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Hershey's Innovation Strategy Accelerates the Candy Giant's Global Growth

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For almost 120 years, The Hershey Company has embodied
innovation with products that have changed the confectionery industry and
established the company as one of the world's leading candy makers. As part of
the company's strategy to drive global
growth and innovation
, it is opening an Asia Innovation Center located in
Shanghai, China. Hershey's new Innovation Center is a big step toward
continuing to accelerate its growth momentum.
This new research and development hub will enable Hershey to
launch new products customized to the tastes of consumers across Asia. The facility
in Shanghai provides a strategic gateway to the larger Asia market while
enabling close collaboration with local and regional China sales marketing personnel.
Currently, China is Hershey's fastest growth market, moving from number seven
to number three in chocolate share in only five years with chocolate share more
than quadrupling by 2012.
"Our new Innovation Center in Shanghai supports our
aggressive growth plans in Asia and reflects our global approach to
business," said Michael Wege, senior vice president, Chief Growth and
Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company, in a statement. "It will enable us
to translate our insights and knowledge of consumer tastes and preferences into
relevant products.'
The two-floor, 22,000 square-foot facility is a significant
investment in the China market and will house R&D laboratories, a plant for
the chocolate and sweets & refreshment categories and a development center
for emerging product offerings. In addition, it will feature a sensory area,
creativity center, packaging development section and research laboratory.
The center will initially employ 12 scientists and product
developers and includes office space for 32 engineers and innovation staff. Hershey
will also supplement technical resources that will enable this facility to become
a global innovation hub with a focus on building powerful brands across Asia
and worldwide. So, emphasis will be placed on consumer research and - a process
Hershey's calls 'consumer-centric brand building.' Hershey can gain a holistic
understanding of how the company's products play into consumer needs.

"The China team is very excited about the new
Innovation Center in Shanghai," said Jane Xu, vice president and general manager
of Greater China for The Hershey Company. "Our aggressive growth target in
the next five years will be achieved by building our five global brands across
China, along with the innovation capabilities developed at the center."

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