CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As consumers’ relationships with food evolve, The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) uses its knowledge, insights and taste expertise to create consumer-centric innovations. The products Hershey will debut this week at the National Confectioners Association’s annual Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago reflect the company’s strategic focus areas. The booth will feature technology innovation, the company’s shift to simple ingredients and products that expand Hershey’s portfolio across the snacking continuum.
“Consumers are at the heart of all we do at Hershey and we are focused on driving innovation that anticipates changing consumer preferences,” said Michele Buck, President North America, The Hershey Company. “We are excited to share our latest innovations ranging from cutting-edge technology to an expanded portfolio that includes new snacking products at the Sweets & Snacks Expo.”
The Future of Food Technology
The intersection of technology and consumers’ desire for customization is changing their experiences with confection and foods. 3-D printing is at the forefront of this shift with its nearly endless customization capability. Hershey has partnered with 3D Systems, the industry’s leading 3-D printing company, to introduce 3-D printed chocolate.
A finalist in Engadget’s “Best of the Consumer Electronics Show” awards, this one-of-a-kind food technology can make intricate designs and custom shapes, such as faces, animals, buildings and logos that are simply not possible with traditional chocolate molding.
The printer made its public debut at a live 3-D chocolate printing exhibition at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction in Hershey, Pennsylvania, last year. Hershey has since evolved the technology based on consumer feedback and the latest iteration 3-D chocolate printer—the most advanced version in the world—will be on display at Sweets & Snacks. The printer will be part of a permanent exhibit at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction beginning later this year.
People want to know what’s in their food, how it’s made and where ingredients come from. In fact, 68 percent of global consumers want to recognize all of the ingredients on food labels and 40 percent want food made with as few ingredients as possible1. Hershey is dedicated to sharing information about its products with consumers openly and candidly, and is committed to making products using ingredients that are simple and familiar.
Sweets & Snacks attendees can learn more about the new products Hershey plans to introduce that will feature a lineup of simple and familiar ingredients, such as Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars. Available in August, these snack bars will feature no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors and be gluten-free. Hershey also plans to transition some of its iconic chocolate products, including Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, to simpler ingredients by year end.
Snacking Continuum and Product Innovation
Hershey’s new products not only aim to meet consumers’ preferences for simple ingredients, but their desire for more snacking options. In the United States, the snacking business has grown into a $124 billion industry2. As consumer demand for delicious snacks increases, Hershey is expanding its portfolio across the snacking continuum.
At Sweets & Snacks, The Hershey Company is debuting innovations that will deliver a differentiated snacking experience such as:
1. Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars, snack bars made with real fruit, whole roasted almonds, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and signature Brookside dark chocolate, will be available in three flavor varieties starting in August. Brookside Crunchy Clusters Almonds and Berry Flavor will launch in December and expand the Brookside Crunchy Clusters portfolio.
2. KRAVE gourmet-inspired, natural jerky will be debuting as part of the Hershey portfolio. With the acquisition of KRAVE, Hershey is entering the $2.5 billion meat snacks industry, which has grown 13 percent since 2013 and continues to grow at a double-digit pace3. KRAVE jerky offers consumers protein-based, portable nutrition.
3. Snack Bites are a mix of delicious nuts and Hershey’s iconic confection brands. Snack Mixes are a combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy tastes in Hershey’s and Reese’s varieties. Both product lines will be available in August in portion-controlled tube packs, making them perfect for on-the-go snacking and one-handed eating.
Other product innovations on display at Sweets & Snacks address consumers’ needs for special and indulgent treats, such as new Hershey’s Caramels, a gourmet chocolate and caramel experience, and Lancaster Butterscotch and Caramel Soft Crèmes, a reimagined take on classic caramels combining the delicious flavors of butterscotch and caramel.
For more information about Hershey’s commitment to consumers and innovation, please visit TheHersheyCompany.com, or stop by booth No. 1505 at NCA’s Sweets & Snacks Expo.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has more than 22,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company, which has more than 80 brands around the world that drive over $7.4 billion in annual revenues, includes such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. Hershey is focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to build its competitive advantage in North America. Additionally, Hershey is poised to expand its portfolio into categories beyond confectionery, finding new ways to bring goodness to people everywhere.
At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For 120 years, Hershey has been committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. This means contributing to a better life for its employees, consumers, communities, and ultimately, creating a bright future for children in need. This commitment is exemplified by Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company. The children who attend the school receive education, housing, and medical care – thriving as direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.
1 Data from Ketchum's Global Food and Nutrition Practice "Food 2020" survey. The online survey was conducted among 1,800 respondents (300 per market) between Feb. 14, 2013 and March 5, 2013 in six markets worldwide – The United States, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Germany and Argentina.
2 Nielsen. Global Consumers Nibble, Nosh And Snack Their Way To Big Sales. Nielsen, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 11 May 2015.
3 Ferdman, Roberto A. "Why Beef Jerky, the Manly, Protein-packed Snack, Has Become so Damn Popular." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.