HOUSTON -- Rice Food Markets here has given its bulk candy a merchandising face-lift with new upright product fixtures.
The new fixtures have replaced the use of tables for displaying bulk candy in the company's Rice Food Markets and Price Buster formats, according to Hugh Williams, vice president of produce and floral operations.
"It's a good candy, it's a good price, and it's massively displayed to where it draws attention. And we have increased our sales dramatically with that candy."
Since the conversion was completed three months ago, bulk candy sales have increased 30%, said Williams.
The new racks and the accompanying candy are from Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Brock Candy Co., he added.
"The rack is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide and has funnels at the top, which feed down to the bottom and bring the candy up to eye level," explained Williams.
"Before, we didn't have a rack that was this massive. Customers just looked down into a table, as opposed to seeing these tall funnels with colorful candies."
Williams added that the fixtures are made out of solid wood. "It has good storage facilities in the bottom and in the front for backstock and refilling purposes."
Another plus -- and an important one -- is that the Brock candy is less expensive than other bulk candy varieties, he said.
While some bulk candy can retail for more than $3 a pound in the Houston market, Rice is retailing its new product for $1.79 a pound every day, he said.
"There are major holidays year-round, and nearly every one of those bulk candies are appropriate for the holidays. Instead of having different bags of candy for Halloween, Christmas and so forth, you can get a tremendous variety with bulk at the same price, without having to buy more than you want. A customer may have 15 different kinds of candy in one sack," he said.
Williams said the company also is currently looking at ways to add more upscale candy to the bulk program for its high-end Epicurean Markets.