The Hershey Company recently unveiled its new Hershey Insights Centers, state-of-the-art facilities designed to help customers across every channel develop strategic plans based on retail growth initiatives and Hershey’s unique shopper insights.

The newly branded Hershey Insights Centers based in Hershey, Pennsylvania can offer three distinct capabilities that reflect the most current retail trends and technologies impacting today’s CPG environment. The capabilities are each built upon Hershey’s thought leadership in shopper insights and category management.

“We’re very proud to build upon Hershey’s legacy of category leadership in a new and innovative way,” said Ryan Shaffer, senior manager, Hershey Insights Centers. “Showcasing our capabilities in both in-store and digital executions in such a tangible way allows us to deepen customer relationships and explore strategies for growth through an unprecedented experience.”

Global Customer Insights Center (GCIC)

Hershey’s 19,000-sq.-ft. collaboration center has undergone an extensive renovation to create a unique experience for retail partners that reflects the most current shopper insights, trends and technology impacting the CPG retail environment today. Lab stations inside the GCIC include paypoints, seasonal solutions and in-aisle merchandising strategies with special environments dedicated to foodservice and global licensing capabilities. Each gallery offers highly interactive and customizable content for retail partners to see collaborative strategies brought to life.

Mobile Customer Innovation Center (MCIC)

The second capability of the Hershey Insights Centers is the company’s Mobile Customer Insights Center (MCIC). First launched in 2018, the 53-ft. expandable tractor trailer includes a 22-by-53-ft. collaborative workspace that can seat up to 15 people. The MCIC was designed to offer customers who cannot travel to Hershey a similar experience to the GCIC. After nearly two years of inactivity due to COVID restrictions, the MCIC will kick off a national schedule of customer visits to all channels starting in January 2022.

“The MCIC is a game-changer for some of our smaller or regional retail partners that cannot dedicate the time to travel to Hershey,” Shaffer said. “We’re able to bring our industry-leading insights literally to their front door with a mobile experience that rivals our collaboration space in Hershey.”

The Hershey Insights Network (HIN)

The third capability of the new insight center is the Hershey Insights Network, a virtual platform that allows Hershey to engage with its partners remotely. The HIN operates like a live television newsroom equipped with a multi-camera studio and green-screen capabilities to deliver solutions to retail partners who may be unable to travel. The HIN was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but has quickly become a way to further enhance customer collaboration sessions happening inside the GCIC.

“With the broadcast capabilities of the HIN, we’re able to bring not just the most senior executives into planning sessions, but a customer’s functional experts in everything from digital to media to operations,” Shaffer said. “These new ways to connect with our customers offer a new level of holistic planning and collaboration to unlock growth across the retail experience from the physical to the digital shelf.”