2020 Category Captain for Candy: The Hershey Co.


The Hershey Co. has committed itself to optimize the performance of each confection segment. The company brings tailored insights for each particular store direct to the retailer with its Mobile Customer Insights Center. 

One example is its work with GetGo, the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based convenience store chain. Hershey met with the retailer in the Mobile Customer Insights Center in August 2019. Discussions included space allocation, foodservice bundling and Strike Zone Optimization, a best-in-class merchandising strategy that vertically blocks brands in order of velocity. Strike Zone Optimization places the top-performing king and standard bar items in "The Strike Zone," or the most-shopped shelves within a retailer's candy aisle. 


Instant consumable candy at GetGo was 75 percent of its category sales, but was only allocated 58 percent of space in the stores. Hershey showed the financial importance of this segment to total store growth, and how it was under-spaced compared to the marketplace. Based upon the analysis, the retailer reduced its pouch/novelty candy section to expand instant consumable candy space from 8 feet to 12 feet, thus adding 35 more instant consumable items and implementing Strike Zone Optimization. 

Early test results showed the total candy category at GetGo increased 30 percent, which validated the rollout to more than 86 stores in the fourth quarter of 2019. Results continue to come back better than projected, with instant consumable everyday candy up 38 percent in the first four weeks post-reset. In addition, king size is up 32 percent, standard bars are up 52 percent, and the total candy category is up 47 percent.

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