Phononic, a solid-state cooling and heating technology company, has partnered with Mars to deploy its merchandising freezers at approximately 1,500 Circle K retail convenience stores in 14 regions across North America, kicking off the 2021 ice cream season.
Building off of a successful year-long pilot in the Southeast region that saw a significant increase in incremental year-over-year ice cream sales, U.S. consumers positively responded to the availability of their favorite frozen treats directly at the point-of-sale.
With its stable of world-recognized brands, including M&M’S, Snickers and Twix, Mars is now positioned to leverage Phononic’s sustainable solid-state technology to drive sales of their leading ice cream novelty brands by increasing visibility at check-out.
Convenience stores are now able to better leverage valuable point-of-sale real estate because of solid-state advantages where traditional refrigeration was previously off limits due to the constraints of incumbent vapor compression technology – allowing retailers to more efficiently monetize their existing footprint.
“At Mars, we work tirelessly to understand our consumers’ evolving needs and adapt to them,” said Chantal Templeton, general manager of ice cream U.S. at Mars. “We see this partnership with Phononic as an outstanding opportunity to showcase our premiere frozen novelty brands right in front of consumers in the most sustainable and disruptive merchandising platform available.”
With its compact countertop design and near-silent operation, Phononic’s solid-state F200 Merchandising Freezer is designed for frozen impulse products at point-of-sale, offering food brands a higher-profile impulse purchase and retailers the ability to maximize sales by revitalizing the most lucrative space in the store. Given evolving consumer habits, this prime location is now paramount.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, the average convenience store visit lasts only three to four minutes. Customers select their purchase of choice in just 71 seconds. Facing unparalleled speed of transaction averages in comparison to other food retailers, it’s unsurprising that the majority of merchandising and foodservice sales for c-stores are generated from items located at the front of the store, such as novelty ice cream and candy. The checkout counter is prime real estate – the more high-margin products retailers can offer on the countertop, the more opportunity for impulse buys and increased sales.
“Phononic could not be more excited to partner with Mars, a company that shares our desire to disrupt the status quo, witnessed by their innovative approach to rethinking point-of-sale,” said Keith Lewis, director of strategic partnerships at Phononic. “A recent survey that we conducted of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that 67 percent purchase frozen groceries on impulse. Moving these items to the checkout counter has made these impulse purchases much more likely, and we expect consumers will respond with delight at seeing Mars’ premiere ice cream novelty products front and center.”
Circle K is headquartered in El Paso, Texas.