Mars & Wrigley Helping Grocers Light Up Sales

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley are helping grocery retailers boost impulse sales in the confectionery category with a new display technique.  

Currently rolling out to grocery retailers across the country are front-end display racks illuminated with LED lights. These new racks — which create a brighter environment and make it more appealing for shoppers to browse while waiting to check out — can lift front-end grocery sales by 10 percent to 12 percent, according to the Hackettstown-based candy and snacks manufacturer.

Test markets launched in January and showed a lift across the entire confection category, without regard to brand, items or pack size. Momentum is now building as other retailers hear about the successful tests and are asking for the LED fixtures in their stores, the company reported.

“To increase confectionery sales at the front end, the merchandising must capture shoppers’ interest,” said Susan Gwinnett-Smith, vice president of grocery/retail for Mars Chocolate North America. “The new LED racks attract attention and encourage confection sales. Instead of looking at their smartphones while in the checkout lane, shoppers now look at the racks.”

David Kennedy, vice president of U.S. grocery at Wrigley, added: “The front end is critical — it’s a retailer’s last chance to make a good impression with shoppers. These bright racks look more inviting and appealing. Our goal is to help retailers increase sales and profit in the confection category. We’re always seeking and developing new tools to help lift the category, whether it’s a new front-end rack, shopper insights or merchandising strategies.”

The racks are easy to install and a simple switch turns the LED lights on. The lights last up to 20 years and require the same amount of electricity as a 60-watt lightbulb per checkout lane.

Although its major push is in the grocery channel right now, Mars Chocolate is also testing LED-lit racks in a few convenience stores, which may result in a brand-new way of putting candy in the spotlight.