Candy is a classic c-store staple and all-around customer favorite.
In fact, the vast majority of consumers — 80% — reported purchasing non-chocolate candy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). And the category’s not expected to slow anytime soon. Overall, the non-chocolate category is expected to reach $12.2 billion in sales by 2024.
So, what makes this category stand out? And what can c-stores do to ensure they’re capturing candy sales?
I like to refer to candy as a “happy purchase.” Happy purchases are not purchases made out of need. You might think, for example, that buying a new house or a new vehicle would be considered a happy purchase. But the process you must go through to acquire these items are oftentimes a nightmare full of ups, down and disappointments.
So, what constitutes a happy purchase? A perfect cup of coffee, a nice bottle of wine and — perhaps best of all — candy.
Candy is always a happy purchase — one that consumers anticipate, look forward too, dream about, especially when they visit a convenience store. Candy is so affordable and so satisfying. It may seem as if candy sells itself — but candy does so much better when there is an incentive.
First, I suggest meeting with your wholesaler or supplier companies to bring in some discounted candy shippers.
Place the shipper in a prime spot while passing the discount on to the consumer if they buy two bars. Try the small candy racks that affix to the inside of cooler doors in the summer as well as placing a box of candy bars in the deli and fountain areas.
Place advertising signage on the entrance doors, too. But keep in mind, no more than two signs per door is advisable. In fact, I only allowed one and rotated specials weekly. And don’t forget your reader/message boards.
Lastly, you should also encourage the folks behind the counter to engage in suggestive selling, particularly for the items on sale. And remember: This training starts at the top. Be the difference-maker and leader in your stores by demonstrating to team members how to sell.