The Hershey Co. is testing a plant-based chocolate bar line in select markets, according to a blog post at the candy giant’s website. Called Hershey's Oat Made, the new line is offered Extra Creamy Almond and Sea Salt and Classic Dark Chocolate varieties.
Hershey's Oat Made bars will be available at select stores through 2022 in limited quantities to see how the new product performs in the real world. The new chocolate bar uses oats as an ingredient to improve upon plant-based chocolate options already on the market.
“We chose locations based on a ‘shopper fit’ to reach a segment interested in plant-based offerings,” wrote Dan Mohnshine, the team leader of Hershey’s strategic growth platform, on the company's blog.
“Working with our retailer partners we are able to cordon off a group of stores to carry the products while having a like group of stores be our control set that does not carry the products,” he added.
Hershey has been focused on developing better-for-you confectionery products and is poised to become a dominant player in the BFY space, which includes organic, low-sugar, sugar-free and bite-sized versions of its classic candy. Its recently acquisition of Lily's, a premium, plant-based low-sugar chocolate brand, is a big part of the strategy.