New Products on Tap from Hershey Co. in 2014

Candy maker reports 5% U.S. sales growth, 0.7 points market-share gain

York Minis are among the New Products on Tap from Hershey Co. in 2014

HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Co. announced its third-quarter results this week, celebrating a 5% growth in its candy, mint and gum sales for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 5, 2013, for all outlets combined plus convenience store channels, which accounts for about 90% of the candy company's U.S. retail business.

“Organic sales growth of 6.6% this quarter, as has been the case all year, was driven by volume, resulting in solid gross margin expansion and earnings per share-diluted growth,” said John P. Bilbrey, president and CEO. “Our performance continues to reflect the strategy we outlined over the last year that focuses on investments in our core brands, innovation pipeline and international markets that provide us with the greatest opportunities for growth.”

Hershey's third-quarter net sales increased 6.1%. Volume was a 6.1-point benefit in the quarter driven by core brand growth and new products in U.S. and key international markets.

Hershey’s U.S. candy, mint and gum retail takeaway for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 5, 2013, in the expanded All Outlet Combined plus convenience store channels, which accounts for approximately 90 percent of our U.S. retail business, was up 5.0%, resulting in a market share gain of 0.7 points. Overall, Hershey’s marketplace results were balanced with market-share gains in the major channels.

“Over the remainder of the year, we have many exciting products, promotions, programs and merchandising in place across all channels, and our major customers have indicated their expectations for a solid confectionery holiday season,” Bilbrey said. “The fourth quarter will also benefit from the shipments of some select 2014 new products to retailers that will occur in December. Therefore, we expect solid fourth quarter net sales growth that will result in a full-year 2013 net sales increase of about 7%.”

Hershey’s 2014 pipeline of new products includes York Minis, Hershey’s spreads and Lancaster Soft Crèmes caramels.

Meanwhile, the Hershey Co. announced two more of its plants have achieved Zero-Waste-to-Landfill (ZWL) status. The company now has six U.S. plants that no longer dispose routine waste into landfills. With the addition of the Y&S Plant in Lancaster, Pa., and the Robinson Plant in Robinson, Ill., the Hershey Co. has exceeded its goal to convert five plants to ZWL by 2015 well ahead of schedule.