NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Hershey (HSY - Get Report) are climbing by 0.35% to $92.47 late Friday afternoon, as the Hershey, PA-based chocolate and candy producer plans to start selling beef jerky as its newest product, Bloomberg reports.
With consumers becoming more health conscious and moving away from sugary snacks, Hershey saw a 14% sales decline in 2015. As a result the company is turning to the healthier and more popular dried meat snack.
"If it says protein on it, consumers will buy it," Carl Jorgensen, director of wellness strategy at retail marketing firm Daymon Worldwide, tells Bloomberg.
Since Millennials are noticed to be snacking more rather than eating three full meals, Hershey has been trying out initiatives to bring people back to the once-beloved brand. In addition to the beef jerky, the company will be introducing snack bars made with acai berries and trail mixes that feature small pieces of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, among other products, according to Bloomberg.
The shift to meat and more healthy options, began last January when Hershey acquired Krave, a small maker of beef jerky, which dressed up the snack in various unique flavors and toppings.
Even though chocolate accounted for only 2% of Hershey's business last year, executives assure customers that they are still the leading seller of chocolate candy in the country and will remain a chocolate company, Bloomberg says.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings rated Hershey as a "buy" with a score of B. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
This is driven by several positive factors, which TheStreet Ratings believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses.
The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. TheStreet Ratings feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: HSY
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.