The Hershey Company is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 13,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products.
The company, which has more than 80 brands worldwide, includes such iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers.
For 2014, Hershey reported sales of $7.42 billion, up from $7.14 billion, and net income of $846.9 million.
The company's hometown -- Hershey, PA -- includes Hershey Park which offers 65 rides and attractions. Each ride is tied to a Hershey's candy brand. One-day admission is $61.95 for adults. The park was founded in 1807 by company founder Milton Hershey.
The company also operates a free visitor center in town called Hershey's Chocolate World, which shows visitors how chocolate is made.
“In 2014 Hershey made progress against its strategic initiatives as the U.S. business increased its overall candy, mint and gum (CMG) market share to 31.4 percent, we acquired Shanghai Golden Monkey, more than doubling the company’s presence in China, we expanded into snacks and adjacencies with the launch of Hershey’s Spreads Snacksters Graham Dippers and we sourced 30 percent of our cocoa needs from certified and sustainable cocoa farms, putting us in solid position to deliver on our goal to source 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020,” said John Bilbrey, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company.
In 2015, the company plans to launch Kit Kat White Minis, Hershey’s Caramels, Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, Reese’s Spreads Snacksters Graham Dippers and other yet to be announced new candy and snacking products.
In January, Hershey's acquired the KRAVE jerky brand for an undisclosed amount. The transaction will allow Hershey to tap into the rapidly growing meat snacks category and further expand into the broader snacks space.
In 1876, following a four-year apprenticeship as a teenager to a Lancaster, PA, candy maker, Milton Hershey attempted to start his own candy business in Philadelphia. Despite six years of hard work, it failed. So he moved to Denver and found work with a confectioner who taught him how to make caramels using fresh milk. He then started up a second candy business in New York City. It also failed. Undaunted, he returned to Lancaster and once again tried making a go of the caramel business. This time, it worked. Soon, his Lancaster Caramel Company was shipping all over the U.S. and Europe, employing 1400 people and turning him into one of the area's leading citizens.
In 1894, Hershey decided to produce sweet chocolate as a coating for his caramels. He called his new enterprise the Hershey Chocolate Company. In 1900, the company began producing milk chocolate in bars, wafers and other shapes. With mass-production, Hershey was able to lower the per-unit cost and make milk chocolate, once a luxury item for the wealthy, affordable to all. One early advertising slogan described this new product as "a palatable confection and a most nourishing food."
The immediate success of Hershey's low-cost, high-quality milk chocolate soon caused the company's owner to consider increasing his production facilities. He decided to build a new chocolate factory amid the gently rolling farmland of south-central Pennsylvania in Derry Township, where he had been born. Close to the ports of New York and Philadelphia which supplied the imported sugar and cocoa beans needed, surrounded by dairy farms that provided the milk required, and with a local labor supply of honest, hard-working people, the location was perfect. By the summer of 1905, the new factory was turning out delicious milk chocolate.
Looking to expand its product line, the company in 1907 began producing a flat-bottomed, conical milk chocolate candy which Mr. Hershey decided to name HERSHEY'S KISSES Chocolates. At first, they were individually wrapped in little squares of silver foil, but in 1921 machine wrapping was introduced. That technology was also used to add the familiar "plume" at the top to signify to consumers that this was a genuine HERSHEY'S KISS Chocolate. In 1924, the company even had it trademarked.
Throughout the next two decades, even more products were added to the company's offerings. These included MR. GOODBAR (1925), HERSHEY'S Syrup (1926), chocolate chips (1928) and the KRACKEL bar (1938). Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, these products helped the newly incorporated Hershey Chocolate Corporation maintain its profitability and avoid any worker layoffs.
Since 1928, H.B. "Harry" Reese's candy company, also located in Hershey, had been making chocolate-covered peanut butter cups. Given that Hershey Chocolate supplied the coating for REESE'S "penny cups"; (the wrapper said, "Made in Chocolate Town, So They Must Be Good"), it was not surprising that the two companies had a good relationship. As a result, seven years after Reese's death in 1956, the H.B. Reese Candy Company was sold to Hershey Chocolate Corp.
The following decades would see the company - renamed Hershey Foods Corporation in 1968 - expanding its confectionery product lines, acquiring related companies and even diversifying into other food products. Among the many acquisitions were: San Giorgio Macaroni and Delmonico Foods (1966); manufacturing and marketing rights to English candy company Rowntree MacKintosh's products (1970); Y&S Candies, makers of Twizzlers licorice (1977); Dietrich Corp.'s confectionery operations (1986); Peter Paul/Cadbury's U.S. confectionery operations (1988); and Ronzoni Foods (1990).
After the first year of service, employees earn vacation days based on years of continuous service:
Employees can also purchase up to five additional vacation days per year.
Updated January 30, 2015