Chocolate maker Hershey Co said it would launch Hershey’s Kisses and milk chocolate bars made with no artificial flavors for the holiday season as it looks to cater to a growing demand for less-processed food.
Hershey, founded in 1894, said it would also launch a mobile tool, called SmartLabel, that will provide information on nutritional facts, ingredients and allergens.
The new Kisses and milk chocolate bars will be made using locally sourced milk, cane sugar and contain natural flavors, the company said.
Neil Saunders, chief executive of retail research firm Conlumino, said this was a good move ahead of the holiday season as people tend to buy better quality chocolates for personal consumption than during Halloween, when chocolates are mostly distributed.
Hershey had said in February that it planned to use simpler ingredients starting this year.
Food companies are focusing more on offering products perceived as healthier, yielding to a general shift in consumer preference away from processed food.
Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International Inc expects to generate half of its revenue from snacks seen as healthier in the next five years, the company’s chief growth officer had said in an interview with Reuters.
Nestle USA, General Mills Inc and Yum Brands Inc are also catering to the changing tastes.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Hershey brings all of its chocolates under the classification of being natural and simple in about a year, Saunders said.
Written Yashaswini Swamynathan of Reuters