Hershey highlights rise of dark chocolate as dessert in US

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Nashville star Kimberly Williams-Paisley at Hershey’s Dark Chocolate: The New Dessert event in New York City on 3 October
Nashville star Kimberly Williams-Paisley at Hershey’s Dark Chocolate: The New Dessert event in New York City on 3 October
Hershey hosted an event in New York last week highlighting dark chocolate as the new dessert for Americans.

“We are seeing a consumer trend of more dark chocolate consumption, and that offers an excellent opportunity as we look at our own dark chocolate portfolio,”​ said Jennifer Podhajsky, Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Chocolate Category, The Hershey Company.

The company pointed to a study by the Hartman Group, which found that the number of Americans eating dessert after dinner had climbed 5% since 2009, and 78% of the treats eaten included chocolates.

Hershey said that US consumers had increasingly traded-up for premium dark chocolate since 2009. It said dark chocolate sales had grown consistently faster than the overall chocolate segment at 7.7%, with sales now up to $1.3bn.

The company claimed to lead the US dark chocolate market with five of the top ten leading brands, including York Peppermint Pattie, Brookside Dark Chocolate and Hershey’s Special Dark Semi-Sweet and Dark Chocolate.

Hershey is hoping to attract new consumers to the category with lower cacao options, but it also makes chocolates with up to 82% cacao.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Chocolate, Hershey, Premium

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