People are spending more time in their yards and finding moments of goodness in s’mores with their families, friends and neighbors during COVID-19, he says.
“I know I’m not alone when I say that my professional and personal lives have become increasingly intertwined since March, when I began working from home. But I do have a somewhat unique story in the ways that they’ve become intertwined. It revolves around the s’more.”
Although s’mores sales in the US usually peak between Memorial Day and Labor Day, gathering around s’mores has been one backyard activity that consumers continue to cherish.
With travel on hold, backyard fire pits have become the latest destination for US consumers, Britt writes in a company blog.
Since the pandemic began, Britt says he has seen sales of Hershey's bar six-packs - one of the must-have items in the perfect s’more - skyrocket 40% as families find comfort around fireplaces, fire pits and grills, taking joy in the nostalgic, DIY dessert.
“As director of US customer supply chain for Hershey, I’ve seen some incredible things happen since COVID-19 began. In the shadow of uncertainty and rapid change, I believe there is a silver lining in the ways that families have come together during quarantine to savor the simple things in life,” he says.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that families across the country are transforming their backyards for relaxation and recreation at record levels.
Fourth of July
Britt says that from late April until the Fourth of July holiday, consumers were buying more s’mores than anticipated.
“At our West Hershey plant, our teams have been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to churn out more chocolate. Thanks to our excellent, always-on communication between our sales team, category managers and supply chain, we were able to make week-to-week decisions about where Hershey's bars were most needed to ensure the best possible access for s'mores makers.”
On weekends across North America, debates have raged over whether the marshmallow should be burnt or lightly toasted; along with the menu of choices, from the Hershey’s bar, Rolos or Reese's Thins.
“These moments and the associated debates have been made possible by the tremendous work of our manufacturing and retail teams who have continued to prioritize making moments of goodness for our consumers throughout the pandemic,” says Britt.
Through it all, s’mores have come to symbolize something more than a sweet treat
During pandemic, Hershey’s team has learned that necessity breeds innovation – and at store level, its retail teams have been on floors ensuring retail partners get what they need for their communities.
“Through it all, s’mores have come to symbolize something more than a sweet treat. They represent an occasion; an event; gratitude for family, friends and health; relief in coming together again,” says Britt.
“Life has changed so much around us, and yet, on these s’more nights, we were - and are - able to make moments of goodness that I, for one, will never forget.”