It’s always snack time around our work place. And of course the best snack flavor profile favors chocolate and salt! Sweet and savory. All of which makes Hershey’s acquisition of snack companies Dot’s Pretzels and Pretzels, Inc. a great match. The two deals will amount to roughly $1.2 billion for the chocolate company and expand its product portfolio farther into the snack area.
North Dakota-based Dot’s Pretzels is a key prize for Hershey as Dot’s accounted for about 55% of the pretzel category growth last year. The snack category overall has done well under the pandemic as people everywhere reach for comfort foods and treats. And it’s easy to grab snacks when studying or working from home!
Pretzels aren’t the only product that Hershey is buying. In 2018 it bought SkinnyPop popcorn maker Amplify Snack Brands for $1.6 billion. Hershey also has entered into the nutrition bar category, diversifying from chocolate as consumers buy healthier snacks. Hershey has also acquired Krave jerky and expanded Reese’s pretzel-nut-chocolate snacks. Other new treats from the company include:
- KIT KAT Thins
- Reese’s Snack Cakes for a mid-morning snack
- Organic Hershey’s Bars
- Organic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Zero sugar chocolates
Shoppers seek more options than ever before. Hershey’s stated goal: Become a snacking behemoth. That’s a tall order when competing with companies the size of Nestle, PepsiCo, Mondelez, and Kraft.
Care for a snack?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- NOTE: If available near you, buy a couple of bags of Dot’s Pretzels and bring them to class (along with Hershey bars). It’s always a nice idea to feed students.
- Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification. When is each used?
- Which strategy is Hershey’s using with Dot’s Pretzels? Why is it in acquisition mode?
- Show the list of brands Hershey owns: https://www.hersheyland.com/brands
- Show Dot’s website: https://dotspretzels.com/
- Next, discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) for marketing strategies.
- Divide students into teams. Have each team develop five SMART objectives for the new acquisition’s products.
Source: Hershey to buy two pretzel makers for $1.2 billion, Reuters News Service; Newman, J. (Nov 10, 2021), Hershey plans to spend $1.2 billion in deals for pretzel producers, Wall Street Journal.