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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

HersheyArchives@30-30: Hershey Chocolate-the Great American Chocolate Bar

Remember your first Hershey Bar? Print advertisement, 1980

Remember your first Hershey Bar? Print advertisement, 1980

 

It is an advertising industry legend that Hershey Chocolate did not advertise. The advertising industry marveled at Hershey’s success without the use of advertising. During the company’s first fifty years, Hershey Chocolate succeeded without media advertising because it had few competitors in the solid chocolate confectionery market.

 

Hershey Chocolate offered a variety of promotional displays to stores to help them promote Hershey products. ca1936

Hershey Chocolate offered a variety of promotional displays to stores to help them promote Hershey products. ca1936

 

 

Window display, 1930-1932

Window display, 1930-1932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image of Hershey as a company that succeeded without advertising stretches the truth.  It is true that Hershey did not use media advertising (newspaper ads, radio, television) until 1970. However, Hershey did make extensive use of trade and point of purchasing advertisements throughout its history.  Unlike most companies that directed advertising dollars to consumers as well as customers, Hershey concentrated all its advertising budget towards the trade, placing ads in trade publications, offering cut sheets to customers to use in their own newspaper ads and promoting its products with shelf talkers and window displays.

 

In the 1960s, market changes and the growth of the Mars Candy Company under Forrest Mars challenged Hershey’s control of the market. During the 1960s, Mars steadily gained market share and Hershey realized that it would have to change how it conducted business.

 

It was not a simple matter to begin media and print advertising. Hershey first needed to build the infrastructure that would enable them to develop a modern marketing program and support an advertising campaign.  That took several years.

 

Jack Dowd, hired in 1965 to help Hershey establish its first marketing department, recalled in his 1991 oral history interview, the chocolate company’s reluctance to move towards implementing a media advertising campaign, in spite of the company’s trend toward losing market share.

 

Incidentally, my interview, the first day I met a number of people, including Harold Mohler [Hershey Chocolate Corporation president].  He said, “They seem to like you here, but a couple of things you should know about Hershey.  One is, we don’t advertise.”

I said, “I’m vividly aware of that.  Everybody in marketing is aware of that.  But I have a couple of hypotheses about your company because I’ve done a lot of reading about it, and if they’re true, you’re going to be advertising.”

He said, “What are they?”

I said, “I think your share of market has been declining.”

And he said, “Yes, it has.”

I said, “I think your new products are not as successful as your old products.”

He said, “That’s true.  They’re not.” 

And I said, “I don’t think that your products are as popular with children as they are with adults.”

And he said, “That’s true.” 

And I said, “Given those three, you’re going to start to advertise.” 

He said, “Well, we haven’t decided yet.”

 

It was not until 1969 that the company was ready to launch a national media advertising campaign.

 

When Hershey Foods Corporation began the process of searching for an advertising agency, it was particularly interested in the agency’s skills in producing television ads. After interviewing six firms, Hershey hired Ogilvy and Mather, who were based in New York City.

 

In sharing the news of hiring Ogilvy & Mather with their employees, Hershey noted the growing competition for shelf space in the grocery store, the changing demographics of the country’s population with the emergence of the baby boom generation and the need to connect with a more youthful audience. The July 21, 1969 memo stated:

 

With the competition getting keener for the consumers sweet tooth – and the fact that almost half of the people in the United States today are under 25 years of age, we felt it prudent to introduce this marketing tool to acquaint this younger generation with our items and to maintain our position with the over 25 group.

 

Hershey selected three brands with which to test the advertising waters: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Hershey’s Instant, a milk chocolate powder. At first tests were done in seven cities for several months before launching a national campaign in September, 1970.

 

Hershey Foods Corporation used both television and print media ads to promote its products. 1980

Hershey Foods Corporation used both television and print media ads to promote its products. 1980

 

Ogilvy & Mather’s creative director for the Hershey Milk Chocolate team was Billings Fuess.  He developed the “Hershey. The Great American Chocolate Bar” ad campaign.

 

Billings Fuess was inspired by his love of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, believing that it was superior to European milk chocolate. He explained his reasoning and inspiration in a 2010 oral history interview.:

 

I had the idea for “The Great American Chocolate Bar” because I knew there was a lot of wonderful history behind Hershey.  I also liked Hershey bars and they were a heck of a lot better than their competition from Switzerland.  And I wanted to give them a dig and say the great AMERICAN chocolate bar.

 

Storyboard for Hershey's Milk Chocolate commercial, "Montage." 5/1970

Storyboard for Hershey’s Milk Chocolate commercial, “Montage.” 5/1970

 

Along with the slogan, Fuess also developed the concept for the first television commercials.  He wanted the commercials to express the personal relationships nurtured by the shared enjoyment of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.  His strategy was to “build upon the marvelous reminisces of people and what the Hershey bar means to most people and the fact that it’s American and it tastes so good and there’s something wondrous about a little child eating it and sharing it with his parents . . . The idea of a father with his son on his shoulders and the son tears open the Hershey bar, eats some and give some to his father as he’s walking down the street.”

 

The Great American Chocolate Bar campaign served the company well. It continued to serve as the basis of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate marketing from 1970 until 1994.

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-28: The Wonderful World of Chocolate: Hershey’s Chocolate World

Hershey’s Chocolate World brochure, ca1973

Hershey’s Chocolate World brochure, ca1973

 

Hershey began offering tours of its chocolate factory shortly after the factory opened.  By 1915, visitors could register for a tour at the town’s Visitor Bureau, located in the Cocoa House, on Chocolate Avenue.

 

In 1928, the factory began keeping formal statistics about factory tours.  A factory tour was a popular part of a visit to Hershey.

 

Hershey Chocolate factory tour. At the end of the tour, visitors received free samples of chocolate and cocoa milk. ca1950-1960

Hershey Chocolate factory tour. At the end of the tour, visitors received free samples of chocolate and cocoa milk. ca1950-1960

 

By 1970, almost one million people were touring the factory each year.  The factory was not designed to handle so many people.  So many visitors were causing traffic jams downtown, overwhelming the building capacity and creating risks for product safety.

 

Ken Bowers, who came to Hershey Foods Corporation in 1970 to head up the public relations department, remembered that a task force had been assembled to determine how best to address the challenge of a factory tour that had outgrown its capacity.  He recalled that the committee considered three options:

 

One, to simply terminate the tour program, because it had gotten to the point where it was creating problems for the plant.  It was creating problems traffic-wise, congestion-wise for downtown Hershey.  And there were plenty of other corporations who had had tours that were beginning to lop them off and close them and it would not have been setting a new precedent.  So that was a very real possibility. 

A second big possibility was to do rather extensive renovation in order to keep that tour program, by putting it, perhaps, into the ceiling of certain of the rooms so it would not interfere with production, with glass-enclosed walkways or something where people could not potentially throw things into the vats of chocolate, etc. 

And, of course, the third basic choice was to develop something new, different elsewhere, a mini factory kind of thing.  Those were the three things that were discussed at great length, with a considerable amount of research attached to each one.

 

While the option to simply discontinue the factory tour was one of the options, it was not seriously considered.  Hershey Foods Corporation recognized the great value the tour offered in terms of consumer relations and it was particularly important in a town like Hershey, which had a strong orientation towards tourism. Likewise, it was quickly realized that the factory would not lend itself to being remodeled to accommodate touring guests.

 

Even after deciding to build a new facility a number of decisions remained.  Should it be a model factory, actually producing product or should Hershey build a facility that would lend itself to longer hours of operation and be attractive to a broader audience. Deciding between these two options was not a simple matter.  The task force spent considerable energy debating the pros and cons of building a model factory versus visitor center that could explain how Hershey produced its milk chocolate.

 

Visitor Tour Task Team Final Recommendation Report, 5/21/1970.

Visitor Tour Task Team Final Recommendation Report, 5/21/1970.

 

The task team’s final recommendation was to “establish [a] Visitors Tour Facility in the general area of the existing Park/Stadium complex.” Acting on the task team’s recommendation, Hershey Foods decided to build Hershey’s Chocolate World, a corporate visitor center that could welcome the millions of people visiting Hershey each year and would teach visitors how Hershey’s milk chocolate is made in a fun and informative way.

 

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Hershey’s Chocolate World original design featured a tour ride, retail area, café, and an historical display. 1970

 

Hershey Foods Corporation hired R. Duell & Associates to develop concept and design plans for the new visitor center. The firm was already working on design development plans for Hershey Park’s modernization and expansion. By employing the same firm, Hershey Foods Corporation was able to benefit from R. Duell & Associates already acquired understanding and knowledge of the general site and better coordinate how the two facilities might best interact with each other. R. Duell & Associates played a significant role shaping the direction and scope of Hershey Foods’ new visitor center.

 

Hershey’s Chocolate World, ca1973

Hershey’s Chocolate World, ca1973

 

The new visitor center was located near Hersheypark’s newly constructed “tram circle.”

 

Chocolate World’s tour ride showed visitors how Hershey’s milk chocolate was manufactured. 1973

Chocolate World’s tour ride showed visitors how Hershey’s milk chocolate was manufactured. 1973

 

Hershey’s Chocolate World also included displays devoted to company history. 1973

Hershey’s Chocolate World also included displays devoted to company history. 1973

 

Hershey Chocolate World’s retail area was themed to suggest a village in a tropical jungle. 1973

Hershey Chocolate World’s retail area was themed to suggest a village in a tropical jungle. 1973

 

Plans called for the visitor’s center to illustrate the steps necessary for manufacturing chocolate, from growing and harvesting cocoa beans, through the manufacturing steps to produce Hershey’s milk chocolate. Plans also called for an enlarged retail area, a small café and gift shop, and a company history display.

 

The last public Hershey Chocolate factory tour was held June 29, 1973 and the new Hershey’s Chocolate World opened the next day.

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-18 Only Hershey’s Kisses are Kisses

Consumers associate a trademark with their experiences with the service or product the trademark represents. Milton Hershey prided himself on manufacturing quality products believing quality was “the best advertising in the world.” Hershey Chocolate Company trademarks and trade dress were consistent across the product line so a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar was easily identifiable as being from the same company as Hershey’s Cocoa. “Hershey’s” meant quality to consumers and it has always been important to the company to maintain the positive association that Milton Hershey established.

 

Early Trademark Action

 

90015B1F27.1

 

In 1905, the Societe Generale Suisse De Chocolats, manufacturers of Peter’s Chocolate brought suit against Hershey Chocolate Company arguing that Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrappers were too similar to those of Peter’s and caused consumer confusion.  Milton Hershey was ordered to change his design and subsequently adopted the now iconic maroon and silver wrapper.  Although he lost the case, Peter’s legal action introduced Mr. Hershey to the value of intellectual property and brand protection.  When his next product, Hershey’s Kisses, was introduced in 1907, Hershey diligently surveyed the marketplace for products too similar to his own.

 

Hershey Chocolate Company sold Hershey's Kisses by weight.  The pail was a unique way of packing bulk Kisses. ca1920

Hershey Chocolate Company sold Hershey’s Kisses by weight. The pail was a unique way of packing bulk Kisses. ca1920

 

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses were initially available for purchase in bulk and later in 10 cent boxes.  From 1907 until 1921, Kisses that were sold in bulk (meaning sold either by a specified number of Kisses or by weight) were identified by their display container and with nearby point-of-purchase placards.  A square piece of tissue-paper, printed with the company trademark, placed underneath the chocolate and wrapped inside the foil wrapper was the only other means of identifying the product as Hershey’s.  Since the buyer could not see that identification until after the chocolate was unwrapped, it encouraged many imitations.

 

One of Hershey's many competitors, Klein Chocolate Company marketed their conical pieces of chocolate as "Silver Bells." ca1930

One of Hershey’s many competitors, Klein Chocolate Company marketed their conical pieces of chocolate as “Silver Bells.” ca1930

 

To counteract the many competitors, Hershey Chocolate Company developed wrapping machinery that could insert a visual product marker, the plume or tag, in 1921.  Hershey began advertising its new wrapping technology and asking consumers to look for the identification tag.

 

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In-store poster promoting Hershey’s Kisses with its trademark plume. 1921

 

 

An Employee becomes a Competitor

 

In 1910, Milton Hershey hired James B. Leithiser, the husband of one of his cousins, to serve as general manager of all the non-chocolate businesses—what would later be consolidated as Hershey Estates.  Leithiser was responsible for overseeing the majority of the town’s building initiatives and the community’s development over the next ten years.

 

As Milton Hershey began to expand his operations in Cuba, he asked Leithiser to move to Cuba and oversee its operations.  Rather than move, in 1921 Leithiser resigned from his position and relocated to Berks County in Pennsylvania to open a confectionery business, Fleetwood Chocolate Company.

 

Rumors that former officials of the Hershey chocolate company who in the last few months have severed their connections with the chocolate king were about to organize a new company in Berks county have been confirmed… J.B. Leithiser….who grew up with the Hershey plant as one of the executive managers is named as president of the Fleetwood organization. [Lebanon Daily News, 01/06/1922]

 

A year later Fleetwood was in direct competition with Hershey’s.  One item in particular caught the attention of William F.R. Murrie, president of Hershey Chocolate Company.

 

Fleetwood Milk Chocolate Kisses box. 1923

Fleetwood Milk Chocolate Kisses box. 1923

 

Protecting the Brand

 

When Hershey Chocolate Company began including a plume with each wrapped Hershey’s Kiss, the company also filed a federal trademark registration, registering the mark “Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses” in 1923.  Fleetwood’s Milk Chocolate Kisses prompted Hershey to consider the value of the term “Kisses” in general.  Hershey Chocolate Company president William F.R. Murrie brought the Fleetwood product to the attention of Mr. Hershey’s attorney, John E. Snyder.  Murrie thought it was imperative to protect the Kisses brand.  “It seems to me that we should not surrender what rights we may have in the use of the words, ‘Kisses,’ or ‘Milk Chocolate Kisses.’”

 

 

Correspondence  from Hershey Chocolate Company President William F.R. Murrie to John E. Snyder, Mr. Hershey's attorney. 3/17/1923

Correspondence from Hershey Chocolate Company President William F.R. Murrie to John E. Snyder, Mr. Hershey’s attorney. 3/17/1923

 

Additional federal trademark registrations protecting the name, and unique conical shape of Kisses, both wrapped and unwrapped, were later obtained.  Today, The Hershey Company continues to proactively protect the Kisses brand.  One reason is to avoid a generic or “genericized” trademark.  Trademarks can become “genericized” when the associated product or service acquires substantial market dominance or “mind space” and the trademark becomes a term for the product or service itself instead of a brand.  Genericized trademarks include: aspirin; escalator; trampoline; and laundromat.  A company risks losing its trademark and associated rights if a trademark becomes genericized and it also enables competitors to use the trademark.

 

Hershey Chocolate Company executives recognized the value of the Kisses brand early in the product’s history.  Early and continued brand protection ensures that Kisses chocolates and confections are still only associated with Hershey.

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-5 Maroon and Silver

The  familiar Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper.

 

The maroon and silver package, sometimes described as brown and silver, is identifiable at a glance. You can imagine the many versions and proofs Milton Hershey must have considered before settling on the now iconic wrapper design; the “face” of his new brand and his new product. Yet the process of designing the wrapper was not so straightforward. Within the Archives’ collections, documentation reveals a particular set of circumstances that transpired as to why maroon and silver came to symbolize the Hershey brand.

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1900

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1900

 

Milton Hershey, after years of experimentation, began marketing Hershey’s Milk Chocolate in 1900. The bar retailed for $0.05 and was wrapped in a white wrapper with gold lettering.

 

The wrapper featured Hershey’s two trademarks, a cow’s head enclosed in a wreath of wheat and the cocoa bean baby.  The gold lettering was similar to that used on Hershey’s earlier semi-sweet or dark chocolate products.  Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars were immediately successful and distributed nationally, but there was one problem.  The white wrapper had a tendency to become soiled and stained during the summer months as heat influenced the product.

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper, gold and maroon. Hershey marketed bars in a variety of sizes, including a 8 ounce bar, retailing for 40 cents. 1902

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper, gold and maroon. Hershey marketed bars in a variety of sizes, including a 8 ounce bar, retailing for 40 cents. 1902

 

In 1902, Hershey instructed that a brown wrapper, printed with the same trademarks and lettering, should replace the problematic white wrapper.  According to Milton Hershey, “The brown color of paper was selected by me for its wearing qualities, durability, cleanliness, and not being liable to soil.”[i]

 

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper, designed by Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company. 1903

 

 

In 1903, Hershey visited Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and had an additional wrapper designed.

 

Hershey was not the only manufacturer of milk chocolate in the United States.  He was however, the only manufacturer to use fresh milk; other manufacturers used milk powder or condensed milk.  In 1905, the Societe Generale Suisse De Chocolats, manufacturers of Peter’s Chocolate, took notice of Hershey’s activities.

 

Peter's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. ca1903-1905

Peter’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. ca1903-1905

 

 

Peter’s argued that Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar wrapper was too similar to Peter’s Chocolate and caused consumer confusion and brought suit against Hershey.  A judge agreed with Peter’s and ordered Hershey to discontinue use of the wrapper.

 

Hershey complied with the judge’s order and to differentiate his wrapper from that of Peter’s began using silver lettering in place of the gold.

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1906-1911

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. 1906-1911

 

Peter’s continued to protest Hershey’s use of the maroon, or brown, color citing that other manufacturers began to utilize the color as well causing market saturation.[ii]  Milton Hershey was satisfied with the new wrapper design of maroon and silver and was not swayed by Peter’s arguments.

 

In one way, the familiar maroon and silver wrapper is the product of legal action.  Perhaps though, Milton Hershey saw the change as an unexpected improvement. Had he not been satisfied with the new design he would have returned to the Ketterlinus offices.  The experience had an additional positive impact on Milton Hershey.  It introduced him to the value of intellectual property and trademarks in the development and protection of a brand.  Hershey would recall this experience and use the lessons he learned in the future to protect his next product: Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates.

 

[i] Milton Hershey affidavit, 1905.  Accession 200945 Box 1 Folder 42.

[ii] Correspondence, Frederick Duncan to John Snyder, 01/21/1908.  Accession 200945 Box 1 Folder 41.

 

If at first you don’t succeed, try a new name

Hershey Chocolate used point of purchase placards to market its products in stores. 1933-1936

Hershey Chocolate used point of purchase placards to market its products in stores. 1933-1936

 

While Hershey’s Milk Chocolate is the United States most iconic confectionery product, not all Hershey products have been so successful.  Sometimes when Hershey introduced a new product, the company was not satisfied with its sales and quickly removed the product from production.  Other times, Hershey continued to market the product, tweaking the recipe, the packaging and even the name.

 

In 1927, Hershey Chocolate introduced Hershey’s Honey bar.  The bulletin distributed to the sales force announced the product this way:

 Bulletin No. 9 February 22, 1927

Within the current week Hershey Chocolate Company will go into big production of Hershey’s 5-cent HONEY BAR.  We use those descriptive words in alluding to this new bar because the principal ingredients beig sweet milk chocolate, borken almonds, and broken honey nugget, the prinitng on the labels emphasizes the words “HERSHEY’S” and “HONEY” in this manner:

“HERSHEY’S Sweet Milk Chocolate with Almonds and HONEY”

 

Hershey's HONEY bar. 1927-1930

Hershey’s HONEY bar. 1927-1930

 

In spite of what I am sure were the company’s best efforts to distribute and market the new candy bar, the product faltered.  Instead of giving up, however, Hershey sought to improve its marketing efforts tweaking the name, so that it would be clear that this was a candy bar.

 

Hershey's HONEYBAR, 1930-1935

Hershey’s HONEYBAR, 1930-1935

 

And yet the sales remained sluggish.  Though the “Hershey’s” name was prominent on the package, perhaps the yellow wrapper did not encourage consumers to recognize that this was a Hershey product. So in 1935, Hershey again renamed the product “Hershey’s Honey-Almond Milk Chocolate” and redesigned the wrapper to make it more obviously a Hershey product.

 

Hershey's Honey-Almond Milk Chocolate. 1935-8/1939

Hershey’s Honey-Almond Milk Chocolate. 1935-8/1939

 

And still product sales lagged.  Maybe no one knew what honey-almond milk chocolate tasted like?

 

So Hershey tried one more time, reintroducing the product in 1939 as Hershey’s Nougat-Almond bar.

 

Point of purchase advertising placard for Hershey's Nougat-Almond Milk Chocolate. 1939-1941

Point of purchase advertising placard for Hershey’s Nougat-Almond Milk Chocolate. 1939-1941

 

With this new name, Hershey replaced the familiar maroon and silver packaging with blue and white. To promote the product, Hershey’s Nougat-Almond bars were one of the five products included in Hershey’s Miniatures (the other products were milk chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel, and Bitter-Sweet) when it was introduced in 1939.

 

Hershey’s Nougat-Almond bars were discontinued in 1942, as part of Hershey’s product line consolidation in response to wartime restrictions.

Looking back: Hershey Chocolate products

In-store advertising placard for Hershey's Chocolate.  1955

In-store advertising placard for Hershey’s Chocolate. 1955

 

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate is one of the great iconic American products.  Introduced in 1900, it has delighted generations of candy lovers.

 

Not all products are so successful. This week’s blog post takes a look at some of Hershey’s less successful products that were introduced with high hopes, only to be discontinued a few years (or months!) later because the public didn’t embrace the new confection, or manufacturing costs were too high or the product turned out to have some other challenge.

 

During the 1930s, Hershey Chocolate introduced a number of new products, including Krackel, Not-So-Sweet (a forerunner of Hershey’s Special Dark) and Hershey’s Miniatures.  Other products were not so successful.

 

Hershey's Mild and Mellow milk chocolate bar was introduced in January 1934.

Hershey’s Mild and Mellow milk chocolate bar was introduced in January 1934.

 

Hershey’s Mild and Mellow milk chocolate was introduced in early 1934. Developed to appeal to people who enjoyed a more milky, European style chocolate, it remained in production until the end of 1941. The United States’ entry in to World War II and Hershey’s need to reduce its product line because of sugar rationing forced the elimination of the Mild and Mellow bar. It was not reintroduced after the end of the war. However, in 1989 Hershey Chocolate introduced Hershey’s Symphony. The new product featured a milder, more milky style of milk chocolate. Twenty-five years later,  Hershey’s Symphony milk chocolate is an important part of the company’s product line.

 

During the 1930s, Hershey Chocolate Corporation experimented with a partnership with the British confectionery firm, Rowntree.  In 1934 Hershey acquired the right to manufacture and market a new Rowntree products:  the Aero bar.

 

Hershey Chocolate acquired the rights to manufacture and market the Aero bar in the United States from the Rowntree Company.

Hershey Chocolate acquired the rights to manufacture and market the Aero bar in the United States from the Rowntree Company.

 

Unfortunately, manufacturing the Aero bar was not easy. It involved placing the still liquid chocolate bars into a chamber where the air could be vacuumed out. The process caused the chocolate to form tiny air bubbles that gave the bar its characteristic wafer appearance. Too many problems with manufacturing and not enough sales resulted in the bar being discontinued in May 1939.

 

In 1938 Hershey again entered an agreeement with Rowntree to produce and market another bar: the Biscrisp bar.

 

Hershey's Biscrisp bars were introduced in 1938.

Hershey’s Biscrisp bars were introduced in 1938.

 

The Biscrisp bar also presented several manufacturing challenges for Hershey. It was difficult to make the wafers that were enrobed by chocolate. American wheat flour is different than British flour and that affected the quality of the wafers. Even though Americans loved the product, it was discontinued the following year.

 

If the image of the Biscrisp bar looks familiar, that is because, in England, the bar was called Kit Kat.  In 1969, Hershey again entered into a licensing agreement with Rowntree (now Rowntree Macintosh, Ltd.) to manufacture and market the candy bar. This time, Rowntree supplied technical support to help Hershey learn the intricacies of wafer baking and bar production. Today Hershey’s Kit Kat bar continue to be a popular confection in the company’s product line.

Reese’s Pieces: E.T’s Favorite Candy

Reese's Pieces were introduced in 1978.

Reese’s Pieces were introduced in 1978.

 

How a great candy was saved from oblivion by a small alien visitor from outer space OR the story of Reese’s Pieces, E.T.’s favorite candy.

 

In the 1950s, Hershey Chocolate developed the capability for panning; that is, sugar-coating a product.  M&Ms are probably the best known example of a panned candy product.  Hershey’s first panned product was Hershey-Ets, candy-coated chocolate discs or lentils.  One marketing challenge for this new product was that when the company introduced Hershey-Ets, people would say, “What is it?”  And to define it, you had to use the competitor’s name.  That’s a pretty difficult situation.  The product was eventually discontinued, except for holiday and seasonal applications.

 

Hershey-ets single serving bag, 1 3/4 oz., 1961-1968

Hershey-ets single serving bag, 1 3/4 oz., 1961-1968

 

This was Hershey’s first attempt at a marketing a panned product.

 

Flash forward a couple decades.

 

In the 1970s, Hershey Chocolate developed a formula for sweetened peanut meal with the consistency of chocolate.  It became the basis for Reese’s Pieces, which were made using the same procedures and equipment as Hershey-Ets.

 

The new product was originally named PBs.  But PBs wasn’t a proper name and the product was soon rechristened Reese’s Pieces.

 

At that time, Hershey was building a new manufacturing plant in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia, and Hershey planned to manufacture Reese’s Pieces there, in addition to the manufacturing in Hershey.

 

Hershey Chocolate supported the introduction of Reese's Pieces with advertising and promotional coupons.  1980

Hershey Chocolate supported the introduction of Reese’s Pieces with advertising and promotional coupons. 1980

 

The product launch was successful.  Reese’s Pieces sales went up significantly, held a little bit and then started coming down, not at an alarming rate, but it was certainly a bit disturbing, particularly since the company was in the process of building additional manufacturing capability.

 

About that time, Hershey Chocolate  received a call from Universal Studios, and they said that Steven Spielberg was producing a movie called “E.T.,” and they had decided to use Reese’s Pieces and the candy would play a featured part in the picture.  Over the phone, Universal invited Hershey to cooperate by promoting the picture.

 

Jack Dowd, then Director, New Products Development, traveled to California to meet officials from Universal Studios.  The plot was sketched out, and Universal explained that this creature was lured into the house by Reese’s Pieces.  The vice president said to Jack that they had decided not to use M&Ms.  Trying to come up with an alternative candy, he had asked his son, “What would you use?”  And his son said, “Reese’s Pieces.”  The vice president said he had never heard of Reese’s Pieces until that moment.

 

Dowd thought the project looked like something worthwhile.  Dowd knew Reese’s Pieces needed some special promotion to save it.  He agreed that Hershey Chocolate would support the movie with about a million dollars’ worth of marketing.  Hershey would create consumer promotions, trade promotions, and displays, featuring “E.T.”  In return, Hershey Chocolate would have an exclusive in the confectionery field for promotion and advertising.

 

This was the first time Hershey Chocolate had agreed to partner with Hollywood in the promotion of a movie and its use of a Hershey product.

 

Jack Dowd, in his 1991 oral history interview, remembered:

 

So I came home and informed Earl Spangler (Hershey Chocolate president) and the staff that we were going to spend a million dollars on a movie that I couldn’t show them the script for, that was going to employ a little green creature from outer space, and I couldn’t show them–at that point it was still confidential–I couldn’t show them a picture of that either.  I hadn’t seen it either.  I didn’t know what it would look like.

 

Earl said, “Are you sure this is going to work?”

 

And I said, “Oh, sure.”  Because what else could I say?  If I said, “Oh, no,” then we’d have to cancel it and I’d already signed up for it. 

 

Reese's Pieces was E.T.'s favorite candy.  Promotional poster, 1982

Reese’s Pieces was E.T.’s favorite candy. Promotional poster, 1982

 

We were going to offer a tee-shirt that had a picture of E.T.  We wanted a picture, and they sent us a picture of E.T. and the little boy.  I proudly showed the picture at the staff meeting, and Earl [Spangler] said, “That is the ugliest creature I have ever seen in my whole life.”  There’s no answer to that.  You just sit quietly and let the eruption die down. 

 

There was a special screening of the movie in the Hershey Lodge theater shortly after it premiered in New York City. The theater was filled with employees and their families.

 

At the end, the screen went black and there was total silence.  Nobody seemed to want to get off the mountain; they wanted to stay up there.  And then there was enormous applause. 

 

So I ran out in the lobby to watch the faces of the people that came by.  Many of them were tear-stained.  And Earl, who is a very emotional man, came out and his eyes were quite moist, and I said, “Is he still ugly, Earl?”

 

And Earl said, “Ah, he’s beautiful.”  And that was one of the high spots of the whole performance.

 

The movie was an enormous hit.  The publicity was incredible.  And the demand was tremendous, and fortunately just at that time the Stuart’s Draft plant came on stream and we were able to meet the demand, and the sales were more, far more than we expected.

 

Read Jack Dowd’s complete story on the Archives’ website.

 

 

Hershey Chocolate Company: On the Road

Hershey Chocolate Company introduced the motor car to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with this Riker delivery car. 1900

 

In February, 1900, some months before the sale of the Lancaster Caramel Company, Milton Hershey brought the first automobile to Lancaster, and used it to advertise his product.  The arrival of the machine was announced in the Lancaster New Era, February, 13, 1900:

 

“The Hershey Chocolate Company will have the distinction of having introduced the automobile into Lancaster, and for business purposes, too.  One was received here this morning from the Riker Electric Vehicle Company, and it will be put in shape for operating tomorrow, and be used in the delivery service.  It will haul a load of about 2,000 pounds and has a storage battery with sufficient power to carry the machine 30 miles.”

 

            After running around Lancaster for a few days – and nights, because the young clerks liked to drive it after hours – it set off on a tour of the cities of Pennsylvania, visiting Allentown, Bethlehem, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pottsville, and other centers.  With it was a crew of salesmen under F.W. Delori.  The “operator” was R.C. Orndorff of Baltimore.

            Reporters in the various cities through which it passed noted that it had won a $1,500 prize at New York’s recent Madison Square Gardens Automobile Show, that it cost $2000 (some said $2500), weighed 3,500 pounds, had four storage batteries (each weighing 300 pounds), and was equipped with electric lights, an electric bell, a brass “steering apparatus,” and brakes.

            Its top speed was nine miles an hour.  

 

Even though the car was such an attraction, the only image of the Riker electric motor car in the Archives’s collection is this print of a wood engraving, executed by J. J. Hensel, a Lancaster, PA engraver.  It would be wonderful to find an actual photograph of the vehicle somewhere, some day.

It’s the Cocoa Bean, Baby

Before the Hershey Kisses plume was used, a small square of printed tissue was include with every foil wrapped Hershey's Kiss.  1907-1921

Before the Hershey Kisses plume was introduced, a small square of printed tissue was included with every foil wrapped Hershey's Kiss. 1907-1921

 

Like most major corporations, The Hershey Company trademark logo has changed over time.  Changes are made to better communicate the core mission of the company.  Most companies seek to create something that will serve as a visual symbol of the business, an image that will be recognizable without words.

 

Early Hershey Chocolate Company product packaging often featured the company's first trademark, an intertwined H-C-Co.

Early Hershey Chocolate Company product packaging often featured the company's first trademark, an intertwined H-C-Co.

 

Shortly after Milton Hershey started his chocolate company he began searching for a trademark design that would reflect the promise of his new business. The first logo that he used was an intertwined  ‘H’, ‘C’, and ‘Co.’   Unfortunately, this monogram wasn’t very distinctive and it  was soon replaced by a design that would represent the Hershey Chocolate Corporation for 78 years.

 

Advertisement, Hershey Press, 5/25/1911

Advertisement, Hershey Press, 5/25/1911

The Cocoa Bean Baby company trademark was introduced on August 1, 1898. The design reflected the newness and promise of the young company.  The cocoa bean design reminded people that all the products produced by Hershey came from one main ingredient.  The trademark was officially registered on June 26, 1906, for “chocolate, cocoa, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate coatings, chocolate liquors, and chocolate powder.”  The trademark application stated the design featured “the representation of a portion of a vine bearing a broken cocoa bean, with the head, arms and shoulders of an infant projecting therefrom holding a cup in one hand.”

 

Until 1910, the cocoa bean baby held a chocolate bar when featured on Hershey's confectionery products.

Until 1910, the cocoa bean baby held a chocolate bar when featured on Hershey's confectionery products.

Until about 1910, two versions of the Cocoa Bean Baby were used concurrently.  Confectionery bar products featured a Baby holding a bar of chocolate.  Cocoa and baking products products showed the baby holding a cup of cocoa.  The Baby holding a bar was phased out after 1910.
Want to know more?  Check out the Archives’ website to learn more about how the cocoa bean baby has been used.

There’s more than one way to a consumer’s heart. . .

 

The Hershey Company did not incorporate media advertising for its products until the company was over 75 years old.  Even though Hershey Chocolate Company did not advertise in newspapers, magazines or on the radio, it made use of a variety of advertising techniques.  Milton Hershey made use of store windows, counters and posters in trains and trolleys.  His packaging also promoted his products.  Check out some of these examples of early Hershey slogans:

 

Beginning with the first Hershey Chocolate products, packaging carried advertising slogans such as “More Sustaining than Meat” and “A Sweet to Eat.”

 

  

Bar wrapper for Hershey's Milk Chocolate.  1903-1905

Bar wrapper for Hershey's Milk Chocolate. 1903-1905

  

 

   

 Later bar wrappers included advertisements for Hershey’s Cocoa.

 

  

 

 

Bar wrapper for Hershey's Milk Chocolate, ca.1912-1926

Bar wrapper for Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar. ca. 1912-1926

 

 

 

  

 

 During the Hershey Chocolate Company’s early years, it inserted specially sized postcards in standard size Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars.  These postcards featured scenes from the chocolate factory , dairy farms that supplied much of the milk used to produce milk chocolate and also images of the community’s recreational facilities.  Other Hershey Chocolate “bar cards” can been seen on the Hershey Community Archives website.

 

  

 

 

 

Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar cards such as this were included with standard size milk chocolate bars between 1909-1918.

Postcards such as this were included with standard size Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars between 1909 and 1918.

 

 

 

   

 

Salesmen created massive displays of product to attract attention and advertise special promotions. 
 

 

 

 

 

Sidewalk candy display created by a Hershey Chocolate salesman for Leftoff's Retail Store, Bronx, New York.  1938

Sidewalk candy display created by a Hershey Chocolate salesman for Leftoff's Retail Store, Bronx, New York. 1938

 

 

 

 

Hershey Chocolate Company made effective use of displays in store windows, counters and aisles:

 

 

 

 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation store window display.  ca.1930-1932

Hershey Chocolate Corporation store window display, ca.1930-1932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hershey Chocolate in-store display.  ca.1945-1950

Hershey Chocolate in-store display. ca.1945-1950

 

 

 

  

In smaller stores, special counter displays were used to promote Hershey’s products.
 

 

 

 

 

Hershey Chocolate store counter display.  ca.1920-1925

Hershey Chocolate store counter display. ca.1920-1925

 

 

 

 

 

  
For several decades these methods were effective ways to market the United States “great American chocolate bar.”  However, beginning in the 1960s, these methods were no longer enough and Hershey Chocolate began losing market share.   In response to growing competition, Hershey Foods Corporation launched its first media advertising campaign in 1970.