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The Hershey Company

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Hershey Company

Weaknesses in the Product Life Cycle There are a couple of weaknesses in the product life cycle of Hershey. To begin with, candy sales are being lowered by health and wellness trends, which are not only a weakness for Hershey, but the entire chocolate and candy industries as a whole. In addition to that, Hershey has had price inflation for their products. There has been an increase in consumer consciousness when it comes to the health risks related to foods with high sugar and salt products as well as high-fat and cholesterol foods. Consumers are giving more attention to the product labels of the items they purchase and are choosing to purchase the healthiest products available. When it comes to price inflation, rising costs have been a principally tough challenge for the company. The raw material costs having to do with producing a basic milk chocolate bar weighing 3.5 ounces or 100 grams, has soared 28 percent. Hershey’s has been susceptible to market price increases of key ingredients like cocoa, milk, sugar and peanuts, which all have seen increasing prices. The price of cocoa butter, which makes up about a fourth of each chocolate bar, has risen 63 percent in the last 2 years, reaching a four-year high. Whole milk powder, which is another major part, has risen above 20 percent (Tidy, 2013). In order for the company to fight the rising costs, they would need to both raise domestic wholesale prices and lower product weight. The rising price of cocoa has already been causing pressure for the manufacturer to increase retail prices. Another strategy is to reduce the portion sizes of Hershey bars. In the future, a two-tier chocolate market could develop as brands begin to station themselves as either affordable or premium. So called “premium chocolate” can emerge to be similar to wine sector, with cocoa origin blends customized to meet...

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