CEO of Hershey Co., Michele Buck is trying to generate more sales of the company’s candy and chocolate online. The question is, can the ultimate impulse buy, junk food, succeed in an online sales format where people have to plan their consumption ahead? Julie Jargon and Annie Gasparro report for The Wall Street Journal, writing:
Chief Executive Michele Buck said at The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum on Thursday that food companies have lagged retailers in embracing e-commerce.
“The lines are blurring between physical stores and digital shopping,” Ms. Buck told attendees of the conference in New York. “The shopping cart, shelf and checkout still exist but now it’s in your pocket, on your phone.”
E-commerce has posed a particular threat to Hershey and other companies that generate a big chunk of sales from impulse purchases at supermarket and convenience store checkout lines. The Hershey, Pa.-based company has said its own research shows 56% of shoppers regularly buy snacks at checkout.
Hershey has been looking for ways to recreate those impulse purchases online. One idea is to still sell candy and snacks to customers who pick up groceries they ordered online in person. While they waited for their goods, a smartphone app could ping them with an offer to add candy or snacks, the company has said. Hershey is also working with goPuff, an app that delivers items typically found in a convenience store, like candy and beer, on demand.
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