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Bundling Benefits
Pairing snacks with beverages can make your register ring

There are three proven ways to increase c-store sales: Get more customers, get your customers to shop more often, and sell more to your customers when they’re in your store.

Steven J. Montgomery, president of b2b Solutions, LLC, Lake Forest, Ill., said a great way to capitalize on the latter strategy is to bundle products together. Case in point: Kellogg’s new Pepper Jack-flavored Cheez-It® baked snack crackers (available in 3 oz. and 7 oz. packages), which can be profitably paired with soda to increase basket ring.

Consider that a cold beverage is the no. 1 product purchased with salty snacks, according to MSA, Inc. and Paradigm Sample and an American Wholesale Marketers Association study published last September.

"I would try to display the Cheez-It® near the fountain area, not the checkout, which is too crowded and far away from the fountain," said Montgomery. "I would not limit which fountain drink was included in the bundle. The fountain purchase is the driver, and the Cheez-It® would be the secondary item. Also, promote at the main display area of snacks for those making their snack selection first."

Given the limited counter space at the fountain, Montgomery said it might be best to showcase Cheez-It® crackers in a small floor display. Additionally, consider providing signage to direct the customer to the snack area for additional variety.

Pepper Jack Cheez-It® crackers can also be bundled with bottled soda beverages. This may be best accomplished by placing the product atop or near a 5-foot-tall freestanding cooler that you should be able to get your beverage manufacturer rep to provide at no charge, said David Brewster, president, David Brewster Design, Wadsworth, Ohio.

Montgomery added that it’s important to promote the bundle appropriately. He suggested a promotion where you save "X" when the customer buys both the drink and Cheez-It® crackers.

"(This) avoids reducing the value perception of either item but means you have to select one size drink. Conversely, if the retailer doesn’t want to limit the drink, they have to discount either the drink or the Cheez-It®," Montgomery said.

Considering the wide difference in drink sizes and prices, Montgomery said the best solution may be to "say something like ‘save X on Cheez-It® when you buy any size drink.’"

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