Hershey makes leadership changes to fast-growing international segment


The Hershey Co. announced organizational changes to its international business, which it says has grown significantly over the past year.

Herjit Bhalla was elevated to vice president Canada and AMEA, taking on the Canada post in addition to his leadership in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Also, Europe becomes a standalone business under Jackson Hitchon, GM, Europe, allowing for focus on continuing the growth strategy in the UK and establishing Germany as a key market.

Herjit and Hitchon report directly to Rohit Grover, president international, The Hershey Co. The changes were effective Jan. 1.

Grover said in a release, “The Hershey Co.’s international footprint is growing in exciting ways. Herjit’s appointment as vice president of Canada in addition to his current leadership of AMEA speaks to our confidence in his ability to lead our ambitions in these critical markets. He will serve our people and our company with the qualities The Hershey Co. is known for – experience, expertise and leadership that delivers robust, profitable growth and competitive share gains. I am also delighted to recognize the success of the Europe business under Jackson Hitchon and am confident with a focus on key markets in Europe, will allow us to realize our potential in the region.”

Hershey International’s 2022 third-quarter operating income increased 81% versus the same period last year to $35.4 million.

Hershey Canada is the biggest international market for the global snack company and confectioner. Herjit will be playing a major role in powering Hershey Canada’s growth strategy. For the last five years he led Hershey India, doubling the India business.

He has also led the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa business since January 2021.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Duck Donuts opens second location in Puerto Rico 

Duck Donuts opened its second Puerto Rican location in Plaza Escorial, Carolina on April 22. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Duck Donuts opened its second Puerto Rico franchise location last week in Carolina, Puerto Rico. 

The Mechanicsburg-based donut chain has grown quickly after it began franchising in 2013 and has since expanded to over 110 locations. 

The Puerto Rican franchise marks the third international location for the company, joining franchises in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Bayamón, Puerto Rico. 

Both Puerto Rico locations are owned by Jorge Ramos, Juan Carlos Piñero, and Delmarie Ayala. The Bayamón location opened in 2020.  

“We are happy to open our second location in Plaza Escorial, Carolina, and continue with our growth plan of Duck Donuts brand in Puerto Rico,” said Ayala. “When we opened our first store in Plaza Rio Hondo, Bayamón, we had major setbacks due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. As we prepared to open our second store, we faced other COVID-19 related challenges such as labor shortage, construction materials and equipment price increases, amongst others. But our team continued to persevere, and we are thrilled to finally announce the opening of Plaza Escorial shop.” 

The new Carolina store covers 1,800 square feet and features Duck Donuts’ beach theme prevalent across its US stores. 

Duck Donuts plans to open 300 franchises by 2025.  

Last year the company announced franchise agreements with companies in Egypt and Canda. Those partners plan to open a Duck Donuts location in Burlington, Canada this summer and two in Egypt this August. 

Duck Donuts franchisee opens first Saudi Arabia location

The entrance to Duck Donuts’ new location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Duck Donuts’ newest international location opened this month in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Mechanicsburg-based donut franchise is in the midst of growing its brand outside of the country with franchisees in Saudi Arabia, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Anjal Arabia, the company’s franchisee in Saudi Arabia, signed a master franchise agreement  in October 2019. It opened its first Duck Donuts store this month and is expected to open nine additional units in the next five years.

The group will also sub-franchise Duck Donuts locations throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We are delighted to add Saudi Arabia to the growing list of countries where Duck Donuts is expanding and is making a positive impact within the local community,” said Betsy Hamm, Duck Donuts CEO. “We look forward to their rapid development of this exciting market, giving those throughout the country the chance to taste and experience our warm, delicious and made-to-order donuts.”

The Riyadh Duck Donuts carries over the company’s beach theme and offers donuts, coffee, espresso, donut sundaes, breakfast and more.

“Since we have opened our doors, the positive feedback from all customers is motivating us to bring Duck Donuts to every mall in Saudi and open drive-through locations throughout the country to give everyone the chance to experience our delicious, warm donuts and great coffee,” said Mohammed Alsherhri, Duck Donuts Kingdom of Saudi Arabia co-owner. 

Duck Donuts opened its first international location in Dubai in late 2020. It plans to open its first franchises in Canada and Egypt in the coming months.