- Reese's is releasing limited-time only Reese’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lovers Cups, according to a release sent to Food Dive. The two candies ask consumers to choose which flavor they like better since one contains more chocolate, while the other is packed with more peanut butter.
- The new cups will be available nationwide starting mid-April, according to the release. The regular size will be sold for a suggested retail price of $1.11 and the king size for $1.66.
- For the launch, the company is giving fans a first taste of the new cups at the Reese's Swap Shop in New York City. On March 26 from noon to 6 p.m. and March 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., consumers can exchange any item for a preview of the Reese's Lovers Cups. The team will be handing out more than 10,000 cups in the two days.
Hershey seems to be hoping that pitting consumers on opposite sides of a debate on peanut butter and chocolate will bring new enthusiasm to the classic treat and the candy aisle. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have long held a strong market share in confectionery. According to YouGov Ratings, it is one of the most popular candies in the U.S. But Hershey is still looking for more innovation.
As consumers move toward online shopping, big food companies have struggled to shift to ecommerce platforms. A quarter of shoppers have cut back on candy and snack purchases since they are able to skip checkout lines, according to NOSH. Hershey has worked to prioritize its digital strategy so its candies can get the same attention online by integrating ecommerce and in-store personalized experiences. And marketing campaigns like this latest one, with a debate around chocolate and peanut butter, could invite social media attention that brings people back to the candy aisles.
Making consumers take sides has been a tactic of other candy brands before. Mars started a long-running debate about its Twix chocolate bars by getting consumers to pick their favorite out of the double-wrapped package. Two years ago, the company even released Left Twix and Right Twix packaging to further bolster the debate among consumers.
These marketing tactics can boost sales and invigorate consumer interest. To settle a debate that Reese's says already exists, these new candies ask consumers to choose a side, which could bring hype to the latest innovation.
The company is teasing the product at a pop-up launch in New York this week. Other brands, like Yoplait, Kellogg and Chobani, have used similar approaches in recent years. Pop-up stores and limited edition launches help generate buzz for the brands as consumers get a taste and can spread the word about the new products.
This isn't the first innovation for the Reese's brand. Recently, the brand unveiled Peanut Butter Appreciation bars with words of encouragement like "Shout out to you!" and "Can't thank you enough!" Earlier this month, Hershey released Reese's Thins, which come in milk and dark chocolate and are 40% thinner than the traditional cups. But the chocolate and peanut butter treat hasn't only been in bars with motivational messages and smaller portions, it has also been made into Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, shaped into pumpkins and trees for the holidays and turned into Reese's Crunchers.
With debates, delivering messages, holidays and smaller portions, Hershey is hitting on a variety of popular trends with its launches in the iconic peanut butter and chocolate candy. While Hershey as a larger company is using M&A to add more snacks to its portfolio, it obviously hasn't forgotten the candy that made it a success.