The Design Company.

You can change this area in header.php

Special Sidebar

You can add any content in this area by go to
Admin->Design->Widgets->Sidebar4

Archive for the ‘The Hershey Company’ Category

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.

 

2C109-3thb

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

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.

 

 

Things old are new again: Hershey’s Modern Office Building

Hershey Chocolate Corporation Modern Office Building, 1935

Hershey Chocolate Corporation Modern Office Building, 1935

 

People who regularly drive through Hershey on Rt. 422 (Chocolate Avenue) have noticed all the construction and reconstruction taking place at the original chocolate factory.  Included in this project is construction work being done to the building at 19 East Chocolate Avenue, a structure also known as the Windowless or Modern Office Building.  Completed in 1935, this building served as the corporate headquarters for Hershey Chocolate for over forty years.  Today, this building is the heart of The Hershey Company’s operational offices.

 

When the building was constructed, much of the world was struggling under the financial stress of the Great Depression. Jobs were lost as businesses retrenched.  In Hershey, there was a different experience.  Milton Hershey responded to the economic upheaval with a construction program.  During the 1930s, many of Hershey’s monumental structures were built, including Hotel Hershey, Milton Hershey School’s Catherine Hall (then the Junior-Senior High School), the Community Building (14E), Hershey Sports Arena and the Modern Office Building for the Hershey Chocolate Corporation.

 

Milton Hershey’s great interest in innovation and experimentation shaped the design of this new office building.

 

Original plans for the building called for a conventional design with windows and awnings.  As the foundation was being dug, Milton Hershey became intrigued with the idea of a windowless facility.  Such a design would dramatically increase the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems.  At Mr. Hershey’s direction, architect/builder D. Paul Witmer, quickly drew up new plans and construction continued without any delay.

 

Under construction:  Hershey's Modern Office Building.  1935

Under construction: Hershey’s Modern Office Building. 1935

 

The building was constructed of locally quarried limestone.  Construction began in the fall of 1934 and was completed in December 1935.

 

The building was a real testament to Hershey skills and ingenuity.  The building was designed and built by the Hershey Lumber Company (Paul Witmer serving as its manager).  Certain interior building products were installed by the Hershey Department Store.

 

There was quite a bit of excitement regarding the opening of the new office building.  Hershey Chocolate Corporation hosted a public open house on December 28, 1935.  Almost 14,000 people attended during the day long event.  The Hotel Hershey Highlights noted that the open house commenced at 9:00 a.m. and doors didn’t close until 9:00 p.m.

 

Printed for the building's open house, the booklet described many of the bulding's unique features.  1935

Printed for the building’s open house, the booklet described many of the bulding’s unique features. 1935

 

Visitors received a booklet, printed by the chocolate factory print shop, describing the building’s special features.  In particular, the booklet described the building’s interior plan, its atmosphere:

“Conditioned air, dust free,”

lighting, flooring, ceilings, walls:
 

“The room devoted to calculating machines and other noisy equipment has its walls of the same special acoustic plaster as is used on the lobby ceiling,”

 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation; Payroll record keeping department.  ca.1935-1940

Hershey Chocolate Corporation; Payroll record keeping department. ca.1935-1940

 

furniture, and telephone system:

 

“communicating facilities are provided between all office and the plant by dial telephones” and messenger service: “special small box type elevators connect the Receiving Department with the Mailing Desk.  A pneumatic tube system connects the Traffic Department with the Shipping and Stock Rooms of the plant for the rapid, safe delivery of all orders.”

 

Today the building is in the midst of major renovations to make it a functional and modern (once again) office space for The Hershey Company.

 

 

All you need are a few good men. . .

Milton Hershey and colleagues.  1905.  Left to Right: Front Seat: Chauffeur, Milton Hershey; Second Seat: George Shearer (brother-in-law of Murrie), William Murrie; Third Seat: Ezra Hershey, C.V. Glynn, George Eppley

Milton Hershey and colleagues. 1905. Left to Right: Front Seat: Chauffeur, Milton Hershey; Second Seat: George Shearer (brother-in-law of Murrie), William Murrie; Third Seat: Ezra Hershey, C.V. Glynn, George Eppley

 

Milton Hershey had a genius for selecting talented, energetic people to help him manage his business ventures. The leadership and skills of these men freed Milton Hershey to pursue new passions and ventures, including Milton Hershey School, Cuba, and experiments with new products.

 

Foremost among Mr. Hershey’s key managers was William F.R. Murrie.  Bill Murrie began work for the Hershey Chocolate Company soon after the company was established.  In 1896 Milton Hershey hired him as a salesman for the new chocolate business.  His talents were quickly realized and he came off the road to manage the chocolate business.  Through his career, you can chart the growth and success of chocolate sales. When he retired in 1947, his career spanned over 50 years.

 

He was promoted to President, Hershey Chocolate Company in 1908.  Murrie was only 35 years old.  He served as company president until he retired in 1947.

 

Milton Hershey did not enjoy the day-to-day tasks associated with building and managing a successful business.  Murrie’s skills and leadership managing the chocolate business freed Milton Hershey to pursue new passions.

 

Hershey Baseball Team, 1905.  William Murrie is pictured  fourth from left, back row.

Hershey Baseball Team, 1905. William Murrie is pictured fourth from left, back row.

 

As one of the Hershey community’s earliest residents, Murrie also took an active role in recreational activities, particularly sports.  For many years he managed one of Hershey’s baseball teams.

 

Hershey Industrial School (Milton Hershey School) Board of Managers, 1944.  front row, l-r: P.A. Staples, Milton S. Hershey, William Murrie.

Hershey Industrial School (Milton Hershey School) Board of Managers, 1944. front row, l-r: P.A. Staples, Milton S. Hershey, William Murrie.

 

Murrie’s career came to a close shortly after Milton Hershey’s death.  By the time Milton Hershey was choosing the person to succeed him in managing all of his businesses, Murrie’s health was beginning to fail.  His eye sight was fading and he was over 70 years old.  Milton Hershey recognized that Murrie was at the end of his career and selected P.A. Staples to take charge of the Hershey businesses and Milton Hershey School.  Murrie retired in 1947 and moved to New Jersey.  He died a few years later in 1950.

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.

Saving High Point

1a0914

Hershey Country Club (High Point Mansion), Mary Morrison teeing off; ca. 1935-1940

 

In 1930 Hershey Country Club was established and Milton Hershey offered his home, High Point, as its clubhouse, retaining two rooms on the second floor as an private apartment for himself.  The Club converted the first floor rooms into dining rooms and built a free standing one-story structure as a men’s locker room.  By the late 1960s, Hershey Country Club wanted to expand and made plans to build a second golf course and a new clubhouse. 

From 1970 to 1976, the mansion sat empty with only a caretaker living in an upstairs apartment.  Rumors circulated that the aging mansion would be demolished and many in town viewed it as a white elephant.

Fortunately, William Dearden, a Milton Hershey School graduate, was made CEO of Hershey Foods Corporation in 1976.  He had a strong vision for the company’s future.  To accomplish his goals, he created a new corporate staff and needed to find space for his executive team to work effectively apart from the day to day operations of the chocolate business. 

To accomplish his goals he acquired High Point  in 1977 with the goal of renovating it to serve as the company’s new corporate headquarters. 

To make the house functional as a business office, extensive renovations were required.  While the first floor was kept largely intact, on the second floor walls were moved and also added to create office space.  Hershey Foods made an effort to maintain architectural elements, duplicating trimwork and door styles.  At times functionality won out such as when ceilings were lowered (covering up plaster trim and part of elaborate crown moldings) to allow the installation of modern HVAC systems.  Hershey Foods also altered the look of the turn of the century mansion by installing wall to wall carpeting (hiding the inlaid hard-wood floors) and grass cloth as wall paper (all the rage in 1970s America).

Practicality also led to the elimination of some of the house’s elaborate porches and sun room.  Extensive wood rot and over-budget costs to repair/replace resulted in the decision to remove these parts of the house during its renovation.

Dearden’s need to relocate his executive corporate team and his passion for protecting Milton Hershey’s legacy saved High Point from possible destruction during an era in which many American cities defined urban renewal by destroying many architectural gems.

Hershey Foods Corporation Corporate Headquarters, Board Room; ca. 1980

Hershey Foods Corporation Corporate Headquarters, Board Room; ca. 1980

 

3b1642

Hershey Foods Corporation Corporate Headquarters, Reception Room; ca.1980