The Hershey Company Showcases Category-Leading Innovations At NCA Sweets & Snacks Expo

May 21, 2014

CHICAGO, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the confection category leader in North America, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) listens closely to consumer preferences and tastes, as seen in the company's new, innovative products debuting this week at the National Confectioners Association annual Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. The company's consumer-centric approach to product development continues to fuel the innovation pipeline for our brands. New products unveiled at the show include Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, Brookside Crunchy Clusters and Reese's Spreads.

The company's knowledge driven approach and consumer insights to drive product development is evident in the innovative Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews. The new product is a first-of-its-kind mint and gum duo, providing an icy cool blast of freshness in a quickly dissolving chew. The new product is an evolution of the popular Ice Breakers brand and will be available to the public beginning September 2014. Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews matches an evolving consumer need, as traditional gum is on the decline, but the mint category is growing.

"Consumers are at the center of all that we do at Hershey, and their preferences, needs and tastes drive our product innovation," said Michael Wege, Senior Vice President, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company. "These new products are a direct result of a creative and innovative industry-changing pipeline that focuses on consumer trends. With more than 80 brands around the world, The Hershey Company responds to diverse consumer needs to create a robust portfolio of innovative chocolate and confection products."

Also debuting at the expo are the new Brookside Crunchy Clusters, a textured twist on the beloved chocolate-covered, fruit-flavored snack. The product features clusters of crispy multigrain and soft fruit-flavored centers with sweetened cranberry bits, covered in smooth dark chocolate. This line extension builds on the success of the Brookside brand, which was the fastest growing dark chocolate brand in 2013, and will build on this momentum through the combination of innovation, expanded distribution, and continued brand support.

In addition, following the success of the Hershey's Spreads launch is the addition of new Reese's Spreads. Reese's Spreads is the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups fans love in spreadable form.

These new offerings come on the heels of Hershey's other 2014 product developments, including Lancaster Soft Crèmes, the soft, rich and creamy caramels, and the return of the full-size Krackel Bar. The beloved candy bar available in Hershey's Miniatures Assortment bags has returned to standard size for the first time since 1997.

The list of innovative Hershey's products being announced at the Sweets & Snacks show includes:

  • Hershey's Spreads Snacksters Graham Dippers – An on-the-go package that combines Hershey's Spreads Chocolate with Graham Dippers. Available in a 1.8-oz. package (SRP $1.49). Available May 2014.
  • York Minis – The uniquely refreshing taste of cool peppermint and smooth dark chocolate is now bite-sized. York Minis will be available in 2.5-oz. King Size (SRP $1.69) and 8-oz. Stand-up Pouch (SRP $3.29). Available May 2014.
  • Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews – New Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews provide an icy cool blast of freshness in a quickly dissolving chew. Available in a 0.8-oz. innovative slide pack, Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews come in Spearmint and Peppermint flavors (SRP $1.99). AvailableSeptember 2014.
  • Brookside Crunchy Clusters – New Brookside Crunchy Clusters are clusters of crispy multigrain and soft fruit-flavored centers with sweetened cranberry bits, covered in smooth dark chocolate. Brookside Crunchy Clusters will be available in 2.5-oz. (SRP $2.29) and 5-oz. (SRP $3.89) bags. Available December 2014.
  • Reese's Spreads – The perfect combination of the taste of chocolate and peanut butter is now spreadable. New Reese's Spreads brings togetherReese's peanut butter and the taste of chocolate to make snacking even more delicious. Available in a 13-oz. jar (SRP $3.89). Available December 2014.
  • Twizzlers Pull 'n' Peel Fruit Punch Twists – New Twizzlers Pull 'n' Peel Fruit Punch Twists combines grape, cherry and orange flavors for a mixed twist. The product will be available in 2-oz. (SRP $.59) and 11-oz. (SRP $1.75) bags. Available December 2014.
  • Twizzlers Strawberry Lemonade Filled Twists – Strawberry and Lemonade flavors combine to deliver a mellow strawberry flavor plus a tart, sweet hint of lemon flavor in the newest addition to the Twizzlers brand. Available in 1.9-oz. (SRP $.59) and 11-oz. (SRP $1.75) bags. Available December 2014.

About The Hershey Company 
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 13,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company, which has more than 80 brands around the world that drive over $7.1 billion in annual revenues, includes such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey is focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to build its competitive advantage in North America. Additionally, Hershey is poised to expand its portfolio into categories beyond confectionery, finding new ways to bring goodness to people everywhere.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For 120 years, Hershey has been committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. This means contributing to a better life for its employees, consumers, communities, and, ultimately, creating a bright future for children in need. This commitment is exemplified by Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company. The children who attend the school receive education, housing, and medical care — thriving as direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.