SHANGHAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY):
- Center serves as global hub for innovation and technology
- Shanghai location reflects Hershey’s focus on China as a key growth market
- Products will be tailored to local tastes
- Innovation a key driver for Hershey’s Asia growth
As part of the company’s strategy to drive global growth and innovation, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today announced the opening of its new Asia Innovation Center located in Shanghai, China.
Hershey’s new Asia Innovation Center, located at the Jinqiao Golden Bridge Research Park in the Pudong District of Shanghai, is a fundamental step toward accelerating the company’s global growth. This new research and development (R&D) hub will enable Hershey to quickly develop, test and launch new products customized to the tastes of consumers in China and across the Asia region. The new facility in Shanghai provides a strategic gateway to the larger Asia market while enabling close collaboration with local and regional China sales, marketing and operations personnel. China is currently Hershey’s fastest growth market, moving from number seven to number three in chocolate share in just five years with overall chocolate share more than quadrupling by 2012.
“Our new Innovation Center in Shanghai supports our aggressive growth plans in Asia and reflects our global approach to business,” said Michael Wege, Senior Vice President, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company. “It will enable us to translate our insights and knowledge of consumer tastes and preferences into relevant products. With industry-leading innovation capabilities based in China, we will develop products that expand our portfolio across the region and around the world.”
For nearly 120 years, The Hershey Company has embodied innovation with products that have changed the confectionery industry and established the company as one of the world’s leading candy makers. The launch of a world-class technical facility in Shanghai is another step toward continuing the growth momentum in this region.
The two-floor, 22,000 square-foot facility is a significant investment in the China market and will house R&D laboratories, a pilot plant for the chocolate and sweets & refreshment categories and a development center for emerging product offerings. It will also feature a sensory area, creativity center, packaging development section and research laboratory.
The center will initially employ 12 scientists and product developers and includes office space for up to 32 engineers and innovation staff. The team will be led by Qingbin Yuan, Hershey’s Director of Asia Research & Development. Over time, Hershey will supplement technical resources that will enable this facility to become a broader global innovation hub with a focus on building powerful brands in China, across Asia and potentially worldwide. To achieve this goal, particular emphasis will be placed on consumer research and testing – a process Hershey’s calls consumer-centric brand building. By placing the consumer in the driver seat, Hershey is able to gain a holistic understanding of how the company’s products play into lifestyles and changing consumer needs.
“The China team is very excited about the new Innovation Center in Shanghai,” said Jane Xu, Vice President and General Manager of Greater China for The Hershey Company. “Our aggressive growth target in the next five years will be achieved by building our five global brands across China, along with the innovation capabilities developed at the center.”
The new facility also opens the opportunity for Hershey to tap into the skilled and capable Chinese talent pool. “Hershey will hire primarily local talent from the region,” said Qingbin Yuan. “This will allow us to gain deeper insights into the local consumer and establish strong partnerships with local universities and vendors and create new innovation capabilities in Asia.”
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 14,000 employees.
With revenues of more than $6.6 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.