As demonstrated by The Hershey Co.’s new five-year partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, candy makers are finding sponsorship to their liking.

Candy makers use sponsorship to accomplish three primary objectives:

  • Gain platforms for retail promotions
  • Drive sales during key consumption periods
  • Sample product

Retail promotion plays a key role in Hershey’s USOC partnership. Hershey reportedly plans to activate the sponsorship via the USOC’s “Power Of” marketing campaign, around which the chocolate manufacturer will partner with Budweiser, Coca-Cola and other USOC partners to gain in-store display under the Team USA banner.

The confectionery will use the tie to promote Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Brookside dark chocolate, Krave jerky and other products.

Other recent deals in the candy category include Red Vines and the Pac-12, Bit-O-Honey and Roush Fenway Racing and Three Musketeers and Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival.

The deals come amid lackluster growth. Sales in the chocolate candy category rose 2.6 percent in the year-ended Oct. 4, 2015, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.

Where Candy Companies Spend Money
Where Candy Companies Spend Money

The Most Active Candy Companies (By Number Of Deals)
The Most Active Candy Companies (By Number Of Deals)

Sponsorship Spending In The Candy Category
Sponsorship Spending In The Candy Category

Who Does What: Chocolate Candy
Who Does What: Chocolate Candy

Sales at U.S. supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, gasoline/c-stores, military commissaries and select club and dollar stores in the year-ending Oct. 4, 2015, per IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide).