Snacks & Candy

Hershey Launches Organic Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

First move in larger strategy to grow the better-for-you chocolate category
Photograph courtesy of Hershey Co.

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. recently shared key strategies to expand and grow the better-for-you (BFY) chocolate category with new and differentiated capabilities.

Organic Launch

It’s first move: the launch of Organic Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Launching this week in dark and milk chocolate, the new product comes in a 1.4-ounce pack with a suggested retail price of $1.99.

"When consumers go down the candy aisle or shop online, we want everyone to have an option to choose from,” said Eric Newton, brand manager Reese's Organic, “and we aren't settling until everyone can enjoy a Reese's product.”

Organic Reese'sPeanut Butter Cups are certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Bigger Picture

Bigger picture, Hershey said better-for-you snackers represent a variety of interests, from those seeking portion-control to plant-based ingredients. And when it comes to candy, sugar reduction is a shared interest, the company said. Hershey will expand its future portfolio to deliver more reduced sugar, organic and plant-based alternatives while also continuing to build its classic array of  products.

Behind this portfolio growth is a multi-pronged strategy that will continue to advance Hershey's leadership in confection and snacking.  

This long-term strategy includes:

  • Core brand packaging and platforms, continuing to offer portion-controlled treats in a variety of pack types.
  • Innovation extending core brands to better-for-you offerings and renovating existing products to extend choices.
  • Research and development focusing internal efforts and external investments to develop future sugar reduction capabilities and recipes that deliver great tastes and textures while meeting the changing needs of some snackers.
  • Partnerships and licensing, teaming up with top better-for-you brand partners to codevelop and launch new offerings.
  • Mergers and acquisitions that require evaluating a pipeline of acquisition opportunities to deliver incremental occasions and access for consumers that Hershey core brands don't reach today.

“Our consumers rely on us to understand their needs for everyday moments, seasons and special occasions, offering high-quality and great-tasting candy that's accessible for everyone,” said Kristen Riggs, chief growth officer at Hershey. “Expanding our expertise, building new capabilities and delivering more choices in better-for-you confection is the next big category opportunity for us to lead.”

Next Steps

As part of its BFY confection strategy, Hershey has partnered with sweetener company ASR Group to co-lead an equity investment in Bonumose Inc., a startup company with breakthrough innovations in plant-based food ingredients, including rare and natural sugars. The investment is part of Hershey's C7 Ventures, which enables new avenues for growth through capital investments in disruptive or emerging platforms focused on new occasions, technologies and go-to-market opportunities. This investment enables a research and development partnership to advance the tastes of not only zero- and reduced-sugar chocolate, but also Hershey's broader BFY snack offerings going forward, the company said.

"We are setting the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in the better-for-you category at Hershey," said Hershey President, U.S. Chuck Raup. "Everything we do is led by our consumers and our commitment to deliver only the most delicious snacks.  We are driven to provide more choices to ensure they enjoy our brands and products in ways that are right for them."

The Hershey Co., based in Hershey, Pa., has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $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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