The Hershey Co. is strategizing to grow the better-for-you (BFY) chocolate category with new and differentiated capabilities.
Building from its strength in portion-controlled choices, Hershey 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, according to the company.
This long-term strategy includes:
Core brand packaging and platforms: Continue to offer portion-controlled treats in a variety of packtypes
Innovation: Extend core brands to BFY offerings and renovating existing products to extend choices
Research and development: Focus 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, merger and acquisitions (M&A): Team up with top BFY brand partners to co-develop and launch new offerings
M&A: Evaluate 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 U.S. 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 confection strategy, Hershey partnered with ASR Group, a leading sweetener company, 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. This investment enables a research and development partnership to advance the tastes of not only zero- and reduced-sugar chocolate, but also Hershey's broader BFY snack offerings going forward.
"We are setting the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in the better-for-you category at Hershey," commented Chuck Raup, Hershey president, U.S. "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."
Headquartered in Pennsylvania, The Hershey Co. has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate's Booty.