Hershey set for home-town expansion with new chocolate processing plant
The facility will be erected on a 55-acre site near Hershey’s Reese’s manufacturing facility, and the company is also investing in 13 new production lines and upgrades to 11 lines currently in place across its network.
“Our ability to grow, today and in the future, is rooted in how fast we can make and deliver our products,” said Will Bonifant, vice president of US and Canada supply chain for Hershey. “We’ve made significant investments over the past few years with new facilities and updates to existing sites to speed production and make more of the iconic brands consumers love.”
Once operational, the new plant will produce some of the firm’s best-known brands including Kit Kat and Hershey’s.
The company said it has launched the project in response to an uptick in demand for its products.
Since 2019, Hershey said it has seen 5% compounded retail sales growth in seasonal candy sales and 15% compounded retail sales growth in snack size. A forthcoming line expansion at the West Hershey plant is planned to help meet the increased demand for seasonal snack-size packages.
The company appears to be well-positioned. Hershey reported growth in the first quarter of this year with revenue rising by 16.1% due to demand for chocolates and candies. Last year, Hershey reported net sales of $8,971.3 million, an increase of 10.1%.
“We delivered strong double-digit sales and earnings growth with ongoing momentum across business units,” said Michele Buck, Hershey’s president and CEO, earlier this year. “Our fast start, sustained consumer relevancy and increased visibility into our recently acquired businesses give us the confidence to increase our full-year net sales and earnings outlook despite an increasingly challenging and inflationary environment.”