Hershey eyes larger bite of premium chocolate segment in India

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2020 Published on January 15, 2020

To take ‘Kisses’ nationwide; launch moulded chocolate bar range

Global snacks company Hershey is ramping up its portfolio in a bid to grab a bigger share of the chocolate segment in India. The company, which has been test-marketing its global chocolate brand Kisses in southern India so far, is now expanding the product’s retail presence across the country. In a strategic move, it has also launched its moulded chocolate bar range — a format which accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the Indian chocolate market.

Additionally, Hershey has decided to rebrand the Brookside chocolate range as ‘Hershey’s Exotic Dark’ to leverage on the brand’s strong equity in the country.

Herjit Bhalla, Managing Director, Hershey India, told BusinessLine: “We have built our India business in a unique manner by focussing on category adjacencies with syrups, chocolate spreads, milk shakes and cocoa powder. Now, we believe the time is right to focus on building a stronger presence in the chocolate category with our extensive premium portfolio.”

Hershey’s Kisses and Exotic Dark chocolate range are priced at ₹50 for smaller packs and ₹140 for bigger ones. The smaller packs of Hershey’s bar range are priced at ₹55-60, depending on the variant, while the bigger ones are priced at ₹130-140.

These products will be available in modern trade stores and premium general trade stores across 70 cities beside e-commerce platforms, the company said.

Bhalla said that over the past three years, the company has gained a better understanding of the Indian chocolate market, which comes with its unique set of challenges, especially with regard to the need for a robust cold-chain infrastructure.

Replying to a query on the move to enter the highly competitive chocolate bar segment, he said: “Indian consumers are looking for new textures, flavours and exotic ingredients in this segment. We believe the Hershey’s Bar range is well positioned to meet the consumption needs of the fast-evolving Indian consumers.”

In 2017, the company had committed to invest $50 million in India over five years and said that these investment plans are on track. It recently doubled the manufacturing capacity for Hershey’s Kisses to support its national rollout.

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Published on January 15, 2020
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