CENTER STORE

Center store remains ‘vital driver’ of store trips, Catalina reports

BY Michael Johnsen

Center store remains a vital driver of trips and volume for grocery retailers, Catalina shared in a new survey published Wednesday. More than 80% of all baskets contain a center store purchase, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based shopper intelligence firm stated.

“The Center Store is alive and well,” Marta Cyhan, head of marketing for Catalina, said. “Some 8-in-10 baskets we looked at included a center store item, but many consumers are looking to discover something different. A new generation of brands and subcategories are reinvigorating the center store by appealing to lifestyle and ingredient-based preferences.”

Specific cross-category consumer preferences like “heart healthy,” “low-fat,” “trans-fat avoiders” and “GMO avoiders” are fueling the growth of some of the fastest growing product subcategories, Catalina reported. Big winners include non-fat/low fat ice cream, value-priced entrée frozen dinners, sparkling/seltzer water, ready-made coffee drinks, window and glass cleaners, fresh rolls, dried meat snacks, vinegar, value-priced bath tissue, and a variety of snack and candy subcategories.

According to the report, center store accounts for 60 annual trips per shopper, per store and shoppers spend on average $1,408 a year.

“Our study demonstrates that brands and retailers who can understand today’s shoppers based on their underlying motivations and meet their evolving needs with product innovation will be a growth engine for the center store,” Cyhan said.  “The ability to engage the right shoppers based on ingredient-level targeting will help these brands efficiently grow their business.”

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CENTER STORE

Starburst celebrates relaunch of all-pink packs

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Fans of Starburst are in for a treat, as the company announced that it will be bringing the All Pink packs, which contain only pink chews, back to retail shelves.

This announcement comes after the Hackettstown, N.J.-based company’s successful first launch of the product in 2017. To celebrate the relaunch, the brand also will be launching a limited-edition merchandise line, with the meme “I am a pink Starburst” featured on every item.

“To be referred to as a pink Starburst is something special, and we continue to see people share the ‘I am a pink Starburst meme,” Audrey Arbeeny, senior associate brand manager for Starburst at Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., said. “We wanted to bring that reference to life offline for our fans, and what better way to do that than launch a merch line where they can boldly wear it on their sleeves.”

To create these designs, the company partnered with the winner of season 15 of “Project Runway”, Erin Robertson. Influenced by street-style, the line will feature the “I am a pink Starburst” meme across seven different items such as t-shirts, pink denim jackets and neon signs.

“When I think of pink Starburst, I think of living my best life,” Robertson said. “I’ve always loved pink Starburst, so I was inspired to create a line that makes you feel fierce, but playful.”

The All Pink packs are available for a limited time in 14-oz. laydown bags, 41-oz. stand-up pouches and 2.07-oz. single sticks at retailers such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens and Dollar Tree.

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Dove blends mango, dark chocolate in sorbet line

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Dove Chocolate, which is part of the Mars Wrigley Confectionery portfolio of brands, is adding an extra dose of sweetness to their line of sorbet bars. The company paired fruit and chocolate together in the newly launched Dove Mango Sorbet with Dark Chocolate.

Joining the increasingly popular trend of fruit and chocolate pairings, this new launch combines Dove’s signature chocolate with the tropical taste of mangoes for a guilt-free treat, the Hackettstown, N.J.-based company said.

“Taking a cue from growing interest in fruit and chocolate snacking combinations, we are excited to add this new flavor combination to our Dove Ice Cream and Sorbet range,” Emily Strobel, marketing director of Mars Ice Cream, said. “Our fans love the signature silky smooth chocolate from Dove, and now, by adding the taste of tropical mangoes, they will have the opportunity to enjoy a new, satisfying and refreshing treat.”

Dove’s Mango Sorbet Bar with Dark Chocolate is now available for purchase in drug, mass and grocery stores nationwide in a box of six 2-oz. bars that retail for $4.99.

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