The Hershey Company will showcase its leadership in retail and human insights and its growing sweet and salty portfolio during the National Confectioners Association’s 2023 Sweets and Snacks Expo, taking place May 23-25 in Chicago.

Visitors to the company’s booth (#10704) have the opportunity sample products from various brands, including Reese’s, Hershey’s, KIT KAT, Ice Breakers, Jolly Rancher, Lily’s Sweets, ONE Bars, FULFIL, Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, Pirate’s Booty Puffs, SkinnyPop Popcorn and Twizzlers. This lineup includes new products such as Honest Organic Gummies, limited-edition KIT KAT Churro and protein-packed ONE Puffs.

“While consumers are shopping on tighter budgets, candy and snacks remain an affordable way to fulfill emotional wellness and create connections with family and friends,” says Marlene Creighton, chief sales officer, The Hershey Company. “Hershey continues to broaden its portfolio across chocolate, sweets, salty and protein snacks to meet consumers for more occasions. Together, with our retail partners, we are accelerating shared growth through leading category insights, strategies and execution to improve shopper experience.”

Checkout experience

The shopper’s journey has evolved post-pandemic. Hershey’s insights show that more shoppers now favor self-checkout over assisted checkout and that almost half of grocery shoppers make purchases both online and in-store. Therefore, according to the company, it is more important than ever to understand this journey and consider how the two environments connect to capture unplanned purchases both in-store and online.


Hershey has found that maximizing unplanned front-end purchases is critical for retailers as most shoppers still complete purchases in-store. While more are opting to use self-checkout, in some stores more often than assisted lanes, this paypoint is more susceptible to conversion loss if there is no merchandising leading into and around the self-checkout. Adding queuing and merchandising around self-checkouts will drive more units than assisted lanes.

Online commerce

Capturing unplanned purchases during the online shopping experience can be challenging for retailers when consumers primarily find products through a site’s search function. Hershey helps retailers solve this issue and drive growth through unplanned purchases online by utilizing homepage placement, cross-merchandising and post-checkout reminders.

Hershey has also uncovered insights around the “second basket.” This occurs when shoppers travel to a store to pick up their online or “click-and-collect” grocery order and then purchase more items in-store. This behavior has been increasing since the start of the pandemic and is likely to maintain or increase in the future. Hershey’s insights found that 10% to 20% of click-and-collect trips include a second basket with an average purchase of $38, with snacks and candy among the top five second-basket additions. Furthermore, nearly 70% of second-basket transactions occur through self-checkout. To capitalize on these unplanned purchases, Hershey recommends retailers add incremental space to self-checkout queues, expand item assortments and utilize display merchandising for take-home and seasons.


While nearly two-thirds of Americans are looking for better-for-you (BFY) options, BFY candy is underdeveloped compared to peer categories. Hershey is meeting this need by continuing to expand its BFY offerings. New snacks featured at the company’s Sweets and Snacks booth include Honest Organic Gummies, made with organic fruit juice and natural flavors, Lily’s Watermelon Slices and Lily’s Peach Rings, Hershey’s Plant Based Extra Creamy with Almonds and Sea Salt and Reese’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups. As more consumers look to add protein to their diet, ONE, already known for its protein bars, will unveil plans for protein-packed ONE Puffs in cheddar and spicy nacho flavors, and FULFIL will launch its newest flavor, Triple Chocolate.


For a deeper dive into how it developed a focused BFY strategy, Hershey’s BFY Marketing Director Nathan Johnson will present Trends in Better-for-You Candy on Wednesday, May 24, at 2 p.m. (CDT) at the Insights Stage in the West Hall at Sweets and Snacks Expo.

In addition to retail and better-for-you, Hershey continues to grow its impact in salty snacking. Kristen Riggs, president of Salty Snacks, will share her thoughts on leading transformation and change in a time of rapid growth at the Sweets and Snacks Expo’s Women's Leadership Group Breakfast on Wednesday, May 24, at 7:30 a.m.  

For more information about The Hershey Company, its growing sweets and salty portfolio and retail and human insights leadership, please visit or stop by booth #10704 at NCA's Sweets and Snacks Expo.