Hershey says data shows that says the “better-for-you” section of candies and confection as a whole make up just six percent of total chocolate and candy sales across the country. And even at that level, a tiny part of the industry — which covers candy, mint, and gum — is valued at $1.3 billion dollars a year. So if candy manufacturers doubled down and offered more “healthy alternatives” to existing candy options, they could be looking at sales of more than $4 billion; this, in turn, would give Hershey’s a revenue stream that could contribute between $500 million to $1 billion.
To date, most of Hershey’s better-for-you offers have covered making portions smaller. But the company is now looking to do more. “People are still going to eat a Reese’s Cup — we know that. People are still going to choose Reese’s Eggs at Easter — we know that,” Kristen Riggs, the company’s chief growth officer tells Food Dive. “But if we have solutions like Zero Sugar Reese’s, Thin Reese’s, Organic Reese’s — then all of a sudden we start to meet a broader set of needs.”
This might sound like the best part: Hershey wants to find ways to cut the amount of sugar it uses in its product range and rebrand its “no-sugar” options as a “sugar-free” line. We know it may still take some time for these new products to hit our store shelves — but just a note to Hershey: we’re waiting.