Hershey Diversifies

Chocolate company branches out beyond the bar
Hershey So Fit

Close your eyes.

Think about Hershey. What do you see? What I see, and what countless others would see if put to the same test, is the ubiquitous, tiled chocolate bar. But what if I told you the company known for its Kisses and bars was branching out into another business—a business that wasn’t chocolate-related?

It’s true. Hershey will soon launch its SoFit brand, a line of fruit and protein squeezes, snack squares, and nut and seed packets. The launch will initially occur regionally, and SoFit products are already available on Amazon.

Of course, this move isn’t unprecedented; the new brand joins other better-for-you choices under the Hershey umbrella such as Brookside chocolate and Krave jerky products.

“We understand that consumers’ relationship with food is changing,” Marcel Nahm, vice president of Hershey’s snack division, told Business Insider last week. “Consumers are more than ever interested in knowing what they put into their body, where does it come from, how does it get there. … Consumers want more and more choices.”

And there are countless other CPG companies lining up to offer your customers exactly that—more choices.

This year, Mars joined companies such as Kind and Clif in the nutritional and functional snack bar sphere with its Goodnessknows snack squares, as did Hershey with its Brookside bars.

Mondelez recently announced a plan to focus 70% of its new product-development efforts over the course of the next five years on healthier options.

The push for healthy goes beyond new products too: Campbell’s just unveiled a plan to identify genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on all product packaging in an effort to increase transparency, and to be “more open and honest about its food.”

For Hershey, this seems like just the beginning in what is sure to become a very robust staple of in-house snack brands. Nahm indicated to Business Insider there are plans in the works to acquire or develop more to fit the healthy-snack niche.

"Many people don't really know where this brand or that brand comes from," Nahm told Business Insider when asked if people will trust Hershey to be healthy. "For us, brands individually need to connect with people emotionally."