Popular chocolate-maker Hershey Co. plans to relaunch its famous Hershey’s kisses and milk chocolate bars in new versions made with no artificial flavors for this holiday season, Reuters reported Thursday. The new chocolate treats will be made using locally sourced milk and cane sugar, and contain natural flavors.
The move to nix artificial flavors comes in response to increasing demand for natural, unprocessed food. The new Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are expected to be made with fresh milk from local Pennsylvania farms, cocoa beans from West Africa, pure cane sugar and natural flavor. Holiday Hershey’s Kisses packages are also expected to debut the SmartLabel, which is a new mobile tool consumers can use to scan a QR code in order to instantly access detailed product information, including ingredients, nutrition facts and allergens.
“People want to see ingredients that they know and are familiar with in their foods, and we’re listening,” Mary-Ann Somers, vice president and general manager of US Confection, the Hershey Company, said in a news release. “Our commitments to simple ingredients and transparency continue with some of our most popular products, Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars.”
— The Hershey Company (@HersheyCompany) November 12, 2015
Others companies have also been concentrating more on products that are perceived as more healthful, including Oreo cookie-maker Mondelez International Inc., which anticipates generating half its revenue from snacks seen as healthier within the next five years, Reuters reported. Nestle, General Mills and Yum Brands are also catering to the shift in demand. Mintel, a leading market intelligence agency, recently reported that 43 percent of millennials do not trust large food manufacturers and 74 percent of millennials wished food companies were more transparent about how they make their products.
“There is a growing expectation for companies to provide more transparency about all that goes into their products and we’re at the forefront, piloting the SmartLabel this holiday season,” Somers said, according to a news release.