Hershey Strategy

Businessweek has a nice article (reg. required) on Hershey and their struggles in the candy market.

Hershey is under relentless pressure in the $60 billion U.S. snack market from bigger and richer food giants — all with the global reach Hershey lacks — that are working to woo customers away from candy. Hershey dominates the U.S. chocolate candy business. But chocolate is less than 15% of the total snack market, which is growing at twice the clip of the candy market. Shoppers increasingly are passing up Hershey sweets in favor of chips, sports bars, or granola-coated munchies.

I think Hershey has to expand beyond candy the way Coke and Pepsi have expanded beyond soft drinks. As an avid runner, I eat a lot of Clif Bars, and I think they are the best sports bar on the market. They are relatively new and the company may not be for sale, but I think they Hershey should consider buying them. It would be a nice complement to their current business, but it is still a similar enough product that Hershey could put it's expertise to use marketing them.

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