Availability, display and value: tips from Mars Chocolate

 Bep Dhaliwal (pictured), trade communications manager at Mars Chocolate UK, highlights the key focus areas for maximising confectionery sales.

Bep Dhaliwal-for-webWhat are the key principles to consider when merchandising the confectionery category?

Strong availability, display and value are the key factors we focus on with all our wholesale customers. Wholesalers should ensure that displays are in line with consistent planograms to prevent any potential frustration around lack of availability. For merchandising confectionery in aisle, put best-sellers on the lowest shelf. This will help to maximise exposure and also make it easier for stock to be replenished. Wholesalers should aim to use all PoS available to them to create theatre in the depot, and also highlight the best offers, like price-marked packs (PMP), to drive customers to the confectionery aisle.

How are you looking to strengthen your partnerships with wholesalers?

In 2016, we will continue to work closely with wholesalers, offering everything from category management and merchandising advice to top tips to improve sales and support retailers. We have some great brand campaigns planned and will be working with our wholesale partners to drive strong execution and sales through their depots. We have our key lines available in PMPs and this has been an important sales driver for our retailers, so we will be actively working with cash & carries to promote these prominently in-depot.

Mars aisles-for-webWhat are your top tips to help wholesalers attract new shoppers to the category?

Point-of-sale material that can create awareness of new product launches and campaigns, displayed in key footfall areas around the depot, are a great way to drive sales. Wholesalers should work with their account managers to make the most of PoS materials available to them to drive sales of best-selling lines, and maximise sales driven by seasonal occasions. With pricing of particular importance to both retailers and the customer, PMPs regularly pique interest, so we recommend that wholesalers ensure these are prominently displayed.

What are the common pitfalls depot managers need to avoid when managing a fixture?

With poor availability, rather than price, being the number one frustration retailers have when they visit the depot, we recommend that wholesalers work with their account managers to ensure strong availability and recommendations on layout of key lines at all times. We know that wholesalers have an important role in servicing the growth of the convenience channel effectively by offering strong availability, eye-catching displays and value for money.

Can you share any news relating to product/promotional launches in 2016?

We have just launched a brand new flavour combination of Galaxy Duet – Toffee & Popcorn. The new single bar has an rsp of 60p and joins Cookies & Cream, and Caramel & Shortcake varieties. This latest launch is being supported by a dedicated TV push, with a £600,000 media spend bringing the popular ‘Moon River’ advert back to screens for four weeks. It will also be supported by a dedicated online launch, including social media. Looking ahead, there are further innovative launches across Galaxy and Mars in the pipeline for this year. What’s more, with the Rio Olympics and Euro 2016 taking place mid-year, wholesalers should watch this space for further exciting campaign activity featuring M&M’s.

Are you making any other investments that will benefit the trade over the coming months?

We will continue to invest heavily in TV advertising to keep the chocolate category and our best-loved brands front of mind for consumers. With over 50.4 million people estimated to see Mars adverts in the space of a year, wholesalers and retailers should be prepared for increased interest from shoppers during key campaign moments.

Tel: Mars Chocolate UK (01753) 550055

Published Date: March 17, 2016
Category: Meet the Manufacturer