Mars Wrigley Confectionery has launched the 2019 Innovative Merchandising Incubator, a national program to provide retailers with merchandising solutions and drive sales. 
Up to two retailers will be chosen to develop with Mars Wrigley Confectionery a customized test-and-learn solution aimed at tackling the unique shopping challenges facing retailers today.
“How consumers shop today is not how they will shop tomorrow,” said Tiffany Menyhart, v.p. of U.S. category leadership. “At Mars Wrigley Confectionery, understanding consumers now and in the future is at the core of our business. We believe that a long-term, impactful relationship is the catalyst to driving the future of shopping for both retailers and manufacturers. We are launching the Innovative Merchandising Incubator to help retailers connect with the consumer and provide mutual solutions for growth.”
Mars Wrigley Confectionery studies shopping behavior globally to understand the landscape and develop insight-driven solutions. The company has collaborated with many leading U.S. grocery, c-store, drug and mass retailers for decades to propel in-store and in-aisle growth. 
The retailer(s) selected for the Innovative Merchandising Incubator will tap into brand-new concepts that shake up traditional merchandising, improve their consumers’ shopping experience and drive sales. The custom-made solution will be highly unique to the retailer’s store, building on Mars Wrigley’s exploration of new merchandising innovations. 
Retailers interested in being considered can fill out the online submission form through May 31. Each submission will be evaluated on several factors, including national or strong regional presence, number of stores and a progressive mindset open to implementing in-store recommendations in select locations. Retailers must agree that research and results are property of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, not to be implemented with other manufacturing partners without consent. 
The chosen retailer(s) will be announced in early summer, and work will start on a customized solution to be implemented in the second half of 2019. 
“Today’s shoppers are leading more fluid lifestyles – always on-the-go and connected,” Menyhart said. “But knowing the potential of chocolate, fruity confections, gum and mints to drive growth, Mars Wrigley Confectionery is committed to sharing its global insights to help retailers think differently about how to capture their attention during the in-store on online journey.”
In addition to launching the Innovative Merchandising Incubator, Mars Wrigley Confectionery will provide retailers with new category leadership recommendations at this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo, particularly around the seamless shopping evolution. The company will host a panel discussion on how retailers can adapt digital shopping experiences to drive impulse purchases. The panel will be held at 11 a.m. on May 22. It will be led by: 
  • Andrew Capron, v.p. of new transactions, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S.
  • Vince Hummel, global category leadership director - new transaction points, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
  • Piper Ortiz, director of category leadership – new transactions and emerging business, Mars Wrigley Confectionery 
  • Sarah Petrovic, site merchandiser, Meijer