Concession Merchandising the Right Way

Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 01:00 pm

Concession merchandising is an essential part of stadiums, sporting events, and more. Without a concession stand, fans wouldn’t have the same experience. The smell of freshly popped popcorn, hot pretzels steaming behind the merchandiser glass, crunchy cheesy nachos, what more could you want?

Concessions serve as the primary source of food and drinks for spectators at an event.

Concession equipment and supplies allow concessions stands to do what they’re meant to do – serve food to hungry fans. Whether you own a stand, cart, or trailer, this blog will help you find the right equipment to make your business a success.

The success of a concession stand largely depends on its ability to effectively display and sell its products. This is where merchandisers and display cases come into play. Properly displaying your concessions can help increase visual appeal which can lead to increased revenue.

Concession stalls frequently sell a variety of high-profit food items, such as popcorn, nachos, hot dogs, and cotton candy. So, wouldn’t you want to know what types of merchandisers can help your profits skyrocket?

Below, we’ve laid out the most popular concession merchandisers and how they can make your operation stand out.

The Secrets of Effective Concession Merchandising

Before we talk about what merchandiser you need, let’s look at why you need it!

Effective concession merchandising is a blend of art and science, where every element plays a crucial role in attracting customers and boosting sales. Here we discuss the elements of concession merchandising that boost sales and make your products irresistible to customers.

Learn about concession merchandising and what makes it pop with these 6 tips.

1. The Power of Lighting:

Strategic lighting is the bread and butter of concession merchandising. Bright, inviting lights not only highlight the products but also create an atmosphere of warmth and welcome. Proper lighting makes sure products are seen and showcased in a way that’s visually appealing.

2. Product-Specific Merchandising:

Each type of concession snack needs a unique approach to merchandising. For instance, the way you display popcorn – with its enticing aroma and visual appeal – differs from what matters when displaying packaged snacks or bottled drinks. Customize your concessions merchandising approach to each product type to maximize quality and appeal.

3. Quality Preservation:

Effective merchandising isn’t just about display; it’s also about maintaining product quality. The right equipment makes sure foods like hot dogs and nachos remain at safe serving temperatures, preserving taste and texture, which is essential for customer satisfaction.

4. Engaging Display Designs:

The design of display units can have a significant impact. Vibrant colors, clear signage, and thematic decorations aligned with the event or venue can create a more engaging and memorable customer experience.

5. Sensory Engagement:

Successful concession merchandising taps into multiple senses. The smell of freshly popped popcorn, the sound of sizzling hot dogs, and the visual appeal of a brightly lit cotton candy machine all work together to draw customers in.

6. Accessibility and Convenience:

Placement of merchandising units is critical. They should always be positioned to maximize visibility and ease of access. This ensures that customers can effortlessly locate and reach for their favorite snacks.

By understanding and implementing these key elements, you can use concession merchandisers to create a dynamic and effective sales environment that not only delights customers but also significantly boosts revenue.

Concession Merchandising Access Types:

Now that we’ve explained the key principles that make concession merchandising a success, let’s look at the broad categories of equipment that will make these ideas a reality. Each type of merchandiser brings a unique benefit to enhance product visibility and customer appeal.

Countertop Merchandisers – Countertop display cases are compact, easy to use, and ideal for small spaces. Ideal for showcasing snacks, drinks, and deserts, they are available in refrigerated, dry, or dual temperature zone models

Full-Service Merchandisers – For larger concession stands, full-service display cases are essential. These high-capacity models, including multideck options, offer ample space and are perfect for a diverse product range. They are available in heated or dry merchandisers, as well as refrigerated, freezer, or dual zone models.

Beverage Merchandisers – Beverage displays are designed to keep drinks cold and refreshing while they are being displayed. They come in a variety of sizes and styles. Most models feature adjustable temperature controls and lighting to showcase drinks and add appeal. Drink merchandisers are available in glass door and open-air designs.

Display Shelves – Drop-in heated shelves and countertop warming shelves are a great way to keep foods hot on non-heated buffets. These electrical shelving units can be placed nearly anywhere with the proper connection, making them quite versatile.

Different access types are suitable for different applications. Some concessions snacks are self-service, allowing staff to focus on other tasks. Others require staff to serve food to customers. Keep in mind the space and staff you have available when choosing your concession merchandising equipment.

Equipment Spotlight: Popular Concession Merchandisers

Strategic use of the right concession merchandising equipment will enhance customer experience and drive sales. These merchandisers not only visually appeal to customers but also engage their senses, particularly through sight and smell, ultimately leading to increased foot traffic and sales.

Pizza Merchandisers

Designed to hold multiple whole pizzas at a single time, these units will keep your slices hot, fresh, and ready to eat. Pizza merchandisers come in a range of shapes and sizes. These display cases have temperature controls and adjustable lighting to better display and present pizzas. Pizza warmers come in either 3 shelf or 4 shelf designs, with rotating or non-rotating configurations.

Mouthwatering masterpieces are highlighted by interior lighting, capturing the attention of visitors. Modern signage provides your concession stand with an improved appearance and increased visibility.

Tip: If you need some serious pizza holding space, the Nemco 6452 4 Shelf Rotating Heated 22″ Heated Pizza Merchandiser has 4 rotating shelfs! You can show off up to 4 whole pizzas at any time. The rotation will keep slices warm and fresh, while the lighting, signage, and aromas will capture customers attention.

Pretzel Merchandisers

Available at nearly any concession stand, soft pretzels are an easy profit-maker. Pretzel merchandisers and display cases are necessary for keeping soft pretzels warm and ready-to-serve. These displays provide lighting, heat, and easy access for customers.

After cooking pretzels using a countertop deck oven, place the finished products in a display case and watch them sell themselves. The correct placement of one of these units can give passer-byers a sense of nostalgia and tantalize them with sweet aromas. This can lead to an otherwise unwanted purchase.

Our assortment of pretzel merchandisers will keep your big soft pretzels hot, moist, and ready to find a new home!

Tip: The Nemco 6403 15″ Pretzel Merchandiser provides multiple racks while taking up little counter space. It’s a favorite for small to medium sized concessions stand thanks to its small footprint.

Nachos Merchandisers

If your concession stand has heavy traffic, then it would be best to invest in a nacho chip merchandiser. Buy your chips in bulk and keep them warm and fresh in one of these secure heated chip cabinets. Just use a scoop to fill up nacho trays and garnish with cheese and peppers.

An appealing nacho chip display case can also draw the attention of a crowd and lead to sales. With interior lighting and exterior promotion, your nachos will sell themselves.

Tip: This Gold Medal 2189 Nacho Chip Warmer is an excellent choice for any nacho dealer. Also, check out nacho cheese dispensers and chip warmers to complete your nachos serving display.

Cotton Candy Merchandisers

Commercial cotton candy makers are simple to operate and spin swiftly to minimize consumer wait times. When serving this sugary snack, the machine itself is enough to gain customer interest. However, there are even better ways to show off and drive sales using cotton candy displays.

Cotton candy merchandisers make candy preparation and display more efficient and appealing. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, with some models featuring a built-in cotton candy machine for convenient and efficient snack preparation.

Tip: The Gold Medal 3149 Pinkie Floss Cart is a great choice for displaying cotton candy creations. This unit provides a sturdy surface and exciting appearance.

Hot Dog Merchandisers

Hot dogs are a staple in concessions all over the country. You can easily turn a profit with the appropriate commercial hot dog equipment.

Hot dog broilers, roller grills, and steamers are excellent cooking devices that can double as merchandisers. That makes them perfect for facilities with a limited amount of space. If you’re looking to add some eye candy to your concession stand or booth, a merchandiser cart will be sure to attract a crowd.

To keep your products fresh and free from any germs, add a hot dog grill sneeze guard for more safety.

Check out the Nemco 6550-DW Countertop Mini Hot Dog Steamer Cart here!

Tip: A countertop merchandiser cart is a fun way to cook and show off your products. Not only will these hot dog carts hold hot products to proper serving temperatures, but they also come configured to hold buns and toppings. Keeping all of your supplies in one location means less movement for operators and customers.

Popcorn Equipment

  • Popcorn Poppers: Countertop popcorn poppers not only produce and display fresh popcorn, they also feature vibrant decorations and signage that enhance promotional efforts. Choose between high volume popcorn makers or low volume popcorn makers. These units are an all-in-one popcorn making and selling machine.
  • Popcorn Warmers: Commercial popcorn warmers keep packed or loose popcorn at the perfect temperature until sale. A built-in warming deck is in each popcorn display cabinet to help maintain warmth for extended periods of time. By pre-popping before you open and keeping fresh popcorn in one of these containers, you can satisfy long lines more quickly.
  • Popcorn Carts & Popcorn Wagons: Popcorn carts and wagons are a fun visual and practical piece of equipment that can help your business stand out. These carts and wagons will securely hold either your popcorn machine or popcorn warmer. Popcorn wagons give customers a sense of nostalgia thanks to their old school look and feel.

Popcorn merchandisers effectively display your fresh popcorn and release enticing aromas, boosting foot traffic and potential sales.

A great choice when looking for popcorn merchandising is the Gold Medal 2015 Red Popcorn Wagon Stand which perfectly fits the Gold Medal Whiz Bang 2014 Popcorn Machine.


Whether you’re looking for a compact countertop display, a heated or refrigerated case, or a multideck merchandiser, at Burkett we offer a wide variety of concession display equipment to meet your needs.

The right food display can make your concession stand more efficient and profitable. Sometimes just the sight of a warm pretzel or fresh muffin can trigger customers into making an immediate purchase. Then again, sometimes all it takes is the overwhelming smell of some delicious popcorn or fresh pizza to attract some sales.

Concession merchandisers are sure to improve your establishments atmosphere and success!

Need some help starting your food truck or concession stand? Check out “How to Build a Concession Trailer”.

Concession merchandising is easy when you shop with burkett.

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