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.
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.
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.