Hershey taps US premium chocolate boom with double-sized gifting brand Kisses Deluxe

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chocolate Types of chocolate

Kisses Deluxe comes to the US after success in China
Kisses Deluxe comes to the US after success in China
Hershey has launched gifting brand Kisses Deluxe in the US ahead of the holiday season to capitalize on the rise of premium chocolate.

Kisses Deluxe Chocolate is twice the size of original Kisses and features milk chocolate wrapped around a whole roasted hazelnut.The brand initially launched in China in 2013 and last year generated around $100m in sales.

Hershey has now brought Kisses Deluxe to the US and calls the product its biggest innovation since Hershey started Kisses Chocolate 25 years ago.

Premium gifting

“From our research and planning, we discovered that while consumers love gifting the original Kisses Chocolates during the holiday season, they wanted a gift that was more premium for those that they are the closest,”​ senior associate brand manager of Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates, Adam Borden, told ConfectioneryNews.

According to a recent report​, the US chocolate market will exceed $26bm by 2018. Moreover, the premium chocolate market continues to grow faster than the overall market, George Puro of Puro research Group told ConfectioneryNews​ recently.

Campaign success

kisses deluxe
Kisses Deluxe was originally launched in China in 2013

“During the test period, a majority of participants said they would purchase Kisses Deluxe Chocolates again and gave the new treat a favorable rating on taste and flavor,”​ Borden said.

“Consumer anticipation before product hit shelves drove buzz across nearly every publication in the United States and on social as a trending topic," ​he continued.

Borden added Hershey will continue to place a large emphasis on the holiday season with brands like Kisses Chocolate, and look to explore development across full portfolio of brands.

Beyond digital connections 

Hershey is running a marketing campaign it calls ’Say More’ for the Kisses Deluxe launch, which aims to encourage connections beyond text messaging and social media by offering a physical gift.

It has teamed up with Dr. Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, to explore what consumers need during the upcoming holiday season. And the result is that Americans are looking for something more than digital communications to connect with their families and friends.

“Although we’re more ‘connected’ than ever before, technology has become a barrier to meaningful connection and communication,” ​Dr. Berger said in a statement.

Cited from a research result that shows 37% of Americans confess to checking their phones at Thanksgiving dinner, and 81% believe holiday gatherings were more meaningful before smartphones. Dr. Berger added, “There’s more volume of communication, but it’s not as personal, unlike the intimacy of a physical face to face conversation with a loved one.”

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