Hershey is putting itself in the forefront of the better-for-you (BFY) confection trend with a raft of new strategies with differentiated capabilities.
The Pennsylvania-headquarted company claims to be the “the maker of the original, portion-controlled chocolate” with Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates, and has long offered a wide variety of choices for consumers to enjoy its popular brands, including Reese's Peanut Butter cups, to miniature size offerings, thinner versions (Reese's THiNs), including a version with zero sugar.
Hershey said it will expand its future portfolio to deliver more reduced sugar, organic and plant-based alternatives while also continuing to build its classic array of beloved products. Behind this portfolio growth is a multi-pronged strategy that will continue to advance Hershey's leadership in confection and snacking.
Hershey said its long-term strategy includes:
- Core brand packaging and platforms: continuing to offer portion-controlled treats in a variety of packtypes
- Innovation: extending core brands to BFY offerings and renovating existing products to extend choices
- Research and Development: focusing internal efforts and external investments to develop future breakthrough sugar reduction capabilities and recipes that deliver great tastes and textures while meeting the changing needs of some snackers
- Partnerships, Licensing & M&A: teaming up with top BFY brand partners to co-develop and launch new offerings
- M&A: evaluating a pipeline of acquisition opportunities to deliver incremental occasions and access for consumers that Hershey core brands don't reach today
"We are the leader in US confection, and our consumers rely on us to understand their needs for everyday moments, seasons and special occasions, offering high-quality and great tasting candy that's accessible for everyone,” said Kristen Riggs, Chief Growth Officer at Hershey. "Expanding our expertise, building new capabilities and delivering more choices in better-for-you confection is the next big category opportunity for us to lead."
As part of its BFY confectionery strategy, Hershey said it has partnered with ASR Group - one of the world's leading sweetener companies - to co-lead an equity investment in Bonumose, Inc, a start-up company with breakthrough innovations in plant-based food ingredients, including rare and natural sugars.
The investment is part of Hershey's C7 Ventures, which enables new avenues for growth through capital investments in disruptive or emerging platforms focused on new occasions, technologies and go-to-market opportunities.
"We are setting the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in the better-for-you category at Hershey," said Hershey President, US, Chuck Raup. "Everything we do is led by our consumers and our commitment to deliver only the most delicious snacks. We are driven to provide more choices to ensure they enjoy our brands and products in ways that are right for them."