Whitestown, IN

Hershey's Sweet Image is Going to Get Salty

Tracy Stengel

Photo byKfarren23/Wikimedia Commons

The Hershey Company has an array of sweet tasting products ranging from Twizzlers licorice, Kisses, Almond Joy, and of course their milk chocolate candy bars. Now, Hershey is embracing more of their salty side.

This week, the Hershey Company announced it is acquiring two Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing plants in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Whitestown, Indiana. Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing is a co-packing and co-manufacturer of Hershey’s SkinnyPop popcorn brand.

“Hershey has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, stemming from a combination of successful strategy execution and an increase in more snacking occasions among consumers,” said Kristen Riggs, President, Salt Snacks, for the Hershey Company, in a recent press release. “In fact, SkinnyPop has been number one in retail sales growth for ready-to-eat popcorn over the last three years.”

This acquisition will allow Hershey to strengthen the internal supply chain with its suppliers and co-manufacturers. Hershey is synonymous with chocolate, but they are gaining ground in the salty snack sector. Last year, Hershey acquired Pretzels, Inc. in order to broaden their salty snacks manufacturing capabilities.

“In response to consumer snacking trends, we continue to evolve our supply chain, making significant investments in the size, scale and capabilities of our network, improving resiliency while we continue to strengthen existing supplier relationships,” said Jason Reiman, Chief Supply Chain Officer for the Hershey Company.

Reiman continued with, “Our acquisition of Weaver’s two facilities is a perfect example of how we’re investing to bring added capacity and strength across our portfolio of brands well into the future.”

Weaver is a family-owned company that has been operating for almost 100 years. They have a vast selection of popcorn flavors that are delivered worldwide.

“Participating in the growth of SkinnyPop has been a rewarding experience for our team members,” said Jason Kashman, Chief Executive Officer for Weaver Popcorn. “Hershey is acquiring two best-in-class popcorn manufacturing operations that will enable continued growth in volume and quality, with teams at each location that have an unrivaled expertise.”

Hershey employs about 19,000 people globally and has more than 100 brand names including Reese’s, Jolly Rancher, and Kit Kat.

Fun fact: Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey Chocolate Company, quit school when he was 13. At 15, he became an apprentice for a master confectioner. After four years, Hershey decided to open his own candy shop and had to borrow $150 from his aunt. After two failed attempts to run a successful candy shop, he founded the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1894 — caramel was his favorite candy. In 1900, he sold the company for 1 million dollars.

The Hershey Chocolate Company was a subsidiary of the Lancaster Caramel Company and it wasn’t included in the sale. Hershey launched Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars in 1900.

What is your favorite Hershey snack? Do you prefer salty or sweet? I’d love to read your opinions in the comments!

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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