- Hershey is releasing a new product, Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe, in the U.S. just in time for the holidays. The candy is twice as large as the standard Hershey's Kisses with a hazelnut center and rice crisps in the chocolate.
- Company officials say Hershey's Kisses Deluxe is "the biggest innovation of the iconic Kisses brand since they introduced Hershey Kisses with almonds to the market 25 years ago," USA TODAY reported.
- The new product is expected to be available on store shelves in the U.S. by early November and will be sold through Valentine's Day. Also, having rice crisps instead of wheat crisps in the chocolate enables Hershey to label Hershey's Kisses Deluxe as gluten-free.
Unlike some other companies that regularly employ R&D to revolutionize even legacy brands, Hershey has not made many major changes to the classic Hershey's Kisses brand over the years.
"It took 55 years just to change the color of the foil," Adam Borden, senior associate manager for Hershey’s Kisses told USA TODAY. "Then it took another 38 years to put something inside the milk chocolate. We’re getting better, but it does take us a little while to tinker with something that is iconic as a brand Milton Hershey founded himself."
This new product contributes to the growth of premium chocolate in the U.S. "Premium chocolate accounts for about 8% of all U.S. market chocolate sales, and the segment has seen double-digit growth in recent years, according to Candy Industry, a publication that covers the confectionery industry," USA TODAY reported.
Nestle has expanded its footprint in the premium chocolate segment by recently introducing Cailler, Switzerland's oldest existing chocolate brand, to international markets for the first time, including the U.S., U.K., and Germany, through a partnership with Amazon.