- Hershey Co. said that innovation with new products will be a major contributor to the company’s growth in 2017, according to Food Business News.
- Michelle Buck, Hershey’s chief operating officer and soon-to-be chief executive officer, announced during a conference call with analysts that the company anticipates growth around 2% or 2.5%.
- Last year, Hershey introduced Cookie Layer Crunch bars and Reese's Pieces Cups. The company expects sales to grow as it continues to market the new snack lines. The confection giant also said it's looking to improve its Brookside and non-chocolate candy product performances with "the right mix of customer and consumer marketing."
Statista projects that U.S. chocolate sales in 2017 will reach $22.4 billion, and Hershey is counting on a big piece of that profit. In its latest earnings report, Hershey reported sales growth and raised its earnings outlook for the year. Overall, sales at the company totaled $1.97 billion, up from the $1.91 billion it achieved a year earlier.
Innovation has long been a driving force for the chocolate company. It not only whets consumers' appetites for something new, but also draws them back to old favorites once they're in the candy aisle.
Company execs are optimistic that big things are ahead for recently released Cookie Layer Crunch bars as more consumers interact with Hershey's social media campaign and other marketing measures. This year, Hershey announced it will release several new products, including newly repackaged Reese’s Crunch Cookie Cups and Hershey’s and Reese’s Crunchers.
Manufacturers in the confectionery space and beyond would be wise to emulate Hershey's innovation goals for their own brands. Introducing new products, even if they are in the novelty space, can create consumer buzz and renew interest in brands well-known brands. Repackaging classic items to look more enticing and contemporary or reformulating products to better align with consumer health trends are just a few ways that brands can appear relevant, without having to create entirely new products.