The Hershey Company continues to innovate through its core brands by offering a new snacking occasion for its convenience store customers.

When Hershey found there was a desire within the convenience channel for new flavors and opportunities for new occasions, the company leveraged this information to help innovate Reese’s with a new product.

While bakery snacks represent the third largest c-store category, its pace has slowed in the past year. Out of the top 15 items in snack cakes, 14 have been consistent since 2016, leaving growth from innovation ranging anywhere between 4-6 percent of total sales per year, according to IRI data. 

Hershey is set to launch Reese’s Snack Cakes in December, leveraging the No. 1 confection brand in the c-store channel to bring innovation to the snack cake category.

“We pride ourselves on knowing our consumers, and based on our research and insights, we knew there was an opportunity in the snack cake category and the desire for innovation,” said Glenn Frazier, director, category management, U.S. convenience, The Hershey Company. “Hershey has had great success with cross-merchandising beverages like coffee with confectionery items. These cross-merchandising solutions have helped boost sales for our retail partners and, most importantly, have given the shopper the product they are looking for, when they want it. Hershey is excited to bring significant innovation and leadership to this category.”

According to Explorer Research, more than half of consumers search for a match for their coffee when they visit U.S. convenience stores, and 59 percent of purchases occur before 10 a.m. During mid-morning, people transition from better-for-you morning products like yogurt and nutrition bars to more indulgent treats, like snack cakes. In a recent 9-week in-market test at a leading c-store retailer, new Reese’s Snack Cakes were the third best-selling snack cake in the packaged baked goods category.

In addition to breaking into a new occasion, Reese’s brand continues to unveil new products.

Reese’s Big Cup with Pretzels takes the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and stuffs it with pretzels. The new product will be available in standard size and king size beginning in November 2020.

Kit Kat continues to explore flavor innovation as it gives its products flavor makeovers. The brand recently announced its new Kit Kat DUOS Mocha + Chocolate bar, a permanent addition to the Kit Kat line which features a combination of two iconic flavors – mocha coffee flavor and chocolate. The product will be available in November 2020.

This year, Kit Kat also unveiled other flavors including Birthday Cake, and Apple Pie. Kit Kat continues to unveil new flavors that consumers love, with more flavor announcements expected in 2021.

This summer, the Payday brand will introduce the Chocolately Payday bar. The candy bar is covered in chocolately coating but delivers the same Payday truckload of peanuts surrounding sweet caramel.