HERSHEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today that sales of its Hershey’s Kisses Brand Chocolates have surpassed $100 million in annual sales in China, making it the first Hershey brand to reach this milestone in a country outside of the United States. Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates is the company’s fastest growing brand globally, with more than 40 percent of sales now coming from outside the United States.
“Kisses chocolates have become an iconic product for Chinese consumers. What started as ‘little Hershey’s Kisses with a big chocolate taste’ has evolved into a favorite product to share and for gifts for the most important occasions, such as weddings and special holidays,” said Max Rangel, Senior Vice President of the Chocolate Strategic Business Unit at Hershey. “Consumers connect with our brand on an emotional level and they love the rich and creamy taste of Hershey’s chocolate. Even with strong growth in recent years, hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers have yet to experience the delicious taste of Kisses and that is a huge opportunity for us.”
Chinese consumers have embraced Hershey’s Kisses based on their rich, creamy taste and have made them a favorite gift to express gratitude and affection. In addition to classic Kisses milk chocolates, Kisses Cookies & Creme have become a signature flavor among consumers in China.
Gifting makes up 30 percent of the Chinese confectionery market, and consumers are looking to Hershey’s chocolate for many special occasions including Christmas, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and weddings. Hershey’s Kisses iconic shape and plume and the special Kisses packaging have set the brand apart from other products and offer consumers a distinct chocolate experience.
In just five years, Hershey’s Kisses brand sales in China have grown 20-fold, reflecting the dramatic growth of the country’s confectionery market. By 2016, China is forecasted to be the No. 5 confectionery market in the world with more than $14 billion in sales. Hershey expects China to become its No. 2 market, behind only the United States, by 2017. Growth in China is a key strategic element of Hershey’s aspirational goal of $10 billion in global sales by 2017 with 25 percent coming from Hershey’s international markets.
New Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe – A Premium Brand for China
Hershey recently introduced Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe Chocolates in China. Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe are twice the size of Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates with a whole hazelnut in the center surrounded by rich milk chocolate with crisped rice, wrapped in a special gold foil. It is indulgent chocolate presented in elegant packaging that is perfect for gifting. The product was developed to fit with Chinese consumers’ demand for a unique, premium chocolate that offers rich deliciousness and genuine thoughtfulness.
“With Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe Chocolates, we took an iconic confectionery brand and re-imagined it for the Chinese market based on deep consumer and market insights,” added Rangel. “This premium version of one of our most famous chocolate brands is a great example of Hershey’s global strategy to expand our portfolio globally while tailoring products to meet local consumer needs.”
Hershey supported the Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe Chocolate launch with an integrated marketing campaign that included sampling events and in-store retail displays in approximately 380 stores. A launch event at the Hershey’s Chocolate World store in Shanghai culminated with a marriage proposal from a Hershey’s Kisses fan.
Kisses Around the World
Consumers around the world have an emotional connection to Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates. First introduced in the United States in 1907, Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates have been a special part of American life for generations, particularly during U.S. holidays and family gatherings. The appeal of Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates as a gift or symbol of affection has spread around the world including Latin America, particularly Mexico, one of Hershey’s key international focus markets. With market share at 7.3 percent, the brand is now Hershey Mexico’s leading chocolate brand, supported with a strong range of products for everyday gifting that enables consumers to express their love for friends and family.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and approximately 15,000 employees. With revenues of more than $7.1 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss, Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. The company is focused on growing its presence in key international markets such as China, Mexico and Brazil while continuing to build its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada.
For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of the company’s global business strategy, which includes goals and priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and funded by a trust administered by Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. Students of Milton Hershey School are direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.