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Hershey Meets Consumers’ Demands For Wellness Options

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Shoppers in 2023 are making candy purchase choices based on the occasion and their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Consumer spending trends show that they want new options. A better-for-you (BFY) portfolio gives shoppers more opportunity to incorporate wellness into the snack foods they enjoy while maintaining the great taste and flavor they expect.

  • Seventy-one percent of consumers say living healthier lifestyles is important. 

The good news is that even motivated BFY consumers purchase conventional candy. Offering alternative choices is a basket builder and the two segments do not cannibalize each other. 

  • One hundred percent of all BYF candy shoppers also purchase conventional candy. 

Nearly three out of four health-conscious consumers say they are looking to limit or avoid sugar in their diets.

  • Sales of Hershey’s Zero Sugar products have tripled since the 2021 relaunch featuring new branding and pack types. 

There is a bountiful pipeline of innovations behind Lily’s including new chocolates, baking chips and gummies. 

  • Growth driven by Lily’s, Brookside and the Zero Sugar Platform helped Hershey garner a 19 percent share of the BFY CMG category. 

Consumers seek vegan options for health reasons but also to benefit the planet. Hershey meets the demand with Hershey’s new Plant Based Extra Creamy with Almonds and Sea Salt and Reese’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups. 

  • The vegan chocolate market is expected to expand at a compound growth rate of almost 15 percent from 2021 to 2028, outstripping the 5.2 percent CAGR for traditional chocolate over the last six years.

Sales growth of protein snacking is outpacing that of nutrition bars. With Hershey’s ONE and FULFIL, shoppers can enjoy a delicious protein snack that also aligns with health goals. 

  • Consumption in the $2 billion protein supplement category is expected to rise at a CAGR of 8 percent between 2022 and 2030. 

It’s time to evaluate space management. BFY is expanding faster than the total category but remains underspaced. The amount of wholesome products in stores has increased more than 20 percent since 2017, which indicates the growing demand for a greater array of choices.

Women are the sweet spot when it comes to purchasing BFY. Present products with healthier options at eye level, in the center of the aisle and within arms’ reach. Low-sugar or vegan products that are featured or displayed produce the greatest dollar lifts across all classes of trade. 

Placing BFY near conventional confections spurs discovery and sales conversion. Bringing products that fit Americans’ wellness goals into the conventional candy aisles can result in bigger baskets.

SOURCES: Hershey Consumer Insights 2023, Numerator Insights, Custom BFY / Non-BFY Product Groupings, IRI Grand View Research.

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