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    Wrigley & Mars Chocolate Share Vision for Future of Impulse Purchase

    Strategy optimizes front-end merchandising.

    CHICAGO — As the retail landscape continues to change and consumers make purchases at more varied locations than ever, Mars Inc. business units Mars Chocolate and Wrigley have teamed to create a joint vision of better meeting shoppers' needs at all the places they check out, whether this is at the front end, pharmacy or online.

    The companies state they plan to use their decades of impulse leadership and new global shopper insights to partner with retailers to implement forward-thinking merchandising recommendations, improve the shopping experience and drive growth.

    Wrigley and Mars have identified "transaction zones," where shoppers purchase their goods and services. While the front end remains critical and is the largest impulse area in a store, shoppers are also checking out in other transaction zones, such as the pharmacy and cafe, on their smartphones and via "buy online, pick up in-store" models. Both retailers and manufacturers must increase the conversion of impulse items across all transaction zones regardless of channel.

    The companies are collaborating with retailers to optimize merchandising at the front end in ways that can be applied across transaction zones. This includes updating their merchandising recommendations to include new variables that are transaction zone agnostic, such as macro trends, size and growth of category, and new research on shopper need states.

    "It's no secret that people don't shop like they used to, and the traditional mix of impulse items in transaction zones needs to better meet consumer needs," stated Kurt Laufer, vice president of U.S. sales for Wrigley. "By tapping into our deep understanding of the shopper and taking a hard look at what items are performing and why, we believe our strategies can help our retail partners capture valuable impulse sales."

    Through global research into the emotional journey people make during their shopping experience, Wrigley and Mars have identified a consistent element: checkout is the emotional low point of the shopping journey, regardless of where or how one pays. Retailers can help shoppers overcome this low point and capture more impulse purchases by merchandising to better satisfy three key shopper mindsets or need states:

    • Refresh: Shopping can be stressful and tiring, so shoppers seek to refresh or recharge themselves once the job is done. Items that fulfill the Refresh need state, such as gum, mints, beverages and snacks, should occupy 51 percent of total space.
    • Reward: Shoppers often seek a treat or reward, such as chocolate and non­chocolate candy, after the "chore" of shopping. Items that fulfill the Reward need state should occupy 39 percent of total space.
    • Remind: It is helpful for shoppers to find items they forgot to add to their lists, such as batteries and lip balm, in the transaction zone. Items that fulfill the Remind need should occupy approximately 10 percent of total space.

    Guidelines are based on national averages across channels. Wrigley and Mars are working with retailers on customized solutions.

    "We've found that satisfying these three distinct shopper mindsets is key to promoting conversion for categories like chocolate, gum, mints and candy," adds Tim LeBel, vice president of sales, Mars Chocolate North America. "Mars Chocolate and Wrigley are working with retailers across channels to ensure current and future check out choices satisfy their shoppers' needs during checkout and drive impulse purchases."

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