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Wakefern’s ShopRite of Vails Gate, N.Y., is increasing its party prowess with some help from The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa.
The Vails Gate location is one of two ShopRites expanding birthday solution offerings with a one-stop-birthday-shop kiosk, branded with Hershey candies packaged especially for non-seasonal celebration occasions.
Located at in-store bakeries, the kiosks are where shoppers order customized cakes, and now can add candy, personalized stickers, party accessories, and even catering items at the same time.
The kiosks themselves are an in-store draw, says Neville Fenton, category manager at Wakefern Food Corp. The kiosks grab shopper attention, starting with an oversized Hershey’s Kiss display topper, complete with birthday hat. Other elements include a touchscreen, customized sticker maker, and pegs featuring single-color bags of Hershey Kisses and Miniature Reese’s, among other treats.
“It brings birthday excitement to the store and is a solution station for the shopper,” says Ed Guippone, customer team lead at The Hershey Co.
The kiosk follows the successful launch of birthday pods, also developed through Hershey’s Global Customer Innovation Center. According to Guippone, “We started by bringing excitement to the shopper at the store with Kisses and Reese’s pods,” which are festive, standalone displays that feature popular Hershey products in single-color piñata bags in a birthday theme.
But Wakefern and Hershey determined there are opportunities to extend seasonal excitement to other occasions, particularly through the in-store bakery, where shoppers are already headed for custom cakes. By creating an assortment that includes complementary party essentials, the kiosk provides shoppers with an easy solution. It also is a way to extend confection sales beyond the candy aisle.
A cake is a planned purchase, and “with the kiosk, we’re able to take confection, customize it, and place it in that planned order. It’s a start-to-finish solution for the shopper,” says Amanda Harter, a Hershey retail sales rep.