7 Hershey Brands Driving Sales

Hershey's logo

Following positive U.S. growth in fourth-quarter 2019, the Hershey Co. will employ unique flavors, targeted promotions and the latest additions to its portfolio to maintain that momentum.

The company’s fourth-quarter North American sales rose 3.8% to $1.81 billion, including a salty snacks portfolio that posted 11.3% volume growth, according to a Reuters report.

Fueling those numbers was the company’s recent acquisitions of nutrition-bar maker One Brands, Skinny Pop maker Amplify Snack Brands and Smart Puffs maker Pirate Brands.

Meanwhile, product line extensions will court millennial consumers. It’s been well-documented that millennials are inveterate snackers, with many passing on three squares a day in favor of multiple snacking occasions. In addition, millennials, born between 1981 and 1995, have increased their candy buying propensity by at least 30% since 2015, Erica Norton, senior director of consumer insights at Hershey’s, told Convenience Store Products.

“Millennials continue to join the workforce and are using this newfound financial independence to experience with different kinds of chocolate and candies that are a reflection of their growing maturity,” Norton said. They often seek confectionery snacks “with bold combinations and exotic and international influences.”

Read on for a snapshot of seven Hershey brands that have helped propel its sales growth and that cater to multiple snacking occasions.

Photographs courtesy of The Hershey Co.

1. SkinnyPop

Skinny pop mini cakes

Hershey’s fourth-quarter sales increase in its salty snack segment was accomplished on the strength of performers such as SkinnyPop popcorn and Pirate’s booty cheese puffs. On the SkinnyPop front, the brand was busy: It introduced three new popcorn flavors in Sweet and Salty Kettle Popped Popcorn, Real Butter and Twist of Lime. The brand also recently branched off into the popcorn chip segment with its Mini Cakes and now has five SKUs.

2. Popped Snack Mix

Hershey's popped snack mix

One new snack product launched in 2019 was Hershey’s Popped Snack Mix, a sweet and salty mix of popcorn, chocolate, almonds and pretzels. The mix is sold in 8-ounce resealable pouches.

3. Reese’s

Reese's chocolate lovers

Hershey and its retail partners experienced great success in 2019 with the activation of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers and Reese’s Chocolate Lovers limited edition program, which was developed on the strength of feedback from Reese’s consumers who articulated the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate. “This was the ideal campaign to drive excitement for the overall Reese’s brand, with strong sales for the limited-edition as well as the everyday Reese’s items via quality merchandising in-store,” Ryan Brice, senior manager of shopper marketing for the c-store channel for Hershey, told Convenience Store Products.

4. Brookside

brookside crunchy clusters

Millennials like to sample confections with bold combinations and exotic, international influences, says Norton of Hershey. This happens to be the Brookside brand’s wheelhouse. Touting flavors such as acai, pomegranate and goji, Brookside’s website explains that “these aren’t your everyday fruit flavors. Who would dare wrap them in a delicious ball of dark chocolate? We would. And we did.”

5. Take5

Take 5

During the third quarter of the 2020 Super Bowl, Reese’s ran a commercial for its Take5 bar, which was introduced in 2004. This year’s 30-second spot spoke about how most people aren’t aware the Take5 brand even exists, Jill Baskin, Hershey’s chief marketing officer, told Forbes. Baskin said awareness of Take5 has been low in recent years, and that the commercial acted as a “product demonstration ad” to allow people to “tell someone directly what’s in this bar and [that it’s] so great-tasting without being boring.” In 2019, Hershey rebranded the five-layer bar as Reese’s Take5.

6. One Brands

One bars

Hershey finalized its acquisition of nutrition-bar maker One Brands at the end of September. Hershey Chief Growth Officer Mary Beth West said in a statement, “One’s portfolio of great-tasting nutrition bars, with indulgent flavors such as Birthday Cake, Maple Glazed Doughnut and Peanut Butter Pie, will be a strong strategic fit within our overall innovation snacking powerhouse vision.” Based in Charlotte, N.C., One Brands offers protein bars that contains 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.

7. Pirate Brands

Pirate's Booty logo

Hershey acquired Pirate Brands in fall of 2018 from B&G Foods for $420 million in an all-cash deal. It gave Hershey the rights to snack brands such as Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings.