|CATEGORY KEY: Gourmet treats—finding the sweet spot|
|Written by Bill McGee|
|Monday, 13 September 2010 11:36 AM America/New_York|
Gourmet treats are a good way for stores to increase their impulse buys, give a lift to slow-moving products and pep up seasonal sales.
Consumers are recognizing that quality and stylish edibles—like the chocolates we create, wrapped and boxed with scriptural messages—can give a special touch to a wide range of settings, from party and wedding favors to study groups, church welcome packs, classes, seminars and retreats.
Here are some ideas on how your store can add gourmet treats and snacks to your product line and increase your profit margin:
Acting on impulse: Be sure to position displays of your offerings in front of the cash register, where shoppers may spot them and choose to add them to a gift they have already selected for purchase.
Help customers see the items in a new light—with some creative signage, promote them as a “gift to go.”
Speed things up: By pairing pieces of candy or other treats with coffee mugs, gift baskets and dinnerware, you can help bring more attention to slow-moving lines.
Assemble pieces or portions into a clear gift bag. Then accent it with seasonal ribbons or other bright colors for a greeting-card promotion that retails under $5.
Place selections near your wedding items—planners love to add chocolate to the party favors they are offering.
Add-on advice: To encourage add-on sales, create a display tower of the boxes stacked on top of one another to bring them to shoppers’ attention.
Offer a “seasonal sample special”—for example, you could invite shoppers: “Buy … and receive a box of treats for $x” or “Buy two and receive x% off.”
Capitalize on coupons: Everyone loves a sample or saving. In one of your e-mail blasts, you could include a coupon for “One free piece with $x purchase.”
Another suggestion: distribute a Customer Appreciation Day coupon that promises “One free piece, no purchase necessary.” This can help increase traffic and also build future sales, for when it comes to edibles, tasting is believing—and hopefully a sample of what you have to offer will create an appetite for shoppers to share the treats with others.
Our lines include individually wrapped chocolate pieces and mini bags of chocolates, wedding favors and gift boxes of assorted chocolates for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. More details are available at our Web site, www.heartandsoulcandies.com.
Bill McGee is CEO of Heart & Soul Candies.