The Hershey Company showcased its growing sweet and salty portfolio, along with retail capabilities and merchandising strategies, during the National Confectioners Association’s 2024 Sweets & Snacks Expo this week, May 14–16 in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Visitors to the company’s booth sampled products from various brands, including Reese’s, Hershey’s, Kit Kat, Ice Breakers, One bars, Fulfil, Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, SkinnyPop, and Twizzlers. Some of the brand's new products include:

Additionally, Reese's is introducing the ultimate newcomer just in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024: Reese's Medals. The first-ever seasonal shape for summer is available now for a limited time only and commemorates The Hershey Company's ongoing partnership with Team USA.

“We’re excited to expand Reese’s, the #1 CMG brand, to our first summer shape with Reese’s Medals,” says Chuck Raup, president, U.S. Confection. “It follows our launch of Reese’s Caramel Big Cup, currently the #1 innovation in CMG. The gooey layer of caramel directly responds to consumers' desires, offering them a delightful twist on the classic Reese’s chocolate and peanut butter combination while opening new avenues for category growth.”


Capabilities and strategies

Augmented reality and image recognition

To coincide with the launch of Reese’s Caramel Big Cup, Hershey's retail sales team utilized augmented reality (AR) and image recognition (IR) to help retailers make data-driven decisions to optimize merchandise placement and increase sales. AR generates an image of what the product would look like in a specific location. IR tracks the merchandise and its in-store location to gather insights on how placement impacts sales and the shopping experience.



Foodservice demand is growing. Hershey research demonstrates that 52% of consumers order from a foodservice website for pickup or takeout at least once a month, and 70% of consumers frequent fast-food restaurants at least once a month for delivery or pickup. Hershey recommends retailers grow revenue streams by:

  • Implementing mobile ordering, pickup, and third-party foodservice delivery apps
  • Featuring foodservice at the store’s front end to enhance customer engagement and offering meal bundles (entrée, beverage, snack, or dessert) to provide convenience, quality, and value. 

The checkout experience

Hershey research confirms that queuing and merchandising around assisted lanes can drive more units than self-checkout; however, self-checkouts enable retailers to redeploy labor from the front end to better serve shoppers in other parts of the store.

  • Proper merchandising strategies at self-checkout terminals are crucial to avoid suboptimal shopper experiences and loss in unplanned purchases. 
  • Hershey also recommends retailers include core categories of merchandise products and repetition at each terminal.

The trend of the “second basket,” where shoppers purchase more items in-store when picking up their online orders, increased during the pandemic and will likely grow. Retailers can capitalize on these unplanned purchases by:

  • Adding incremental space to self-checkout queues, expanding item assortments, and utilizing display merchandising for take-home and seasonal items.
  • Effective queuing strategies can significantly boost conversion on unplanned purchases, with shoppers more likely to engage with products placed near them in queues.
  • Queues navigate shoppers to their desired checkout and encourage them to dwell, leading to more exploration and unplanned purchases.

For more information about The Hershey Company, visit

The Hershey Company is on the current Candy Industry “Global Top 100 Candy Companies” list. Click here to view the current “Global Top 100” rankings.