Mars Wrigley, [ranked Number 1 on the 2019 Candy Industry Global Top 100] has named Kum & Go as the retailer selected for the first Innovative Merchandising Incubator.

Kum & Go will receive custom solutions that drive sales and seamlessly improve its merchandising as new products and trends continue create category blurring, resulting in more crossover.

Mars Wrigley announced the Innovative Merchandising Incubator in April 2019, inviting retailers nationwide to submit their biggest challenges in the retail space. Each submission was evaluated on specific criteria, including national or strong regional presence, number of stores, and openness to implementing Mars Wrigley’s in-store recommendations. 

The custom test-and-learn will offer new, insight-driven merchandising solutions rooted in Mars Wrigley’s deep research on shopping behavior globally and understanding of the current retail landscape.

“Many retailers are now looking to evolve their shopping experience, and collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Mars Wrigley. We are committed to working with retailers, national and regional, to understand their business and implement insights and recommendations that propel the category,” said Shaf Lalani, v.p. of Customer Experience at Mars Wrigley. “After reviewing each applicant, we knew Kum & Go was the best choice to develop trailblazing solutions because of their fearlessness to test first-of-its-kind recommendations and loyal customer following.”

Planning is already underway, and the customized solution will likely be implemented in the second half of 2019.

“We are thrilled to be chosen as this year’s retailer for the Innovative Merchandising Incubator and begin our new test-and-learn with Mars Wrigley,” said Stephanie Poitry, senior category manager of center store at Kum & Go. “We’ve worked with Mars Wrigley for many years to offer the products our shoppers love. With this opportunity, we’ll be able to create a better retail experience and get ahead of the changing marketplace with innovative solutions stemming from this customized test.”

At the end of the testing period, Mars Wrigley and Kum & Go will meet to evaluate the success of the solution and determine if new or additional recommendations are needed to drive sales next year. Following the completion of this test, Mars Wrigley will explore the possibility of continuing in this program in 2020 and beyond.