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Hershey: Inflation isn't cutting out chocolate
The CPG is boosting advertising spend in 2023.
During tough times, people turn to sweet and salty snacks.
That idea was reiterated by Hershey on Thursday, as the CPG reported earnings that were headlined by a 16% increase in net sales for the year, and an 18.%% increase in adjusted earnings per share.
While Hershey benefitted from stay-at-home trends during the pandemic, CEO Michele Buck said people continued to turn to the company’s candy as the economic picture grew cloudier in 2022. That’s because chocolate and salty snacks are two of the top three resilient treats that consumers aren’t willing to skip, Buck said. It confirms recent findings by Mondelez that people are continuing to make room in their budget for snacks even as prices go up.
“Chocolate moments are such a heavily integrated part of consumers’ weekly routines, from rewarding moments to stress relief to self-care, and everything in between, that they indicate they would rather cut back on other expenses to make room for chocolate because they love it so much and it’s affordable,” Buck told analysts. “Salty snacks are another regular companion that consumers are hard-pressed to cut back out of their grocery budget. Not only are they affordable compared to other expenses, but they are key parts of both parents’ and kids’ daily routines.”
One reason for resilience is that chocolate and other sweets tend to be sought out in good times and bad. Buck acknowledged that this was essentially two opposing parts of the consumer brain.
“One is when they are incredibly happy and it's a treat time, and they want to treat themselves and the other is when there are downtimes, and they want a bright spot,” she said. “But they do view these categories and especially chocolate as a part of emotional wellness – what it does and how it makes them feel. “
With demand remaining in place and new capacity constraints coming online that will allow it to make more products to ensure it keeps up, Hershey is aiming to double down despite the economy. It expects to increase advertising levels in the double-digits this year, with a particular focus on Reese’s and Hershey’s, as well as gummies and better-for-you. It also looking to add fuel to salty snacks brands, as Skinny Pop, Pirate’s Booty and Dot’s have nearly doubled in recent years.
“People are connected to our brands. And during the tough times, we know that that connectivity leads to them continuing to buy,” Buck said. “So yes, it is important during an inflationary time.”
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Kellogg's takes inspiration from employees, Latin in snacks rebrand
Kellanova is now the parent of Pringles, Cheez-Its and Pop Tarts.
Kellogg Company's snacks business is now Kellanova. Here are a few finer points about how the forthcoming parent of Cheez-Its and and Pop-Tarts arrived at the new name.
Last year, Kellogg announced plans to split its business into multiple companies.
Now, one company will have North American cereals like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Rice Krispies under the WK Kellogg Co banner.
Another will have snacks like Pringles, North American frozen foods such as Eggo and plant-based brands like MorningStar Farms.
This week, Kellogg announced that the snacks business has a new name: Kellanova.
Here are the strategies that Kellogg employed that led to this name:
- Ask the employees: Kellogg Company asked employees for input on the name, and received 4,000 suggestions from 1,000 employees.
- Listen to the results: 20% of the employees suggested a variation of the W.K. Kellogg name, while other employees suggested that the name include "nova."
- Go to the root: "Nova" comes from the Latin word for new. CEO Steve Cahillane said it "signals our ambition to continuously evolve as an innovative, next generation, global snacking powerhouse."
As The Wall Street Journal reports, this is just the latest new company name to take a Latin root in recent years, as Kellanova joins GE Vernova, Mondelez and Altria. It's also among a number of spinouts being completed by corporations, joining GSK spinoff Haleon, J&J's Kenvue and a forthcoming company that will spin out of 3M.
Even with a name that emphasizes moving forward, Kellanova is keeping one element that is familiar: The logo still has the iconic cursive K. It will even get the boldly simple stock ticker symbol "K" to go along with it.
Even the WK Kellogg Co is combining the past and future. The company is seeking to position itself as a "117-year-old startup," even as it draws on the name and signature of the Kellogg's founder. There's even a more subtle hint about an unwritten chapter: The "Co" doesn't have a period.
To get to the future, you need to bring along a bit of the past.