Do Hershey Kisses need a makeover?

February 18, 2008 5:19:32 AM PST
Despite all the Hershey Kisses given out this past week for Valentine's Day, sales of the iconic candy are in a slump.

The Hershey Co. hopes to jump-start Kiss sales by rethinking its packaging and marketing strategies.

Hershey celebrated the 100th anniversary of its chocolate Kiss last year with a postage stamp and other festivities. Yet sales were down 7 percent in the fourth-quarter and nearly 4 percent for the year.

The decline comes even as the company in recent years tried to extend the classic candy - traditionally available in just plain or almond - with varieties including peanut butter, caramel and dark chocolate.

David West, the company's new chief executive and president, said Hershey will also consider changes to the Hershey Miniatures and Nuggets lines.

West blames competition - and a growing taste for premium chocolate - for the sales slide.

He also believes that customers want more contemporary merchandising and packaging. West did not elaborate, saying details will be announced later in 2008.

Hershey, the nation's largest candymaker, has also been raising prices, with two price jumps in the past year. The company attributed the price hikes to the rising cost of fuel, milk and cocoa.

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Information from: The Patriot-News, http://www.pennlive.com/patriotnews

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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