Snacks & Candy

Hershey Insights Centers Reopen With New Design

Capabilities include virtual and in-person collaborations
Hershey Insights Centers
Photograph courtesy of The Hershey Co.

HERSHEY, Pa. — After being delayed by the pandemic, The Hershey Co. in December unveiled its renovated Hershey Insights Centers in Hershey, Pa., including a Global Consumer Insights Center (GCIC), Mobile Consumer Insights Center (MCIC) and the continuation of its Hershey Insights Network (HIN). The state-of-the-art facility is intended to offer convenience-store retailers and other retailers opportunities to enhance planning strategy with shopper insights, retail trends and technologies in the changing world of commerce.

“We’re very proud to build upon Hershey’s legacy of category leadership in a new and innovative way,” said Ryan Shaffer, senior manager of Hershey Insights Centers. “Showcasing our capabilities in both in-store and digital executions in such a tangible way allows us to deepen customer relationships and explore strategies for growth through an unprecedented experience.”

Global Customer Insights Center (GCIC)

The newly renovated 19,000-square-foot GCIC invites retailers to return in-person for interactive and customizable experiences. Lab stations in the GCIC include pay points, seasonal solutions and in-aisle merchandising strategies.

“Guests to the new GCIC will find content specifically for those channels, complete with a full, 12-foot-long candy aisle where we talk about our ‘strike zone’ optimization and merchandising strategies,” Shaffer wrote in a blog post on “Customers can browse a full queue line and self-checkout to explore our insights on consumers’ path to purchase in small format stores. We also share our insights around foodservice bundling designed to help our retailer partners build baskets off of their trip driver items.”

Mobile Customer Innovation Center (MCIC)

The company renovated the MCIC, a 53-foot expandable tractor trailer that seats 15 people, from its first launch in 2018. This month, the MCIC began traveling to customers across the country to bring them the Hershey Insights Center experience.

“The MCIC is a game-changer for some of our smaller or regional retail partners that cannot dedicate the time to travel to Hershey,” said Shaffer. “We’re able to bring our industry-leading insights literally to their front door with a mobile experience that rivals our collaboration space in Hershey.”

The Hershey Insights Network (HIN)

Hershey launched the HIN during the pandemic to connect retailers to the Insights Center in a digital format. It leads customers virtually through the GCIC with Microsoft Teams and a live, newsroom-style set-up, including a multicamera studio and green-screen capabilities.

“With the broadcast capabilities of the HIN, we’re able to bring not just the most senior executives into planning sessions, but a customer’s functional experts in everything from digital to media to operations,” Shaffer said. “These new ways to connect with our customers offer a new level of holistic planning and collaboration to unlock growth across the retail experience from the physical to the digital shelf.”

The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., has more than 80 brands around the world that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty

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