HACKETTSTOWN, N.J.— Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. has launched its 2019 Innovative Merchandising Incubator, a national program to provide retailers with the opportunity to receive merchandising solutions and drive sales. One to two retailers will be chosen to embark on a relationship with Mars Wrigley Confectionery to develop a customized test-and-learn solution aimed at tackling the unique shopping challenges facing retailers today.
“How consumers shop today is not how they will shop tomorrow. At Mars Wrigley Confectionery, understanding consumers now and in the future is at the core of our business. We believe that a long-term, impactful relationship is the catalyst to driving the future of shopping for both retailers and manufacturers. We are launching the Innovative Merchandising Incubator to help retailers connect with the consumer and provide mutual solutions for growth,” said Tiffany Menyhart, vice president of U.S. category leadership at Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
Mars Wrigley Confectionary said it continuously studies shopping behavior globally to understand the landscape and develop solutions, and the company has collaborated with many leading U.S. grocery, c-store, drug and mass retailers for decades to propel in-store and in-aisle growth. The retailer or retailers selected for the Innovative Merchandising Incubator will have the opportunity to tap into brand-new concepts that affect traditional merchandising, improve their consumers’ shopping experience and drive sales. The custom-made solution will be unique to the retailer’s store, building on Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s exploration of new merchandising innovations.
The submission runs through May 31. Retailers interested in being considered can fill out an online submission form. Each submission will be evaluated on several factors including national or strong regional presence, number of stores, and a progressive mindset, open to implementing Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s in-store recommendations in select locations. Retailers agreed that research and results are property of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, not to be implemented with other manufacturing partners without consent. The retailer or retailers chosen will be announced in early summer and work will start on a customized solution to be implemented in the second half of 2019.
“Today’s shoppers are leading more fluid lifestyles — always on-the-go and connected. But knowing the potential of chocolate, fruity confections, gum and mints to drive growth, Mars Wrigley Confectionery is committed to sharing its global insights to help retailers think differently about how to capture their attention during the in-store on online journey,” said Menyhart. “We’re looking forward to helping an agile retailer adapt to new demands and stay ahead of the rapid changes happening not only in the confectionery category, but also with treats and snacks products overall.”
In addition to launching the Innovative Merchandising Incubator, Mars Wrigley Confectionery said it will provide retailers with new category leadership recommendations at this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo, particularly around the seamless shopping evolution. As the lines between online and in-store shopping continue to blur, the company said it will host a panel discussion on May 22 on how retailers can adapt digital shopping experiences to drive impulse purchases.
The panel will be led by Andrew Capron, vice president of new transactions, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S.; Vince Hummel, global category leadership director of new transaction points for Mars Wrigley Confectionery; Piper Ortiz, director of category leadership for new transactions and emerging business for Mars Wrigley Confectionery; and Sarah Petrovic, site merchandiser of Meijer.