Please do a press search for recent news on the Hershey Company.
Hello! Thank you for your question about recent news about The Hershey Corporation. The short answer is that during the last year Hershey's has had no acquisitions or mergers, has a new executive team, and has started its push into e-commerce. Read below for a deep dive of my findings.
THE HERSHEY CORPORATION
The Hershey Corporation announced a new executive leadership team in February 2017. This team included President Todd Tillemans, CEO Michelle Buck, Chief Growth Officer Mary Beth West. Susanna Zhu also joined the Hershey team as procurement officer last year. West and Zhu will be focused on the company's growth strategy including mergers and acquisitions. According to Crunchbase, Hershey's has not had any acquisitions since April 2016 when it acquired Ripple Brand Collective and before that with its acquisition of KRAVE jerky in January 2015. Zhu says she will be focused on progressing relationships with Hershey's top suppliers and risk management strategies as well.
Just last month an article was written about Hershey's decision to focus on online retail as a potential growth area. CEO Michelle Buck spoke about collaborating with brick-and-mortar retailers and Hershey's focus on meeting the needs of online shoppers. She noted that among brick-and-mortar partners there was a huge interest in expanding into the online field. Many companies today, like Hershey, are trying to stay in the game as online shopping becomes more prominent and companies like Amazon have disrupted the traditional landscape. Hershey's push into e-commerce shows that not only are brick-and-mortar companies feeling the need to adjust, but so are companies across the pipeline including suppliers and back-end service providers. President Tillemans said, "we're focused on partnering with retailers and investing in capabilities to unlock growth for our brands online".
Hershey also recently opened its Hershey Labs at the Pennovation Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The lab space will be used to develop new and unexpected technologies designed to keep Hershey at the forefront, as well as empower them to meet their customer's needs, now and in the future. A Hershey Lab team member notes that their greatest challenge will be determining the next big competitive threat for Hershey. They go on to say they plan to develop disruptive technologies in order to "create a new market and value network" by creating prototypes that are unlike traditional models. These innovations will "range in scope from consumer research, new product development, people analytics, and advancements in manufacturing and supply chains".
It seems Hershey is creating new markets for itself with last months' development of its first popcorn brand, Popwell. The company is trying to expand its snack portfolio and ready-to-eat popcorn is a good place to dive in, as it has grown 9.68% to $1.28bn since the previous year. Hershey is also making a multi-million dollar investment in new machinery at its Virginia center. This investment is aimed at increasing production capacity and it also creates many new jobs for the area.
One thing is for certain, Hershey is here to stay. They, like many companies, are focusing on the rapidly changing landscape and the shift to online sales. With a new executive leadership team, new lab space and machinery, it looks as though there will be no slowing down the giant, although they will be busy coming up with innovative ways to hopefully disrupt the market in their favor.