Hershey records key sales boost as consumers turn to treats amid coronarvirus pandemic

US confectionery giant, The Hershey Company, has reported an improved third-quarter financial position amid the ongoing pandemic, gaining a 4% net sales boost to $2.2 billion, reports Neill Barston

The Pennsylvania-headquartered business also recorded net income of $447 million for the period, as the firm continues to weather economic turbulence caused by the coronavirus crisis, through expanding its range of products.

Despite conditions being particularly challenging in the US, which has seen many retailing operations affected and having to close across the summer months as America continues to be heavily impacted by the pandemic with more than 230,000 deaths in the country, industry reports have indicated that the snacks and confectionery sector remains resilient. There has been notable focus in particular around the key Halloween season, which accounts for a significant portion of sales in the segment.

As Confectionery Production recently reported, one of the company’s key responses to the situation has been in creating a new virtual insights network (HIN) to enable greater engagement with consumers.

The system is set to benefit customers both online and within stores, providing a key resource to showcase the latest ranges from the global business, and provide a personalised service. It follows in the wake of the firm having been praised as among  America’s Most JUST Companies by Forbes and JUST Capital for the second consecutive year.

Michele Buck, the company’s president and CEO , welcomed the latest results, noting that consumers desire for treats amid challenging times was a considerable factor. She said:  “We had a strong third quarter, with accelerated reported net sales growth of 4%, adjusted diluted EPS growth of more than 15% and confectionery share gains across markets, including an almost 190 basis point gain in the U.S. Our core U.S. business remains healthy as consumers reach for small treats during the pandemic, and our decision to lean into Halloween ahead of the season supported consumers’ desire to find new and creative ways to celebrate safely.

“We also saw sequential improvement in the areas of our business hit hardest by COVID-19, including our international markets, owned retail locations and food service business,” said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company President and Chief Executive Officer. We are continuing to focus on executing with excellence, investing in the business, and advancing our strategic priorities to deliver a strong fourth quarter and position us well for 2021.”


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