Hail to the Chocolate

Hershey's unveils its new Kissables with presidential style

LAS VEGAS -- Two men wearing black suits and sunglasses flanked a podium as "Hail to the Chief" played over a sound system in "The White House." After a brief introduction, the assembled media awaited the comments of the speaker who appeared from behind a colorful curtain. Was this the beginning of a presidential press conference to announce some national initiative that might affect the world? Not exactly, but it was the dramatic setting fashioned by the The Hershey Co. on Wednesday to introduce the company's newest product: Kissables.

Kissables are [image-nocss] miniature candy-coated versions of Hershey Kisses. They come in five bright colors and sold in single-serve packaging. The launch was announced at "The White House," a scaled-down replica of the real McCoy in Las Vegas, during the NACS Show.

"Hershey's Kissables candies deliver the power of Kisses to new retail channels, such as convenience stores, and the packaging means consumers can enjoy them on the go on any occasion," said Jay Cooper, vice president of chocolate for The Hershey Co. (and the ersatz president in the above soliloquy). "Hershey's Kissables candies bring this iconic brand to new occasions and new retail outlets, and besides, they're just plain fun-able."

Cooper said the multinational launchto include North America, South America and Asiaof the new product will add a new dimension to the Kisses brand presence in the convenience store segment.

In addition, Kissables will take to the track at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18, 2006, as the title sponsor of the season-opening race of the 2006 NASCAR Busch Seriesthe Hershey's Kissables 300. The race will feature a specially painted Kissables Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing and driven by Kevin Harvick.