Hershey Foods Corporation


Hershey Foods Corporation is faced with more challenges than you might think! It’s one-of-a-kind style and interesting background give it a unique outlook, compared to it’s unbearably generic rivals. There’s a lot more to this chocolate company than meets the eye!


In the early 1900s, Milton Hershey made a huge fortune through dogged persistence and the courage to pursue a dream. Though he was modest and unassuming in appearance, Mr. Hershey was a shrewd and determined businessman. He had a genius for timing and an instinctive ability to choose loyal and able people to help him. He was raised as a Mennonite, and was in school until fourth grade, when his father took him out of school to become a printer’s apprentice (a lot like Benjamin Franklin) It was obvious that he was not meant to be a printer, and he was sent to become the apprentice of a candy maker. When he turned 18, he opened a candy shop, which failed miserably. He traveled to Denver, Colorado and accepted a job with a caramel maker. There he learned how adding milk enriched the candy, and left to find his own fortune again. He opened a caramel company, which succeeded, and soon became fascinated with German chocolate making. He soon bought a German chocolate maker machine, and started making chocolate coatings for his caramels. In 1900, he sold the Lancaster Caramel Company and moved to Pennsylvania, where he opened the Hershey Foods company we all know and love.


Hershey’s chocolate and candy targets all ages, from young chidren to the senior citizens of our great country. It reaches it’s audience of potential customers by showing light-hearted, funny commercials starring their Hershey’s Kisses acting as humans, or the famous Reese’s peanut butter cup commercials. There are many others, including Jolly Rancher commercials, which depict bright, sunny farms that remind the watcher of relaxing summer days. There is cheap milk chocolate for which mothers thank the Lord for, as it will quiet their children and they can have some peace and quiet, as well as more expensive chocolate for the more refined, adolescent or adult tastes.


Hershey’s would do fine with only it’s own products (Kisses, Hugs, Cookies and Cream, etc.) but it wouldn’t be such a fine company without it’s diversity of flavors. There’s the traditional Hershey’s slightly sour milk chocolate, along with the wonderful peanut butter treats from Reese’s company, and Peter Paul’s coconut candy (Mounds and Almond Joy). The list goes on and on, including Heath, for those with a craving for English toffee, Jolly Rancher, for a sweet, fruity taste, and the classic York Peppermint Patties, for an excellent after-dinner mint. These have been purchased by the Hershey’s corporation, and make up the wonderfully diverse candy company. Even if you’re allergic to nuts or peanuts, there are still many things you can eat from the Hershey’s candy Company.


Next to it’s chief rival, Mars, it is most definitely tied for the top of the chocolate and candy industry. It has more companies, and therefore more diversity than Mars, but what little companies Mars has, they are all well-known and well-liked. Because of that, Hershey’s and Mars have been neck-and-neck since the 1970s.


Hershey’s has a rather large income. I will relate it in comparison of 2002’s income as opposed to 2001’s. In 2002, $4,120,317 was made, and in 2001, $4,137,217. After expenses like tax, money made in 2002 was $403.528, and in 2001 was $207,156. So, even if one year more money was made, after tax and other expenses, it could end up much less. In other words, money made is unpredictable.


Critical thinking questions


1. What critical decisions were made in this company’s infancy that kept it alive?


When this company didn’t even exist, Mr. Milton Hershey made a wise decision by selling his current company- the Lancaster Caramel Company- for $1,000,000 (which was quite a lot back then), but keeping the chocolate making equipment and the rights to make it. That was when he started up this company. If he had not been so smart as to keep the rights and equipment, Hershey’s as we know it would not exist, and Mars would rule the chocolate industry.


2. How does this compny ensure success in an ever changing economic market?