As shopping continues to evolve, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. debuts a wide-range of new solutions with retail partners to meet the needs of today’s on-the-go consumers. Through its Business Development team, the company is taking an entrepreneurial approach to investing in key opportunities that expand the company’s footprint and connect with consumers.
“Today’s shoppers are everywhere and looking to purchase things like gum and candy at any point in time,” said Jayesh Shah, director of business development at Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. “Our Business Development team is continuously looking for new places and ways for people to purchase our products. We will always have our products available at our longstanding brick-and-mortar stores, but at the same time, we are excited to introduce new and different expansions with leading companies like Atlas Cinema, Cargo and 24 Hour Fitness.”
Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s Business Development team recently activated several new partnerships to help consumers treat themselves at different moments in their day. From ridesharing to movie theaters to fitness centers, Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s brands became bestselling products in these new spaces.
Offering New Vending Experiences
Candy and movies have gone hand in hand for many years, but today consumers are looking for new experiences at the theater. To meet these new expectations, Mars Wrigley Confectionery introduced a first-ever SKITTLES®-branded vending kiosk, so consumers could create personalized mixtures of their favorite SKITTLES® flavors.
What started as three kiosks in 2016 has grown to more than 100 machines across the country to reflect movie-goers’ need for new types of product offerings. “No matter the venue, the fan following has been very positive as indicated through the revenue the kiosks produce. When comparing the SKITTLES® kiosk to generic unbranded kiosks, the SKITTLES® kiosk performed a surprising 151 percent better,” said Sean Hanna, executive vice president, operations for The Pelican Group.
As the customized kiosks continue to enhance concession offerings, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Atlas Cinemas will extend their partnership. “SKITTLES® are one of our best-selling candies,” said Chris Baxter, director of operations for Atlas Cinemas. “We are excited to have the very unique SKITTLES® Create-Your-Rainbow kiosk in our theaters for our guests. It is a great addition to our concession program.”
Entering the Rideshare Community
Ridesharing has become one of the most popular travel options worldwide, and confections are in demand when riders are traveling to their destination. As a way of joining the consumer along the ride, Mars Wrigley Confectionery teamed up with Cargo, the leading provider of in-car commerce, to help riders refresh with their favorite treats.
Today, a large part of Cargo’s total retail transactions include a Mars Wrigley Confectionery product as riders across the country grab gum, mints and confections during their trip. In fact, EXTRA® is the most popular gum item sold to Cargo passengers and SKITTLES® is the number one retail item sold by volume to Cargo passengers in its eight key markets.
While consumers continue to make ridesharing a part of their day, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Cargo will work together to offer products that instantly satisfy riders.
Identifying Fitness Trends to Expand Offerings
Athletes love chewing gum for a variety of reasons. However, consumers may not always have it on hand at the gym, so Mars Wrigley Confectionery and 24 Hour Fitness, the world’s largest membership fitness chain, saw an opportunity to provide a simple solution for gym owners to enhance gym experiences while also creating a new sales moment. The partnership began as a test in 2017 when 24 Hour Fitness offered gum at the check-in counters at select gyms, along with other grab-and-go products gym-goers might want to buy before or after a workout.
It was a success and generated positive sales for gym owners and increased overall gym member satisfaction. Now, 24 Hour Fitness members everywhere can grab their favorite gum packs, including ORBIT® and EXTRA®, at the counter and in special displays around the check-in.
To continue keeping gum and confections top-of-mind everywhere consumers are, and ultimately drive total category growth, Mars Wrigley Confectionery is rolling these concepts and learnings into a new retailer program called “Emerging Impulse Platforms.” This new program will help retailers decrease the time between “when I think of it” to “when I can get it” for consumers. This demand shift will have major implications to impulse categories, like confectionery.
“Mars Wrigley Confectionery continues to evaluate ways to meet our consumers’ increased demands for time-savings, convenience and accessibility with new and existing partners,” said Shah. “Looking ahead, the Business Development team will be expanding our offering with more retail partners. We’ll be introducing customized solutions to areas where impulse items have a strong consumer relevance and benefit.”