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    Supplier Spotlights: Swedish Match, Strongbow & American Licorice

    News also from Mars Chocolate and Carmex.

    Skittles will return to the Super Bowl and follow up on last year's commercial.

    NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store industry suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.

    Here are the latest supplier spotlights:

    American Licorice Co.

    Celebrating more than 100 years in the candy-making business, American Licorice announced the winners of its 2015 Broker Management Awards. Top performers were honored in the areas of New Item Distribution, Spirit of Achievement, and Broker of the Year.

    Shankman and Associates Inc. won Broker of the Year based on its ability to deliver on assigned customer quotas and item distribution objectives for the fiscal year. 

    Crossmark C-Store (McLane Team) won in New Item Distribution based on total accounts placed, as well as achievement of new item sales above broker percentage of total sales. 

    SummitHill Sales & Marketing Inc. won in the Spirit of Partnership category based on the organization's ability to align with American Licorice's core values and demonstrate the ability to handle all the aspects of managing its business

    "We are fortunate to work with some of the best brokers in the industry, all of whom play an essential role in growing our business, which makes the selection process for these awards difficult at times," said Jennifer Martin, vice president of sales. "Our valued partners who took home the top prizes this year exemplified best-in-class service and performance, and we are pleased to be able to recognize their efforts and achievements."

    Carma Laboratories Inc.

    Carma Labratories, the manufacturer of Carmex Lip Balm and Carmex Cold Sore Treatment, announced a multi-year partnership with the Green Bay Packers football team that brings together two strong Wisconsin businesses and officially identifies Carmex as a trusted partner of the Green Bay Packers.

    "We are excited to team up with the Green Bay Packers," stated Jona Mancuso, marketing director for the Carmex brand. "This is an incredible opportunity to connect Carmex with dedicated football fans across the nation. Football is one of the most popular sports in North America and our partnership with the Packers makes perfect sense as we continue to grow together. Also, given the cold weather conditions at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, Carmex products are perfect to have on hand to help relieve dry, chapped lips."

    To support the partnership, Carmex will help create fun and memorable fan experiences at three home games with a tent that features Carmex product giveaways and a special appearance by the Carmex mascot.

    Fans can also enter the #CarmexSuperfan social media promotion by uploading a picture to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that illustrates how their favorite Carmex product helps them get ready for the big game.

    Mars Chocolate North America

    Mars Chocolate's Snickers brand and Wrigley's Skittles brand will both return to the biggest game in football with all-new commercials that will air on Feb. 7 during Super Bowl 50 on CBS. The brands are also launching the company's first joint in-store promotion leveraging their status as official NFL sponsors to "Make Super Bowl 50 Even Sweeter."

    Snickers will return to the game with a 30-second "You're Not You When You're Hungry" commercial produced by BBDO New York and supported with a fully integrated marketing campaign.

    "The Super Bowl is an iconic event that the Snickers brand is excited to be part of again," said Allison Miazga-Bedrick, director, Snickers brand. "We can't wait to get back in the game again this year, and we plan to pull out all the stops to satisfy America's hunger to watch another great Super Bowl commercial from Snickers."

    Skittles will follow up on last year's commercial, where two men agreed to "Settle It" with an arm wrestling match for the last lemon Skittles candy, with another commercial produced by DDB Chicago.

    "We had an amazing rookie Super Bowl experience, so we're thrilled to be back," said Matt Montei, senior marketing director, confections and seasonal at Wrigley. "Once again, we have dozens of awesome integrated activities planned for our Super Bowl party this year, with the ad serving as our grand finale."

    The joint promotion kicks off Dec. 28 and will encourage consumers to text SWEET50 to 87654 for the chance to win instant prizes and to enter a grand-prize sweepstakes. Instant-win prizes range from $75 NFLShop.com e-gift cards to free Snickers, M&M'S, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Skittles and/or Starburst brand singles.

    The grand-prize package includes everything a fan needs to host the ultimate Super Bowl party including a $2,000 electronics gift card, a $600 prepaid debit card and a $250 NFLShop.com e-gift card.

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