Hershey introduces better-for-you confectionery to travel retail
Confectionary brand Hershey is anticipating another strong year for the company in the Americas travel retail, according to its World Travel Retail Director, Rebecca Wong.
"Despite the challenges of the last few years, Hershey has been able to grow its share of the region considerably, and Wong – who officially took the reins at Hershey in January – is looking forward to building on this position of strength in 2023," says the company.
One of the main focuses for the region this year is to continue to develop Reese’s, a standout brand for Hershey that the company notes has performed extremely well in both travel retail and domestic markets over the past few years.
“According to a recent Barry Callebaut study, almost three in five North American consumers prefer chocolate that has multiple tastes and textures, and Reese’s – with it’s smooth, salty peanut butter filling and crunchy, sweet chocolate exterior – is the perfect combination,” says Wong.
As part of ambitious growth plans for the brand, Hershey introduced two new products to its travel retail portfolio at this year’s Summit of the Americas: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup THiNS in both milk and white chocolate, which are 40% thinner than regular Reese’s, with portions containing on average around 40 fewer calories.
“The quest for healthier lifestyles has led to a strong desire for better-for-you confectionery, but consumers have not given up their love of indulgence,” explains Wong. “For many confectionery consumers the solution is not to switch to a healthier option, but instead to cut back on the regular product. THiNS address this perfectly, allowing consumers to make a more mindful choice while keeping indulgent chocolate part of their routine.”
Consumers are actively looking for ways to manage their sugar intake, with better-for-you highlighted as the third largest demand moment for confectionery snacking in travel retail in Hershey’s Confectionery Segmentation Study that they pioneered with m1nd-set last year. Hershey is responding to demand by launching Lily’s into travel retail this year, a high-growth manufacturer of zero-added-sugar chocolate that the company acquired in 2021.
Quoting the same Barry Callebaut study, Hershey claims that almost half of North American consumers say they want chocolate to be low in sugar, up a staggering +17% versus two years ago, while the sugar-free chocolate market in the U.S. has doubled in the last five years, and is now worth over US$260 million.
“We recognize the role indulgence plays in confectionery, and delivering this will of course remain Hershey’s core focus. That said, better-for-you confectionery should be available for those who want it, and we believe duty free shoppers currently face a very limited offering,” says Wong.
“We are really excited about the prospects for both THiNS and Lily’s in travel retail; we believe both launches align perfectly with current consumer trends and will allow us to offer Hershey’s much-loved brands to an even wider range of shoppers.”