HERSHEY, PA. —Echoing a move by the company into grain-based foods in the early 2000s, The Hershey Co. is introducing snack cakes under the Reese’s brand.
Reese’s Snack Cakes feature chocolate cake and peanut butter enrobed in milk chocolate. The product is set to launch nationwide in convenience stores in December with a suggested retail price of $1.99 for a two-cake pack.
Citing survey data that 83% of US adults consumed dessert before noon in the past month, Hershey is positioning the product as an indulgent mid-morning snack.
“Yep, you read that right,” the company says in promotional material. “Reese’s in the morning. Forever, in the form of a delicious soft baked chocolate cake topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter creme covered in smooth milk chocolate. Reese’s snack cakes — consider morning officially saved!”
Mike Orr, snack brand manager, said the product is targeted to consumers’ “mid-morning sweet tooth.”
It is not the first time snack cakes have carried the Hershey or Reese’s brand. In 2014, Flowers Foods, Inc., Thomasville, Ga., introduced mini-donuts and Swiss rolls under the Mrs. Freshely’s brand and co-branded with Hershey and Reese’s. A year later peanut butter swirly cupcakes and swirly cupcakes with chocolate cake were introduced under the Tastykake brand and co-branded with Hershey and Reese’s.
In the case of the new Reese’s snack cakes, Hershey has not disclosed whether the product will be produced by a co-packer.
An even bolder move into grain-based foods occurred earlier in the 2000s when Hershey entered the cookie category for a few years.
First announced in October 2004, Hershey introduced four varieties of premium indulgent, single-serve cookies. The varieties — Reese’s, Hershey’s, Almond Joy and York — were enrobed in chocolate and sought to give consumers a twist on the company’s candy classics.
The cookies were introduced under the leadership of Richard H. Lenny, a former Nabisco executive who described the cookie category as highly responsive to innovation with a “good margin structure.”
Like the Reese’s snack cake, the single-serve format for cookies was aimed at leveraging the company’s “strong, instant-consumable distribution and merchandising base,” Mr. Lenny said.
The cookie line was well received initially and was expanded to include take-home packs to complement the single-serve selections. At convenience stores Hershey added in-store merchandising vehicles, sch as counter units and display shippers.
The cookie line was discontinued after Mr. Lenny left the company in 2007.