Hershey’s spreads, syrups sell like hot cakes as consumers warm up to home baking

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on July 12, 2020 Published on July 12, 2020

Herjit Bhalla, Managing Director, Hershey India

Chocolate category sees a decline

Global snacks company Hershey India said it witnessed strong uptick in demand for its grocery portfolio consisting of syrups, spreads and cocoa powder, as consumers seek comfort in baking and cooking at home in Covid-19 times. The company, known for brands Hershey’s, Sofit and Jolly Rancher, said it will keep looking at opportunities in line with evolving consumer trends to grow its grocery and chocolate portfolio.

In-home consumption

Herjit Bhalla, Managing Director, Hershey India, said, “Sales of Hershey’s grocery portfolio in June nearly doubled the average monthly run rate in the first quarter of this year. As families are spending more time together and cooking at home there has been a significant surge in consumers looking for home baking and cooking recipes. We see sustained growth opportunities for our grocery portfolio as in-home consumption trends will remain strong for the next few months.” This prompted the company to launch its #HappyAtHome With Hershey’s digital campaign in June sharing over 100 recipes created by celebrity chef Ranveer Brar using Hershey’s syrups, spreads and cocoa powder. “We have been monitoring the evolving consumption trends and focusing on ways to address new consumption and shopping behaviour,” he added.

However, the company said that the chocolate category has been adversely impacted, due to sharp decline in out-of-home consumption, among other factors such as complex supply chain structures. While nearly 20 per cent of chocolate sales come from out-of-home consumption, chocolates also require cooling solutions at stores. Many retailers switched off their coolers during April and May.

In January, the company had introduced its global brand Hershey’s Kisses and Hershy’s Bars in India, with a strategic focus on grabbing a bigger share of the premium chocolate segment. “We have started witnessing improvement in chocolate segment in June and will continue focusing on growing our chocolate portfolio,” Bhalla added.

The company has tied up with companies such as Swiggy and Dunzo to grow the reach of its products at the hyperlocal level. It has also been re-purposing talent from its marketing, sales and other functions to support e-commerce channel. “ So in terms of our supply chain, we will focus on strengthening the reach of our products through a combination of kirana and kirana plus model besides the modern trade stores. We are also ramping up focus on e-commerce channel,”he said. “Consumers today are seeking more value and being cautious about stepping out by reducing the number of shopping trips and thus looking at bigger packs. “We are also focussing on the larger-pack portfolios,” Bhalla added.

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Published on July 12, 2020
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