Hershey to ‘truly be a snacking company’ with new popcorn brand

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey is positioning its new Popwell popcorn as a better-for-you snack. Pic: Hershey
Hershey is positioning its new Popwell popcorn as a better-for-you snack. Pic: Hershey

Related tags Snack food Chocolate

Hershey has developed its first popcorn brand Popwell, which it is rolling out across the US in selected retailers. 

Hershey, known for its chocolate confectionery like Hershey’s milk chocolate, Kisses and Reese’s peanut butter cups, has recently started expanding its snack portfolio​. 

In 2015, it acquired premium jerky brand Krave and snacking chocolate brand barkTHINS​ ​a year later. Last year, it also launched Hershey’s multi-textural snacking product cookie layer crunch​.

Now, the company is exploring a new category that it says requires looking at things from a different perspective.

“We knew that if we wanted to truly be a snacking company, we also had to live entrepreneurially, which means not only looking at things through a different lens, but also doing things differently,”​ said Zach Decker, global innovation brand manager at Hershey. 

Better-for-you benefits

Hershey said its new popcorn has a “chip-like crunch with the better-for-you benefits of popcorn.

“Popwell delivers flavor with a twist. The half-popped corn texture is new to consumers and is flavored with familiar seasonings: sea salt, white cheddar and chipotle barbecue.”

The company is aiming Popwell as a better-for-you snack as it contains less than 200 calories per serving, is non-GMO, gluten-free and made from whole grains.

Hershey said the project was "unique," ​the period from conceptualization to market only took 10 months.  

"Popwell is one of the first products to advance via this accelerated model,”​ said senior operations project lead Jackie Burgess.

Growing popcorn market

Ready-to-eat popcorn has been the fastest growing segment in the US salty snacks market this past year, according to IRI data​ for the 52 weeks ending June 11, 2017.

The sector grew 9.68% to $1.28bn, compared to the year prior, IRI said. 

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Sharing the name Popwell

Posted by Carlton Lee Popwell,

I was shocked to see a product that shares my last name! I was very pleased when I tried the half popped popcorn for the first time. Half popped kernels have always been my favorite part of popcorn so I was very impressed with this new marketing strategy. Of course seeing my last name on a product that I like is also a great bonus .
This product has great potential for growth in my opinion. I've been in the service industry for over twenty five years . I feel this product has great potential in the bar snack category. The three different flavors of your product seem to be spicy, salty and savory which is perfect to increase beverage sales.
If I could lend a hand in anyway with my last name please let me know. I really like and enjoy your product!

Carlton Lee Popwell

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Very Informative

Posted by Nina Acharya,

The articles are very informative and helpful to keep oneself updated with the food industry around the world.

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