The Hershey Co. is "beginning a transition to simple and easy-to-understand ingredients," a move the Pennsylvania-based candy maker says builds and expands on its ongoing commitment to responsibly sourcing the ingredients it uses in its product portfolio.
“As consumers, our relationship with food is changing. We spend more time talking and sharing with others about what we eat and why we like certain foods, than we spend actually eating. Food matters and at Hershey, we care deeply about it,” said John P. Bilbrey, Hershey's president and CEO. “We all want and deserve to know what’s in our food. Hershey takes pride in listening to our consumers and customers and understanding what they need. We will continue to make our great-tasting, high-quality iconic brands that people know and love. We also will share more information about what goes into our products in ways that are easy to understand and access.”
Hershey's announcement comes a day after rival confectioner Nestle USA declared it would eliminate artificial colors and flavors from its candy brands.
Hershey is focusing on three key principles:
Simple Ingredients: A commitment to making products using ingredients that are simple and easy-to-understand, like fresh milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar.
Sharing What’s Inside: Making information about ingredients, sourcing, manufacturing and labeling easy to find on packaging, online or through new technologies.
Thoughtful and Responsible Sourcing of Ingredients: Working with suppliers to responsibly source sustainable ingredients, building on progress toward sourcing 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa and certified sustainable and traceable palm oil.
“We will strive for simplicity with all of our ingredients, but we may not achieve it with every product,” Bilbrey said. “This is a journey and it will take time. We are equally committed to sharing what we achieve and what we don’t. For ingredients that may not be as simple, we will explain what they are and why we need them to provide the great flavors, aromas, textures and appearances that our consumers know and love.”
In 2015, Hershey plans to introduce in the U.S. new snacking products such as Brookside Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bars, which will feature a lineup of simple ingredients, and transition some of its most popular chocolate brands, including Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, to simpler ingredients.
Based in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Co. markets more than 80 brands around the world, including Hershey's, Reese's, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside.