The firm says the range is intended to meet the growing demand for multi-textural eating experiences and claims it received the highest consumer scores of any product ever launched by the company.
It comes as Mondelēz plans to tackle the US chocolate market alone with Milka Oreo and Green & Blacks, following a failed bid to acquire Hershey.
Biggest innovation for Hershey’s brand in 16 years?
Mary-Ann Somers, general manager and vice president, US, at Hershey said the new line was 18 months in development
“We recognize eating habits are evolving and that consumers are moving away from traditional meals and into multiple snacking occasions that include various tastes and textures throughout the day,” she added.
Somers said Cookie Layer Crunch was created to be an indulgent snack that was a different experience to a classic Hershey bar. The company called it “one of the most anticipated innovations” from the Hershey’s brand in more than 16 years.
According to a report from BASES, a service of Nielsen, Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch was within the top 2.5% of consumer packaged goods concepts ever tested.
Formats and price points
The range comes in three flavors: Vanilla, Crème caramel, and Mint, all with a crunchy cookie texture.
The brand extension will be available at retailers across the US from December 2016.
Hershey said the product was 'portion-controlled' at 90 to 100 calories per serving.
The company will sell 1.4 oz on-the-go snack bars in caramel flavor only for $0.99.
It will offer a 6.3-oz. bag with nine individually wrapped pieces, available in all flavors, for $4.19.
The US chocolate leader will also sell a 3.5-oz. “XL Bar” with five pieces for all flavors at $2.89 and a 2.1-oz. “King Size Bar” with three pieces for $1.69, available in Caramel only.
Hershey’s Cookies N Créme
Hershey is the leader in small size chocolate candy in the US and has enjoyed strong growth for its Reese’s brand.
The firm’s Hershey’s Cookies N Créme brand is worth around $112m per year in retail sales and was the sixth bestselling chocolate brand weighing under 3.5 oz. for the year ending August 7 this year, according to IRI data.
Top 10 chocolate bars, bags or boxes in the US < 3.5OZ
[52 Weeks Ending Aug 7, 2016 (YOY) - Total U.S. Multi-Outlet w/ C-Store (Supermarkets, Drugstores, Mass Market Retailers, Gas/C-Stores, Military Commissaries and Select Club & Dollar Retail Chains)]
Source: IRI, Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide )