Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Marketing Research Blog
After the company overview presentation, Wrigley China was generous enough to arrange for in-house ethnographic visits as well as multi-channel store visits with the Manager of Shopper & Market Insights, Zac Ji. Because of my background as a buyer for Wal-Mart, I was excited to be able to accompany Zac and another member of his team on this visit to explore the aspects of research that had made an impact at store level and how they had been executed. Wrigley’s market share dominance in gum in China was quickly evident, as shelf space for the gum category was dominated by the Extra and Doublemint brands. A significant portion of retail space was allocated in the general store aisles, far away from the checkouts.
However, a tactical approach to gaining coveted retail space at checkout at hyper-marts and supermarkets is to design and fund specialized endcaps that are customized to fit your company’s products only. The photo below is an example of a custom-built POS endcap display that houses the various Wrigley branded gum & confections in an attractive layout. This space is certainly premium for retail sales and competition outside the category, from the likes of Coca Cola and others, poses the greatest threat to maintaining this space.
Wrigley has focused their research on understanding the habits, customs and culture around gum chewing in China. Evidence of their insights were apparent as we saw a couple of interesting bonus-pack SKU’s meant to drive home the strategic messaging of gum as a post-meal digestive aid (Bonus chop-sticks included in pack), as well as the convenience aspect of carrying around gum for use on-the-go after buying the larger packs of hard gum in the bottles (Bonus travel keychain tin gum container).
Overall, it was a very enlightening experience to walk with the Shopper Insights team and learn about their business wins and challenges. We were very impressed with the detailed level of understanding that Wrigley has about their consumer as well as their dedication to deepening this understanding in the near future with their research initiatives. We expect that this will continue to pay off and help them evolve and grow their other lines of confections in China.