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Sure, children love the autumn and fall holidays, but so do adults with mature palates and aesthetic sensibilities, so grocers interested in getting the most out of their seasonal merchandising should pay attention to them as well.
Of course, that doesn't mean retailers and manufacturers can't appeal to the kid in everyone. "For this fall and winter, we are introducing new holiday-themed lollipops and popcorns," says Anna Abromovich, sales and marketing coordinator at Denver-based Hammond's Candies. "The [items] will be our handcrafted 1-ounce lollipops with seasonal characters on them; they will come in 18-count display cases. The popcorns will be candy corn-flavored for Halloween and white chocolate peppermint for [the winter holidays], both coming in 12-count display-ready cases."
She hastens to point out, however, that the treats are intended for the whole family, noting: "We have added products that are more kid-friendly and will appeal to parents for gifts. Some of these candies are just viewed as old-fashioned; we wanted to make them fun and young again."
Asked about merchandising, Abromovich replies: "We find our [retail] customers like when we provide displays that are easy and appealing to their customers. We use a lot of cardboard displays, as they ship easily and are inexpensive."
The Fine Art of Merchandising
"For holiday, we do a have a small collection of limited-edition items," says Tiffany Van Hemm, director of public relations for Clinton Township, Mich.-based Sanders Candy. "Our 'Winter Scene' art-inspired items were very well received by large national buyers. These 'Winter Scene' items consist of Milk and Dark Sea Salt Caramels in tins and giftable boxes, popcorn in resealable pouches, and a gift set of hot cocoa."
Sanders' artistry carries over to its retail displays (pictured). "The most successful retail environments create a shopping experience by displaying dedicated themed areas," says Van Hemm. "As a manufacturer, we strive to create a cohesive visual look across all product lines to merchandise together. Even our holiday-themed items will merchandise well with everyday items."