These Candy Brands Brought People Together

By Joanna Valente

During the fall months, and during any holiday season, it's candy's time to shine (or maybe, better yet, melt in your mouth). Having treats on hand can help make the small and big moments feel special, and more easily shared with others. It's a small gesture, but sharing a delicious moment matters. Of course, candy and snack brands know this.

Below are some campaigns that successfully engaged with consumers in creating entertainment and family-friendly fun.

The Hershey Company's Personalization

As a way to honor and celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the company created the Sugar Skull Candy Tray, which "offered a new, personal way families could celebrate this meaningful holiday in the sweetest of ways." They tray was meant to appeal to Hispanic generation X Texans who were married with children under age 18, and help families have fun together through personalized trays.

Through the use of influencers, social media, in-store displays, and digital commerce, Hersey sold "$146,000 in factory for the program. In addition, the company sold 100 percent of the incremental party bags and shattered the 92 percent sell-through threshold, achieving 121.4 percent sell-through at H-E-B."

Sun-Maid's Use of Humor 

Sun-Maid wanted to create excitement over the brand during its most unpopular season, Halloween, and needed to engage millennial parents to do this. To make it fun and relevant, the brand created an experiential activation, the Sun-Maid Raisin House, "a trick-or-treater's nightmare." The house was built in Merchantville, New Jersey, where a house of raisin horrors was built — along with digital activations, a 5K run, and a TikTok challenge.

Ultimately, the brand achieved 1.4 billion impressions, as well as its sales increasing 6.2 percent for its classic raisin six-pack "during and three weeks after the activation compared to the same time frame the year before."

Go Banana's Experiential Storytelling

In Sweden, candy and movie ticket sales dropped during the pandemic. Since many movie-goers often shopped at Go Banana stores before a screening, the company sought to "position itself as a place where consumers could buy candy for at-home movie viewing, especially during Halloween," as "sales dropped by 50 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic."

For Halloween, the company created a QR code activation and campaign that combined people's love of horror films with candy enjoyment. The campaign was called "The Haunted QR Code," which "required a smartphone to access. It combined mobile technologies with print and outdoor media to create a giveaway that would engage with consumers in a playful way."

So, what did the QR code do? Go Banana created story about a "living dead QR code demon that gets stronger every time it is scanned," which consumers could scan. The case study went on to explain that "consumers who scanned the code saw a unique symbol and copy that explained that the more symbols they collected, the more candy they could win. Symbols could also be scanned in the Go Banana stores, driving foot traffic to those locations."

Ultimately, sales increased by 205 percent and the codes have been scanned more than 100,000 times.

Joanna Valente is a director of editorial and content development at ANA.

The views and opinions expressed in Industry Insights are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.