The Hershey Company will showcased its products and programs at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show October 11-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Path to Growth

Hershey’s ability to synthesize numerous data sources to give the company a full picture of important trends for its brands, category and the full retail environment, has made it a trusted category advisor. These insights enable Hershey to plan the most effective floor sets and product mix to help C-stores increase their sales velocity. This year, the company was recognized by the Advantage Report for the Convenience Channel as the top overall “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” manufacturer.

At the show, Hershey shared its key priorities to put every C-store on a path to growth. “We have put together a winning formula for retailers based on our best-in-class consumer insights and shopper-first mindset,” said David Nolen, Senior Director, CSI, The Hershey Company. “Priority No. 1 is getting the in-line set correct followed by ensuring confection is present under the counter and in secondary locations. Lastly, we’re recommending growing take-home package type space – take-home packtypes are growing at twice the category because consumers are increasingly shopping smaller format stores for everyday items.”

Data points informing Hershey’s key priorities:

  • 63% of confection sales come from the in-line set
  • 37% of sales come from merchandising and secondary placement
  • Take-home package types are growing at twice the category

“While key category strategies are applicable across the channel, we know that each C-store is different for a number of reasons. The age of ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions is over,” added Nolen. “We are on a journey to use multiple, disparate data sources to understand the unique demographics around every single C-store in the United States, so that we can bring high-impact, customized solutions to our retail partners.”


The Hershey Company is the seasonal confectionery leader in North America with more than 78% share and all 10 of the top 10 seasonal items. It’s highly incremental to everyday sales, and that has been demonstrated in other channels year after year. In C-store, seasonal confectionery sales have an annual category growth rate of more than 19.6% in the last four years.

Seeing continued growth is the holiday themed Reese’s 1lb. Peanut Butter Cup, which is the third bestselling seasonal item in the convenience store channel. This season, novelty items are expected to have a larger impact in 2015 due to increased distribution. Those customers purchasing the Reese’s 1lb. Peanut Butter Cup typically added another 1 lb. item such as Hershey's 1lb. Milk Chocolate Bar or a gift card to their basket, spending an average of $22 on the shopping trip. Seasonal novelty items are unique to convenience stores providing additional sales opportunities and garnering excitement and anticipation for customers due to the limited time availability.

“Seasonal items are special to consumers and have been a unique growth driver in convenience stores,” said Nolen. “These limited time only products are often on front counters in stores and become additions to the planned purchases. We strive to provide unique and distinctive products with ties to the seasons.”

Snacking Continuum

Hershey is focused on growing its core confection business, but also understands consumer tastes are changing. The company is listening and responding to this shift in consumer desires and preferences. Hershey’s insights-driven performance has allowed the company to build its core business to include a broader range of snacks that are incremental to our core growth.

Hershey has some of the most recognizable and beloved confection brands and is focused on expanding these iconic brands to other categories and parts of the store. Additionally, as snacking and “on the go” are becoming more prevalent with consumers, the company is looking at ways to expand our portfolio across the snacking continuum.

Some of Hershey’s most recent innovations that deliver a differentiated snacking experience will be showcased:

  • Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars – New Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars are made with real fruit, whole roasted almonds, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and signature Brookside dark chocolate.
  • Hershey’s, PayDay and Mr. Goodbar Snack Bites – New Snack Bites deliver an exciting snack experience by combining delicious nuts and Hershey’s iconic confection brands. These tasty snacks are packed with crunchy nuts in every bite.
  • Hershey’s and Reese’s Snack Mixes – New Snack Mixes from Hershey provide a delicious combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy. Hershey’s Snack Mix is packed with almonds, pretzels, and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. Reese’s Snack Mix combines salty, crunchy peanuts and pretzels with Reese’s Pieces Candy and Reese’s Minis.