HERSHEY, PA. – From launching its largest line of holiday products to entering into new product partnerships with Danone, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez and General Mills, The Hershey Co. has been busy innovating in 2021.
The year also saw Hershey expand into the best-for-you segment with the launch of an organic portfolio, the repositioning of its sugar-free products as a Zero Sugar line and the acquisition of Lily’s.
“Our primary focus is on sweet enjoyment, although this increases and evolves over time,” said Michele G. Buck, CEO of Hershey, in a presentation Feb. 17 at the Consumer Analyst Group Virtual Conference in New York. “One of the areas where we have opportunity is the best for you, and within that there is a space in our own category. If we take a look at many other indulgent categories on the market, many of them have a higher proportion of better-for-you items. “
Hershey launched its Reese’s brand to the organic market in February with the release of Organic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and in March the company unveiled Hershey’s organic chocolate bars and miniatures. The candies are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa and are USDA and Project Non-GMO Certified.
“Although the organic chocolate market is small, it is growing rapidly and we are excited to offer consumers tasty organic versions of Reese and Hershey through this focused launch,” said Ms. Buck.
In February, Hershey announced plans to reposition its sugar-free products under the name Zero Sugar. The new Zero Sugar line includes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bars, Hershey’s Caramel Filled Chocolate Bars, York Peppermint Patties, Candy tough Twizzlers and Jolly Rancher.
“We are relaunching our sugar-free platform, which was launched many years ago as a product for diabetics, as a sugar-free product,” Ms. Buck said. “The essence of the revival is to reposition sugar-free in a more contemporary way. You look at drinks and zero sugar and a lot of other categories. I mean these products are just positioned in a whole different way in a much more contemporary way. And that is really our goal.
On June 25, Hershey completed the acquisition of Lily’s, a low-sugar confectionery maker, for $ 425 million.
“Lily’s is a great addition to Hershey’s growing portfolio of better-for-you snack brands, and we’re excited to add this high growth, leading health brand and to get to work with its talented and innovative team. Said Chuck Raup, President of the United States at Hershey. “Lily’s popular low-sugar products fit perfectly into our multi-pronged Better-For-You snack strategy and will complement our signature Hershey’s Better-for-You offerings perfectly. “
See the slideshow of new products from Hershey.