.Y.-based grocer's category
business manager for salty snacks. "What's
unique about this is that this food show
has limited-time flavor items, in-and-out
options, seasonal varieties and products
that are seasonally relevant, so they are
building their inventory ahead of time ...
and gearing it toward the seasonal palate."
An early start makes good sense for
retailers, according to Jan Grinstead,
senior brand manager, holiday at The
Hershey Co., in Hershey, Pa. "To get
the most out of the season, make sure
to have your products available when
shoppers are thinking about seasonal
items," she advises. "For example, winter items should be on display immediately after Halloween."
"Stores can encourage sales by setting displays early to capitalize on early
purchases to drive larger baskets," agrees
Tim Quinn, VP of trade development for
Chicago-based Mars Wrigley Confectionery. "For Halloween, seasonal confections
should be displayed September through
Thanksgiving. For Christmas, stores
should set by Nov. 1."
"Longer lead times and advanced

September 2017 | progressivegrocer.com |

73


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