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Still snacky: New candy, snack products build sales

BY Seth Mendelson

You know all that stuff about healthy eating and how consumers want to cut down on sugar and snacks?

Well, if you are a retailer looking to make money from consumer trends, forget it. The candy and snacks categories are performing quite well at retail, thanks to a combination of product introductions, strong marketing and the basic desire of many shoppers to throw some tasty merchandise into their shopping carts.

According to IRI data, the candy category posted a solid 2.74% increase in dollar sales and 2.61% jump in unit sales in the 52-week period ended Dec. 3, compared with the previous year. Total candy sales at mass retail outlets exceeded $11 billion in sales. Salty snack sales jumped by 3.53% in dollars to more than $18 billion and 2.22% in units during the same period, while dried meat snack dollar volume grew by 6.18%.
Suppliers are taking much of the credit for this growth. Officials at companies, ranging from Mars and Hershey to Frito Lay and Kellogg, say that the emphasis on new items, and their willingness to back these releases with strong advertising support, are keeping consumers excited about the categories and what is coming up next.

“The shift in consumer shopping behavior offers a unique challenge and opportunity to drive growth and increase basket sizes in the marketplace, especially within the confections category, which consistently contributes to shoppers putting more items in their basket,” said Tiffany Menyhart, vice president of U.S. category leadership at Mars Wrigley Confectionery. “With 70% of impulse purchases being driven by visibility or an in-moment craving, it’s critical retailers make it easy for shoppers to find products that meet these needs in the moment. Retailers need to maximize confectionery conversion both in immediate and future consumption. Our Transaction Zone and path-to-purchase shopper insights fuel the ideas to help retailers create an engaging shopping experience by helping shoppers find what they are seeking quickly and place into their baskets.”

Retailers also are paying more attention. While some other categories are growing at faster rates, many merchants understand the importance of candy and snacks to the overall shopping experience. Snacks are getting much more space at many retailers, and candy products are being placed throughout the store, including even more placement at the front end, to spur impulse sales.

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Hallmark serenades Valentine’s Day with Vinyl Record Cards

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Hallmark is bringing the love for Valentine’s Day. The company announced plans to release Vinyl Record Cards, which will include seven-inch vinyl records featuring songs from Atlantic Records artists such as, Bruno Mars, Aretha Franklin and INXS.

“At Hallmark, we are merging music trends with greeting cards to take card giving and receiving to the next level,” Tom Brantman, creative director at Hallmark Greetings Innovation, said. “Sharing and enjoying music with others is an experience that spans all generations and brings people together in a way that other things can’t. Our vinyl record cards do just that: they offer more than a sentiment – they are a gift in themselves.”

Each card comes with a 45 RPM vinyl record featuring two songs from each artist, which is built into the sleeve of the card’s cover. The Kansas City, Mo.-based company also will launch vinyl record cards for birthdays later this year.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Hallmark on the launch of such an innovative product,” Mark Pinkus, president of Rhino Entertainment, who also oversees the Atlantic Records catalog, said. “With the renewed popularity of vinyl, especially among younger generations, we see this as an amazing opportunity to showcase classic songs, along with current hits, to the card buying public.”

Hallmark’s Vinyl Record Cards are available for purchase anywhere Hallmark cards are sold, on the company’s website and Amazon.

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HRG refreshes PlantPure image

BY Michael Johnsen

Hamacher Resource Group recently completed a package design project for whole food, plant-based frozen entrée line, also named “PlantPure,” to refresh the image as they expand their presence online and in brick and mortar grocery stores. HRG staged and photographed 20 frozen meals and developed packaging for each one in line with PlantPure’s mission of promoting the health benefits of plant-based nutrition broadly to U.S. citizens, as seen in the documentary movie, “PlantPure Nation.”

“Wellness retailing reaches beyond personal care and OTC into functional food, so working with a company like PlantPure that has such a health-focused mission was a natural extension for our business,” said senior marketing services account manager, Jen Johnston, Hamacher. “We were happy for the opportunity to stretch our branding skills to food packaging and especially enjoyed working with the PlantPure team.”

“We truly appreciate the expertise HRG brought to this project – they exceeded our expectations on a number of levels and have been a dream to work with,” Nelson Campbell, PlantPure president, said. “Their design skills brought to life the PlantPure entrée brand, and their ability to deliver despite tight timeframes really helped us keep our momentum and deliver to retailers as promised.

The HRG team researched competitors in both the vegan and frozen food space and then tapped into their experience in branding to create a package design that represents the quality ingredients used and showcases the company’s commitment to purity, as well as supports their new “Healing America” documentary movie and movement.

 

 

 

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