Hershey’s, maker of our beloved chocolate bars, Reese’s and Almond Joy to name a few, once again is partnering to broaden its reach beyond the pure confection category.
Under the leadership of Michele Buck, a seasoned CPG powerhouse, in the last few years Hershey’s has acquired or partnered with emerging companies to add to its snack portfolio and enter additional eating occasions. The latest partnership is with the maker of a2 Milk to create a milk co-branded beverage that leverages a2’s innovation in premium milk with Hershey’s household name.
Let’s keep a close eye on how this premium offering will benefit both companies as well as consumers. It could be yet another great example of how partnering with other brands helps companies expand or enter new lucrative markets quickly and at significantly less risk than building from scratch.
“We are really putting a big bet in growth in the better-for-you area,” Kristen Riggs, Hershey’s chief growth officer, said in February. “If we want to participate in that growth then we need to have more solutions.”
Since 2017, Hershey’s has set its sights on the better-for-you category by acquiring or investing in brands like SkinnyPop popcorn, One Brands protein bars, Quinn natural snacks and Lily’s better-for-you confectionary brand.
With about 15,000 new food brands introduced each year and a 90% failure rate, it’s a skill to discover the right product and brand that fits with your firm’s strategic growth strategy. Finding that golden nugget is a win-win for both companies, and even more importantly to the consumer.
Looking externally for established new businesses to launch new solutions clarifies the decision to build, partner or buy. Partnerships with, investments in and acquisitions of innovators, start-ups and emerging growth companies is a strategy that the Hershey company has leveraged well.
Keep us informed of other strategic partnerships that you know of, we would love to spotlight it here!