The Challenge

Over the past decade, Wisconsin-based Festival Foods had grown to 31 regional locations, with new stores planned and added at regular intervals.

With this level of expansion on the horizon, Festival’s leadership was becoming increasingly interested in the macro-trends affecting retail in general, as well as trends in eating and nutrition impacting grocery specifically.

Trends in snacking landed squarely in their sights. With time tight and convenience at a premium, nutritious, single-serve snacks are redefining dining. From snackable fruits and vegetables, to salty nut snacks and protein bars, to smoothies and yogurt, snacks are supplementing — and in some cases replacing — entire meals.

So how do you become the go-to destination for a new generation of smart snackers and take your share of a $1.1 billion-and-growing market? For starters, you align yourself with the snacking experts: Hershey’s and Wild Blue.

Category Creation Leads Innovation at Local Grocer
Snackable fruit and vegetables. Salty nut snacks and protein bars. Smoothies and yogurt. 2017 saw a huge increase in sales of on-the-go foods, and it’s a $1.1 billion market that continues to grow.
(Nielsen, 2017)

The Solution

In 2016, Hershey’s introduced Snackopolis, a store-within-a-store concept designed specifically for the grocery experience.

Placed near a store’s entrance, the concept is designed to give busy shoppers fast, convenient access to a compelling assortment of healthy, nutritious fresh and pre-packed grab-and-go snacks, while seamlessly complementing larger grocery trip missions.

Given the willingness of both Festival and Hershey’s to innovate in retail, Wild Blue saw an opportunity for a partnership that would fulfill objectives in both organizations.

With category data from Festival, Wild Blue design teams amended Snackopolis to be more in line with Festival’s existing brand. Efforts included renaming the section to Snack Shop, using Festival branding elements.

Section layouts were reshaped to follow Festival traffic patterns, while encouraging guests to enter the section. Existing gondolas were skinned with custom-built covers to completely change the look of the hardware, and Snackopolis product selection was changed to include foods prepared by Festival, including sushi, carrot sticks, fruit cups and small sandwiches.

The Results

With its proximity to the main entrance and checkout, Festival’s Snack Shop has shown it has the potential to rival convenience stores and fast food restaurants for ease and speed, yet be more nutritious.

So while Festival Foods is embracing the future by breaking the normal shopper tendencies and creating a new destination within the store, Hershey’s is doing it’s part to keep in-store experiences relevant, engaging and attractive. Everyone wins.