Snacks & Candy

Hershey Mulling Kiss Revamp

Details of packaging, marketing changes coming later this year

HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Co. hopes to boost Hershey's Kiss sales by rethinking its packaging and marketing strategies, according to an Associated Press report. David West, the company's new CEO and president, said Hershey will also consider changes to the Hershey Miniatures and Nuggets lines.

Hershey celebrated the 100th anniversary of its chocolate Kiss last year with a postage stamp and other festivities. Yet sales were down 7% in the fourth-quarter and nearly 4% for the year, said the report.

In recent years, the company has extended the classic candy—traditionally available [image-nocss] in just plain or almond—with varieties including peanut butter, caramel and dark chocolate.

West said that he blames competition, and a growing taste for premium chocolate, for the sales slide. He also said he believes that customers want more contemporary merchandising and packaging.

West did not elaborate, saying details will be announced later in 2008.

Hershey, the nation's largest candymaker, has also been raising prices, with two price jumps in the past year. The company attributed the price hikes to the rising cost of fuel, milk and cocoa.

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