Slideshow: Texture front and center in Hershey innovation

by Monica Watrous
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ATLANTA — Forthcoming innovation from the Hershey Co. is all about texture. At the 2016 NACS Show, the Hershey, Pa.-based company highlighted new products that combine crunchy, crispy, smooth, creamy and chewy components to deliver a multisensory eating experience.

An example is Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch, what was touted by the company as its most anticipated innovation in 16 years.

“In a day and age where snacking is growing and people are on the go more … this bridges confection and snacking and provides an indulgent, layered, textured option, but with the same chocolate that generations have grown up with for years,” said Anna Lingeris, senior manager of communications for Hershey, during an interview at the NACS Show, hosted by the National Association of Convenience Stores and held Oct. 18-21 in Atlanta.

Slated for a December debut, Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch bars feature crunchy cookie bits layered with a creamy filling and wrapped in milk or dark chocolate. Varieties include caramel, vanilla creme and mint.

“Texture and crunch and layers are all things that bubble to the top of our insights and our focus, and we’re able to combine that in something that you trust, that has been part of your life, and has the equities,” Ms. Lingeris said. “If you open it up, it looks like a Hershey bar. This is a 21st century version.”

The Hershey Co. also unveiled at the NACS Show its new Crunchers range. Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Crunchers are bite-size clusters combining mini chocolate cookies and graham wafers covered in milk creme. Reese’s Crunchers feature mini peanut butter chips, rice puffs and peanuts covered in milk chocolate. The sweet snacks will debut in March.

“The best way I can describe them is like a haystack I used to make at home with my grandmother,” Ms. Lingeris said. “But again, think about portability, think about iconic brands and flavors that you know and love, think about textures… that’s all it is.”

Click for a slideshow of Hershey innovation highlighted at the NACS Show.
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