Hershey targets KitKat as next $1bn brand after Reese’s with $60m investment

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agricultural Russell Redding (left) talks with plant manager Stephen Knight (center) and Rick Camacho, chief supply chain officer, at the groundbreaking event for a new KitKat production line. Photo: Hershey
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agricultural Russell Redding (left) talks with plant manager Stephen Knight (center) and Rick Camacho, chief supply chain officer, at the groundbreaking event for a new KitKat production line. Photo: Hershey

Related tags: Hershey, Kitkat, Chocolate

Hershey has begun to add a new KitKat manufacturing line under a $60m investment at its plant in Hazel Township, Pennsylvania.

The US chocolate leader, which generates over $7.5bn in annual revenues, hopes to enable “continued growth”​ for KitKat’s existing and new products.

111 new jobs

“[KitKat] is poised to be the Hershey Company’s next $1bn brand. This significant capital investment will create more than 100 new, good-paying manufacturing jobs,”​ Hershey said.

Reese’s is currently a $1bn brand, according to Hershey’s director of corporate communications, Jeff Beckman.

Beckman told ConfectioneryNews the company is looking to hire 111 people including production and maintenance workers. Those jobs represent a more than 25% increase in positions at the current facility.

Product innovations

Hershey pointed out KitKat, which saw an 8% compound annual growth rate over the past six years, is one of its “most complex bars”​ to produce.

“We’re always looking to offer new innovations within the KitKat portfolio that are relevant to US consumers,”​ said Beckman.

“For example, in Q4 last year, we re-released KitKat dark bars, offering fans of dark chocolate a way to enjoy a KitKat bar with a richer taste,”​ he added.

“This summer, we plan to introduce a new chocolate covered strawberry KitKat, incorporating the ‘bright, fruity’ flavor of strawberry with the creamy milk-chocolate and crunchy texture of a KitKat bar.

“We continue to listen to consumers and will bring new products that resonate with them,”​ said Beckman.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Chocolate, Biscuits, Hershey

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