How Mars Wrigley is adopting a new approach to Halloween

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada
@RetailAnalysis

Date : 20 August 2020

As consumers look to avoid large scale gatherings in support of social distancing and efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in the US, we look at how Mars Wrigley is adopting virtual approach to the Halloween season.

Merging the digital and physical

Building on the growth in virtual events, including since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mars Wrigley is launching a new digital experience. The app-based ‘Treat Town’ experience will enable families to virtually trick-or-treat for confectionery items. Launching on October 1, the app will enable users to create personalised avatars and Halloween decorations, and “knock” on the doors of friends and families. Users will be able to earn credits within the app which can be redeemed for Mars Wrigley products through its retail partners, in-store and online.

Source: Mars Wrigley

Extended seasonal event, focused at home

Halloween is one of the most important trading events for confectionery and snack suppliers. This year, companies, along with their retail partners, are having to adopt a new approach. With parents likely to limit trick-or-treating activities, events will be more home-based. To support sales, retailers are planning for an extended trading period, with many products already in-store. Many suppliers are also adjusting their pack formats, focusing more on larger sizes and conventional ranges over unique items, to limit exposure to potential over-stocks.

Source: Mars Wrigley

Forecasting challenges

Planning for Halloween and other special events remains challenging given the continued uncertainty around the progress of the virus, further government stimulus and the economic backdrop. Most companies are modelling for multiple growth scenarios. Companies in confectionery and snacking categories continue to see elevated demand due to consumers spending more time at home. This is likely to decrease as schools and offices reopen, which will also boost opportunities in travel and convenience-related channels.

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