In August 2014, Hershey unveiled an updated corporate brand identity along with a new company logo. According to a company release the refreshed corporate brand “builds on the company’s powerful legacy and creates a new, modern look and feel that positions the company for the next 100 years.” Along with the new logo, Hershey is implementing a new visual identity system inspired by the famous colors of its most iconic brands, including Hershey’s and Reese’s, to bring a more “colorful and consistent look to all of the company’s visual materials.” The new branding will extend from interior design of office spaces and websites to consumer communications and the look of its retail stores.

Nearly 50% of American choco-holics say they look for a product they’ve purchased before, and 41% say they look for a well-known brand. While more than a quarter of consumers seek products that look indulgent, issues of health challenge the category. Half of chocolate buyers say concerns over sugar intake keep them from eating more chocolate candy.

Hershey makes up 43% of chocolate confectionery market share at MULO and is the clear category leader. Bestsellers continue to be its name brand chocolates and its Reese’s brand. Despite this comfortable lead, recent moves may indicate a desire to see its varied brands more closely identify with the company legacy.

Why is Hershey changing something that doesn’t seem to need fixing? Updating its brand identity may allow products across the brand range to benefit from the familiarity of the Hershey name. What’s more, the updated, simplified look may have the added benefit of making the company appear to be embracing a fresher take on the category, moving from the traditional idea of a sugary confectionery to a product that meets the needs of a modern-day consumer.

Beth Bloom specializes in the food and drink sectors. Her areas of focus since starting with Mintel in 2010 have included home baking, confectionery, lunch meat, ethnic food and condiments.

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