The chocolate company’s Q3 earnings net sales were up 1.5% compared to last year, reaching $2.03bn – such “solid” results were in line with Hershey’s expectations, said CEO Michele Buck.
“The investments we’re making in our power chocolate brands - Reese’s, Hershey’s, KitKat and Kisses - are resonating with consumers in the marketplace as evidenced by the third-quarter combined US retail takeaway on these brands of about 5%,” she said.
“While early, our new warehouse-based snacks initiative is off to a good start with Hershey’s and Reese’s Popped Snack Mix and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels progressing as planned,” Buck added.
Additionally, Hershey’s advertising and related consumer marketing expense increased 3.7% versus Q3 of 2016, while its reported gross profit grew to $940m by the end of this period, compared to $851m last year.
Candy, mint and gum growth in NA retail
Hershey’s Q3 North America sales posted $1.79bn, growing by 1.6% versus a year ago, while its nine months-to-date sales recorded $4.95bn, growing by 2.1% annually, according to the company.
“Total Hershey US retail takeaway from the 12 weeks ended October 8, 2017 increased 1% in the expanded multi-outlet combined plus convenience store channels,” the company said.
Hershey’s US candy, minty and gum’s (CMG) retail takeaway increased 1.4%, with market share losing 0.3 points. However, “given our strong performance in the first half of the year, our year-to-date CMG market share is up one point,” Hershey added.
Hershey recently launched Ice Breakers ice cube gum and Jolly Rancher Sour Surge candy at the NACS Show in Chicago to expand its CMG portfolio.
“Our brands typically respond positively to marketplace investments and there is no change to our full-year North America advertising and related consumer marketing outlook,” Hershey said.
The company expected its full-year 2017 constant currency net sales growth to be around 1.25%.