Wow...big news week for Hershey. At least this news is specifically around two of our favorite Hershey bars - PayDay Barsand Skor Bars- and can help us out at the gas pump.
Hershey just kicked off the promotion, called "Cash 4 Gas" - where specially marked packaging for PayDays and Skors will offer consumers chances to win a variety of gas-related prizes. There are 50 grand prizes of cash for gas, including one year of gas valued at $2,340 and the less exciting but still appreciated $45 cash toward a tank of gas. All in all the promo will give away more than $360,000.
Hershey goes on the offensive to combat Mars / Wrigley merger
Hershey says its planning to spend more to promote its brands to better compete for candy buyers' when Mars buys Wrigley. More specifically, they'll up advertising spending by 20% in 2008 and 2009. In addition, they're also making changes to their supply chain and marketing to combat rising costs for cocoa, energy and milk, and losses of sales to Mars.
"Hershey cut its long-term earnings growth target on Tuesday and laid out a strategic plan to boost its biggest brands in the United States with more advertising and tighten development of new products."
Said another way, this means Hershey is going to focus on what they're best at...chocolate bars...instead of all the other cookies and various line extensions. Smart move if you ask us.
"David West, who was promoted to chief executive from chief financial officer last year, acknowledged that attempts to move into areas like cookies and snack bars hurt its mainstay products like Hershey bars and Reese's peanut butter cups."
That's the best we can come up with for these very...well...forgettable chocolates.
I got these with the highest of hopes. I like Hershey's Kisses and I love truffles - these should be awesome. But when I unsheathed these chocolates from their foil wrapper, what I saw were what looked like small, brown baby bottle nipples. The tip of the Kiss is much thicker that the normal Hershey's Kiss - totally screws with an iconic brand shape (think Coke's hourglass bottle, Heinz Ketchup bottles, and the Hershey Kiss). Add to that a smell that is reminiscent of canned chocolate icing and you have a pretty unappealing situation.
The taste was VERY milky - which in the case of Hershey's chocolate is to say "sour milky." And there is no taste differential between the coating and the truffle filling. But at least that lack of distinction is consistent, there is virtually no difference in texture either. When you have a great truffle, there is a distinct difference between the harder coating that gives way to a softer, creamier filling. Not so in this case. The outside melts quickly, there is no break between the coating and filling, and the texture of both is nearly identical.
Overall, don't bother. If you want a really good, quality, mass-market truffle, try Lindt instead.
We blogged about the Hershey's Bliss parties a little bit ago. Here's another shot of the party pack one would get to run these house parties. According to PROMO, looks like they're working - more than 129,000 people have attended the parties, plus 22,000 digital photos and 15,000 blog entries.
Hershey's is making sure they're leveraging word-of-mouth marketing by making themed house parties the centerpiece for its kickoff of its new Hershey's Bliss chocolate line.
The "Taste of Bliss" parties mesh naturally with the brand's message and female target audience, says Hershey Director of Product Publicity Jody Cook. Rather than being touted as an end-of-day reward or escape, Bliss is positioned as a part of "celebrating and appreciating the everyday joys of life"--and for many women, time with family and friends is high up on the list of those joys, Cook points out.
In addition to samples of the three Bliss varieties, hosts received goodie bags for attendees. Those interested in having a party where attendees created their own "Blissful Memories Scrapbooks" could access downloads of scrapbooking supplies. Other hosts chose to use a "Bliss or That" trivia game theme.
The 10,000 Bliss parties held over the weekend of April 25, just as the chocolates were hitting store shelves, drew more than 129,000 attendees and resulted in postings of over 22,000 digital photos and 15,000 blog entries.
People familiar with the matter said the two companies are not in talks now. But Hershey executives Monday were examining potential next steps, and the two could resume talks after Cadbury makes a previously planned move of separating its drinks business from its candy business on Friday, according to one of these people.
Ever get all excited to buy your favorite candy bar at the check out counter, you can't wait to rip it open and dig in, you finally do and all you find is a stale, crumbly, sometimes dry mass of chocolate, nougat or whatever? Have no fear, The Consumerist has filled us in with the magic codes to avoid stale candy from Hershey's and M&M/Mars:
For M&Ms and Mars candy, there's usually a 10 digit code of numbers and letters, but you only need to worry about the first three. The first number is the last number in the year (8 means 2008, 7 means 2007, etc) and the next two numbers stand for the week of the year (so, a number like 804 would be the fourth week of 2008: February 2008)
For Hershey's candy, there's a 2 character code for the month and year. The year is like the other code, with the number being the last number in the year, the second character is a letter that represents the month. A = January, B = February, and so on. So a code like 9A would mean that the candy expires January of 2009.
Hershey honors Earnhardt with collector-edition bars
2008 is the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500, and the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's 1998 Daytona 500 victory. To honor the legend, Hershey is launching four collector-edition candy bars. The bars will sport iconic images of Earnhardt and the "No. 3" he made famous. Read the whole press release on the NASCAR website.
Interestingly enough, Earnhardt's son, Dale Jr. got his own candy bar as well, the Big 'Mo bar from RJ Palmer, which we covered back in February.
Need a creative Easter basket stuffer this year? We like the Reese's Pieces Carrot Bag. Same sweet, creamy, peanut-buttery taste you expect from Reese's Pieces, but the fun part is the bag. Its a triangular bag that full of all orange candies. The top of the bag is green, so when its tied it looks like a carrot. What bunny wouldn't love one of these carrots!