Hershey is moving ever closer to its goals of sustainable sourcing, simple ingredients and product transparency.
The Hershey Co. has made significant progress towards its goals since February of 2015. Michelle Buck, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Hershey has shared the company’s progress, and identifies the key milestones that have already been achieved.
In February 2015, Hershey committed to transitioning its products to simple ingredients and to providing greater product transparency to consumers. The company also committed to strengthening its responsible sourcing programs, and according to Buck, the company has already made tremendous strides in each of these areas.
“Over the past year and a half, we’ve made it easier for people to access more information about their food, most notably by leading the development and adoption of the innovative SmartLabel platform,” Buck shared. “We delivered on the promise to use simple, familiar ingredients by reformulating more than 500 product SKUs, including our iconic Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates, which now contain no artificial flavors, but still have the same delicious taste. We are also proud to share that we’ve made significant progress, working with our suppliers, toward our goals of sourcing 100% sustainable cocoa and palm oil.”
In addition to reformulating Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops, this year the company introduced Hershey’s Simply 5 Syrup, which is made with five simple ingredients, and no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial preservatives and flavors. Additionally, Hershey is currently working to transition additional confection products to simpler ingredients. Buck stated that Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar Milk Chocolate Bars, Krackel Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Miniatures Assortment, without artificial ingredients, will hit shelves by early 2017.
Sharing Product Information
Going beyond the simplification of product ingredients, Hershey is also building on its commitment to sharing information about what is in them. In collaboration with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Hershey has developed SmartLabel, putting detailed product ingredient and nutritional information at consumers’ fingertips, whether on the internet, at home or via a mobile device while in-store shopping. Hershey was the first U.S. company to adopt SmartLabel, adding it on-pack to 200 product SKUs in 2015. There is also an unprecedented level of information about products and ingredients available on the company’s website at: www.TheHersheyCompany.com.
Hershey also has plans to add SmartLabel to 600 additional product SKUs in 2016, and to all Hershey products by 2017. The static nutrition information for 370 products the company website is also going to be replaced with links to those products’ SmartLabel pages.
Hershey also continues to make substantial strides to responsibly sourcing sustainable ingredients. Last year, Hershey sourced 50% of cocoa used globally from certified, sustainable sources and traced 90% of palm oil purchases to the mill level.
Hershey is now working to achieve 100% certified and sustainable cocoa in all chocolate products worldwide by 2020, and source 100% cage-free eggs for our products in North America by 2020.