- Hershey launched an Easter-themed retail and sampling campaign aimed at Uber customers in top U.S. ride-share markets, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The confectioner is working with in-car vending company Cargo on sales and free samples of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs and Cadbury Crème Eggs.
- The sampling campaign follows a retailing period in March aimed at getting consumers excited for Easter. Easter is the second-biggest holiday for chocolate candy sales after Halloween, and Hershey has sold more than half a billion of chocolate eggs annually in recent years, according to the announcement.
- Uber riders who want to buy or sample a Hershey product can scan the QR code on a Cargo box with a smartphone camera or enter the driver's unique box code on a mobile menu, select their desired items and check out.
Hershey's partnership with Cargo closes the sales funnel with on-the-go, mobile consumers. Cargo in the past year has expanded its partnership with Uber to put more its vending boxes into ride-hailing cars in major cities, including a push into Boston and Washington, D.C., last month.
Cargo has expanded its marketing partnerships with brands like Hershey that want to reach the captive market of on-the-go passengers who are free to do other activities during a drive, such as using smartphones. Cargo last month collaborated with Aveeno, the Johnson & Johnson skincare brand, to offer complimentary face masks to riders and boost brand awareness. In January, the company teamed with ticket seller SeatGeek, to bring discounted ticket sales to riders as they explore a new city or during their regular commutes to work or home. Cargo struck a deal in November with mobile payment service Venmo to let passengers purchase goods on their smartphones in the familiar payment app, removing the friction of having to swipe a card, pay cash or download a separate payment app.
Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers under age 35 who plan to use their smartphone to make an Easter purchase grew to 37% this year from 24% in 2015, according to researcher Prosper Insights & Analytics on behalf of the National Retail Federation. The trend that demonstrates the importance of mobile marketing for brands like Hershey. However, overall spending on Easter is forecast to decline slightly to $18.11 billion from the $18.16 billion projected in 2018 as consumers spend less on candy, the survey said.
Hershey's latest partnership with Cargo comes as the confectioner aims to reach Generation Z with a recently announced "Makers of Good Teen Summit," which plans to bring together teens from across the country to collaborate and develop strategies for overcoming social isolation in their communities. The brand launched the initiative following a study that suggests Gen Z is the "loneliest generation" despite the preponderance of online sharing and social media. The campaign positions Hershey as a socially conscious brand, a key characteristic favored by young adults and teens.