General Business

Hershey tracked Covid tendencies after seeing s’mores demand rise as instances grew, CEO says

Hershey sees strong demand for chocolates and seasonal sweets as people are locked in their homes looking for every small occasion to celebrate.

“Throughout the year, time of year was a major driver as consumers really wanted the comfort and normalcy associated with seasonal traditions and rituals at a time when Covid was uprooting their lives,” he said Hershey CEO Michele Buck in an interview with Sara Eisen from CNBC on Thursday “Close the bell.“”

A notable example was a trend Hershey spotted when coronavirus cases increased across the country, demand for s’mores ingredients increased. Families no doubt sought fun by setting up barbecues in their backyards and roasting S’Mores over the fire. Hershey said his chocolate sales were 40% to 50% higher in areas with an increased number of Covid-19 cases than in areas that were lower.

“Over the past year we have found that wherever the number of Covid cases has increased, there has been higher sales of s’mores ingredients. We were then able to use the case number as a harbinger of where we were doing some of that effort should focus and build shows and places media in these markets, “said Buck.

Retailers are also familiar with the trends and stocked up on Valentine’s Day and Easter candy sooner than ever to ensure they have plenty of choice.

Hershey stock closed Thursday less than 1% at $ 147.22 after sales rose 5.7% to $ 2.19 billion in the fourth quarter. Net income increased 41% to $ 291.4 million. Excluding items, Hershey earned $ 1.49 per share, beating analysts’ estimates.