Hershey unveils Sweets & Snacks retail focus and better-for-you launches

The Hershey Company has revealed it is set to focus on leadership in retail and human insights, as well as a significant spotlight on its core and emerging product ranges at Sweets & Snacks Expo this week in Chicago, US, reports Neill Barston.

As the company confirmed, visitors to its booth (#10704) will sample products from brands including Reese’s, Hershey’s, KitKat, Ice Breakers, Jolly Rancher, Lily’s Sweets, ONE Bars, FULFIL, Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, Pirate’s Booty Puffs, SkinnyPop Popcorn and Twizzlers.

This lineup includes new products such as Honest Organic Gummies, limited-edition KitKat Churro and protein-packed ONE Puffs.

“While consumers are shopping on tighter budgets, candy and snacks remain an affordable way to fulfil emotional wellness and create connections with family and friends,” said Marlene Creighton, Chief Sales Officer, The Hershey Company.

“Hershey continues to broaden its portfolio across chocolate, sweets, salty and protein snacks to meet consumers for more occasions. Together, with our retail partners, we are accelerating shared growth through leading category insights, strategies and execution to improve shopper experience.”

In terms of retail offerings, the company noted that checkout experiences are continuing to evolve, and it is rising to meet that ongoing challenge.

Its insights show that more shoppers now favour self-checkout over assisted checkout and that almost half of grocery shoppers make purchases both online and in-store. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to understand this journey and consider how the two environments connect to capture unplanned purchases both in-store and online.

Hershey has found that maximising unplanned front-end purchases is critical for retailers as most shoppers still complete purchases in-store. While more are opting to use self-checkout, in some stores more often than assisted lanes, this paypoint is more susceptible to conversion loss if there is no merchandising leading into and around the self-checkout. Adding queuing and merchandising around self-checkouts will drive more units than assisted lanes.

Capturing unplanned purchases during the online shopping experience can be challenging for retailers when consumers primarily find products through a site’s search function. Hershey helps retailers solve this issue and drive growth through unplanned purchases online by utilising homepage placement, cross-merchandising and post-checkout reminders.

Hershey’s insights found that 10% to 20% of click-and-collect trips include a second basket with an average purchase of $38, with snacks and candy among the top five second-basket additions. Furthermore, nearly 70% of second-basket transactions occur through self-checkout.

healthier options

As the company noted, while nearly two-thirds of Americans are looking for better-for-you (BFY) options, BFY candy is underdeveloped compared to peer categories.

In response, Hershey is releasing new options including  Honest Organic Gummies, made with organic fruit juice and natural flavours, Lily’s Watermelon Slices and Lily’s Peach Rings, Hershey’s Plant Based Extra Creamy with Almonds and Sea Salt and Reese’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups.

Furthermore, as more consumers look to add protein to their diet, ONE, already known for its protein bars, will unveil plans for protein-packed ONE Puffs in cheddar and spicy nacho flavours, and FULFIL will launch a fresh variety, Triple Chocolate.

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