Digital Strategies for Holiday Candy and Snacks

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Digital Strategies for Holiday Candy and Snacks

By Bridget Goldschmidt - 09/27/2017

With omnichannel strategies becoming ever more important at retail, it’s small wonder that grocers and manufacturers alike are increasingly turning to the digital realm when promoting holiday candy and snacks.

“Digital has … taken on a larger role in our efforts to reach more customers,” affirms Kenneth Hausmann, category business manager for candy at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC. “[From] leveraging our Bonus Plus card data to send out targeted email blasts with exclusive e-coupon offers, to targeted social media posts to communicate fun recipe ideas to drive excitement -- all have proven to be effective and will continue to grow as we develop.”

Going forward, adds Hausmann: “Digital will … play a larger role, as that is how the Millennial generation ‘absorbs content.’ Again, this spans … email [and] social media to online purchasing, so it will be important for retailers to start to build these infrastructures now to be ahead of the curve.

A similar mindset holds true for many on the supplier side. Observes Andrew Whisler, EVP of business development at the Denver-based specialty confectioner Hammond’s Candies, “We do everything we can … to drive traffic to retailers carrying our product through our social media channels and electronic campaigns.”

Similarly, Jan Grinstead, senior brand manager holiday at Pennsylvania-based Hershey Co., notes “online promotions or coupons” among other key holiday candy and snack merchandising and marketing opportunities for retailers.

While embracing digital strategies, however, retailers should still endeavor to provide a superior shopping experience at their physical locations, according to Clark Taylor, VP of sales at Louisville, Ky.-based licensed candy/novelty provider CandyRific. Noting that competition in the form of online retailing “will not be going away,” Taylor suggests, “What a traditional store needs to offer is the variety and an ability for consumers to see ‘nontypical’ offerings in the holiday setting. … What retailers can offer is a chance to find that next new flavor or new item to be a part of [shoppers’] new holiday experience.”

Read more about holiday candy and snack merchandising in the article published in the September 2017 issue of Progressive Grocer.

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