Showcasing Sweets in Supermarkets

Heinen's Fine Foods, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, carries two Fair Trade Certified candy lines and at least six locally made chocolates. But candy category manager James Field is considering whether to team up with a local company to really highlight the stores' chocolate. We'd carry a full line (different sizes and flavors), give it its own display outside of the candy aisle, really educate our employees

Heinen's Fine Foods, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, carries two Fair Trade Certified candy lines and at least six locally made chocolates. But candy category manager James Field is considering whether to team up with a local company to really highlight the stores' chocolate.

“We'd carry a full line (different sizes and flavors), give it its own display outside of the candy aisle, really educate our employees about it and put it in the circular,” he said.

Other retailers also highlight local and Fair Trade candy.

Straub's local candy is all over its five stores, located in the St. Louis area. Some is in the candy aisle and some by the cash registers. But there are also sampling displays around the store, and candy is cross-merchandised with flowers for Valentine's Day.

“That's one of the advantages of working with local companies: They can tailor their merchandising to our needs,” said gourmet food buyer Roger McElroy.

At PCC Natural Markets, Seattle, the local and Fair Trade candy is merchandised in the deli area, because there's a higher markup in this section. The candy bars can also be brought out in special displays, said Jan Thompson, deli merchandiser, which always helps sales.

“It could be just the perception of freshness that makes things special [in the deli],” she said. “You need to pull things away from the common look, especially if it's something expensive. On a shelf in Center Store, it's just another bar, but here we can make things stand out.”

Some brands have shippers, and Sjaak's Organic Chocolates are sold at the cash registers, because they have a good price point, said Thompson, and bright packaging.