To meet the needs of the modern consumer and shopper, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is continuing to innovate and expand across its portfolio, including debuting new products with a variety of delicious tastes and textures. As part of this evolution, The Hershey Company today announces its latest innovations and insights that will be featured at the annual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Atlanta, at the Georgia World Congress Center, on October 19-21, 2016.

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(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

Earlier this month, Hershey announced one of the most anticipated innovations from the iconic Hershey's brand in more than 16 years - Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch. Hershey's latest innovation earned some of the highest consumer scores of any product ever launched by the company 1. Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch will debut publicly for the first time at Hershey's exhibit (Booth No. 1615) at NACS, where all expo attendees can get their first taste of this exciting new product.

To meet the growing demand for multi-textural eating experiences and various snacking occasions, Hershey reimagined its iconic chocolate bar, pairing it with layers of crunchy cookie bits and decadent fillings to offer an indulgent, textured snacking experience.

"We recognize eating habits are evolving and that consumers are moving away from traditional meals and into multiple snacking occasions that include various tastes and textures throughout the day," says Mary-Ann Somers, General Manager and Vice President, U.S. Confection, The Hershey Company. "Debuting Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch at the annual NACS Show and providing show attendees with a first taste are great ways to unveil this innovation. We have spent the last 18 months perfecting it to ensure that it not only tastes great, but meets the needs and desires of today's modern convenience store consumer," says Somers.

With more than 120 years of experience in creating great-tasting products, Hershey keeps the consumer at the heart of its innovation and development efforts. Whether it's Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch or Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups (which mashes up two of its most iconic and beloved products), Hershey ensures that the consumer's desire and demand are at the reason behind our innovative new products.

In addition to Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch and Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, The Hershey Company will be showcasing a variety of new innovations across chocolate, sweets and refreshment and snacking categories.

Paving the Way in "Snackfection"

Hershey is expanding the role of confection to meet consumers' evolving snacking needs. As part of this evolution, Hershey has successfully launched Snack Mix lines, featuring its two largest and most iconic brands, Hershey's and Reese's. These products blend bite-sized confection pieces with a delicious combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy textures - a perfect crossroads for snacking and confection. Additionally, Hershey will soon be expanding its Snack Mix brand to include new Take5 and Almond Joy Snack Mixes. All of Hershey's Snack Mix varieties are available in portable canisters as well as single-serve packs that are perfect for on-the-go-snacking.

Looking ahead to 2017, Hershey will continue to expand its "snackfection" product offerings for those consumers looking for small, delicious bites full of sweet taste and crunchy textures. Reese's Crunchers and Hershey's Cookies 'n' Crème Crunchers combine classic sweet tastes with crunchy textures for easy, on-the-go-eating—a great, innovative pairing.

Power of Protein

Since Hershey acquired KRAVE Jerky in 2015, it has seen a consistent rise in demand for protein-packed, better-for-you snacks. KRAVE Jerky serves as a good source of protein while remaining low in fat, gluten-free and full of flavor. KRAVE Jerky is expanding its artisanal approach and culinary-inspired flavors to a new form with the launch of the KRAVE Stick. The new KRAVE Stick is layered with unexpected ingredients like beans and sweet potatoes,, and will come in three unique and savory flavors, including Spicy Red Pepper Pork with Black Beans, Rosemary Lemon Turkey with White Beans and Sesame Garlic Beef with Sweet Potatoes.

Insights to Action

Hershey is not only a global snacking leader with powerful and relevant brands and strong innovation but is also at the forefront of providing leading-edge insights that help to drive category growth. This year at NACS, Hershey will highlight a new approach to the standard-bar business for the convenience channel. As a steward of some of the most iconic chocolate and candy bars in the world and a clear category leader, Hershey will be unveiling a " Gold Standard Planogram" that has proven to increase sales of both standard and king-sized bars.

For more information about Hershey's latest innovation and its insights-to-action approach, including its new Gold Standard Planogram, please visit The Hershey Company's blog, "The Plume," or stop by booth No. 1615 at the NACS Expo.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., 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 21,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. Building on its core business, Hershey is expanding its portfolio to include a broader range of delicious snacks. The company remains focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to extend its competitive advantage in North America.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For more than 120 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow. From neighborhoods across the United States to the streets of Shanghai and Mumbai and villages of West Africa, our goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020.

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1 According to BASES report, a service of the Nielsen Company, Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch scored in the top 2.5 percent of consumer packaged goods concepts ever tested.

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