The Hershey Co. says its latest product innovation was 18 months in the making.
Described by the company as a “multi-textural eating experience,” Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch bars will combine its iconic chocolate with cookie bits and flavored fillings.
The new product line was announced last week in connection with National Cookie Month, which is observed in October. The bars — to be available in caramel, vanilla crème and mint — will be formally unveiled at The Hershey Co.’s exhibit at the National Association of Convenience Stores annual show, set for Oct. 18-21 in Atlanta. They will be on sale nationwide starting in December.
Their debut also comes the same month as Hershey CEO John P. Bilbrey announced he will retire in July 2017, and less than two months after suitor Mondelez International announced it would drop its talks to acquire Dauphin County-based Hershey.
And the press rollout comes just one month after Mondelez announced plans to expand in the United States, including introduction of its Milka Oreo chocolate bars, already a European favorite, in the U.S.
So instead of seeing Oreo cookies cloaked in Hershey, a mash-up some had predicted during this summer’s sale talks, both companies are pairing their signature confection with their own cookies.
According to the company’s official release, pre-launch consumer testing earned the bars “some of the highest consumer scores of any product ever launched by the company.”
“Hershey wanted to bring consumers an indulgent snack that is a different experience from the classic Hershey’s chocolate bar, but still just as delicious,” said Mary-Ann Somers, general manager and vice president, U.S.
“We’ve spent the last 18 months perfecting this innovation to ensure that it not only tastes great, but meets the needs and desires of today’s modern consumer,” she added.