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By Linda Lisanti
CHICAGO -- The one thing that's keeping Kraft Foods' Jill Manchester up at night is thinking of ways to stop convenience store shoppers in their tracks -- a difficult task.
"When that darn consumer is racing into the store for a beverage, how do we communicate that we have more to offer, when they don't have the time to spend in the store?" Manchester, vice president of immediate consumption for Kraft Foods Inc., said during a panel discussion at last week's NCA All Candy Expo in Chicago.
The panel also included representatives from Kum & Go Convenience Stores and The Hershey Co., who agreed that merchandising confectionery and snacks in c-stores is all about points of interruption. Retailers know customers are going to head to the fountain, foodservice and coolers, so tha'’s where they position products to capture impulse sales.
"We not only have to look at our own categories, but the whole basket," Kum & Go's category manager Stephanie Poitry told attendees, while offering the example of merchandising energy gums along with energy drinks at the cold vault.
"The c-store business is a very impulse business," added Dave Onorato, global vice president of convenience stores and specialty retailers for Hershey. "The more we can be around these high-impulse transactions, the better the results will be."
For more coverage of the All Candy Expo, including information on new trends and products, check out the Oct. 22 issue of Convenience Store News.