Just a day after competitor Nestle USA announced a similar commitment, the Hershey Co. said it will begin transitioning to simple and easy-to-understand ingredients in such products as Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses.
“The dialogue around consumers’ changing relationship with food is prevalent,” John P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer, told investors on Feb. 18, 2014, at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton, Fla. “Consumers are telling all manufacturers that they want to recognize all of the ingredients in their food and that what they are consuming is made with the fewest ingredients possible.”
Hershey said it will begin making products with such recognizable ingredients as milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar. The company will share information on ingredients, sourcing, manufacturing and labeling with consumers on packaging and on-line. Additionally, the company said it will continue to work with suppliers to responsibly source sustainable ingredients, including 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa and certified sustainable and traceable palm oil. The company is moving to non-bioengineered sugar and milk from cows not treated with rBST.
“We will strive for simplicity with all of our ingredients, but we may not achieve it with every product,” Bilbrey said. “This is a journey and it will take time.”
From Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses, the company is removing lactose, vanillin and artificial flavor and adding natural flavor. Hershey also is dropping polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), an emulsifier, from its chocolate bars.n.
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