Friday, September 20, 2013

Business is Looking Sweet for Hershey Co.

Mmmmm.. Candy...
Candy maker Hershey's growth strategy is focused on key emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico.  Hershey will offer tailor-made varieties of it's brands, including an extra large tablet sized chocolate bar in Brazil and a new line of milk candies in China.  In addition, Hershey Co. announced last year that it will buy out India's Godrej Industries, Ltd and will explore expanding there as well.  A new convenient package design called "hand-to-mouth" is also in the works. In comparison to other candy makers, Hershey is late in expanding to international markets but according their CEO, John Bilbrey, this will be advantageous for them.  Per Bilbrey, "We're late but we're doing it an very elegant way."  I am not sure what he means by elegant,  as there is nothing elegant about a tablet sized chocolate bar and new packaging with a name WAY too similar to a contagious viral illness that commonly effects infants and children.  Bilbrey states that the new
re-sealable packaging has "outperformed our expectations."  I can not help but wonder what the expectations were- that people would actually use this feature?  Personally, when I rip open a package of Reeses Peanut Butter cups, I'm all in.  No need to reseal and save for later. Perhaps this would be an attractive feature in another country.... maybe in Brazil with the tablet sized chocolate bar?  I am just speculating.  The article does not go into detail about the Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease.. errr..I mean the "hand-to-mouth" package design and who exactly it is geared toward.

Besides fever and a general malaise, sufferers of hand, foot & mouth disease develop a very
unsightly rash on their faces, hands and feet.  Surely, I am not the only person who thought of
this immediately after reading about the new packaging, am I?

Hershey products will differ from place to place depending on local taste and texture preferences.  Herbs & spices will be modified or added and sizes and weights will be adjusted.  Dr. Z mentioned that the Chinese typically do not like foods that are too sweet, so I am sure the milk candies that they introduce will not be as sweet as many of their US offerings.  The candies introduced in China will be smaller too- as they would be too embarrassed to buy a giant tablet sized candy bar like the one being developed for Brazil.

Hershey's profits continue to rise in the US and Canada and shares are up.  By 2017, the hope is to have one quarter sales from business outside the US and Canada. 

Article: Hershey Works on Portion Control Big Time


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