With more time inside and less to do out and about, people have been thinking about chocolate. CivicScience polled Americans on their most important comfort snack amid the quarantine, and how overall snacking habits have changed. Chocolate, it turns out, is the No. 1 quarantine comfort snack.
And according to the new research, 42% of avid online shoppers prioritize chocolate when shopping online for groceries.
As a result, it is important to recognize that record-breaking demand for s’mores and Hershey’s bars (one of the must-have items in a s’more) is skyrocketing. Since the pandemic began, sales of Hershey’s six-pack bars have soared by 40%, and in states with limited mobility, the demand has been four times higher than normal, according to Hershey.
Hershey’s director of US customer supply chain Ryan Britt points out that Hershey’s enjoys an awesome opportunity to play a unique spot in peoples’ lives.
“We have a great brand that people know and love, and one that means affordable indulgence,” he explains. “Being able to share something like s’mores serves as a personal connection. A lot of people grew up making s’mores around the campfire, and this brings about memories for people to relive their childhood.”
One creative menu idea that Hershey’s has come to love this year is the Hershey’s S’mores Dip. It is made with Hershey’s milk chocolate bars and heavy cream melted and mixed together and covered with miniature marshmallows. Then you dip in graham cracker pieces and enjoy.
“The thought of s’mores brings everybody back to their childhood,” Britt says. “The angle of our blog post is to showcase the tremendous work by our manufacturers and our entire team during late July and August – the final homestretch of summer – to help people celebrate away. We are here to support you.”
S’mores sales usually peak between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but this year has been one for the books. With travel on hold, backyard fire pits have become the latest destination. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that families across the country are transforming their backyards for relaxation and recreation at record levels. In fact, in states that are still experiencing lock downs, sales for s’mores products are four times higher than in other states. And from late April until the Fourth of July holiday, consumers were buying more than we had anticipated.
Hershey focuses on high quality and affordable indulgence. Chocolate is something consumers can spend a few dollars on and enjoy shared moments of goodness. The trends suggest that for current consumer behaviors, this is a very sticky trend. This behavior change is not subtle, Britt explains. It is a change in behavior, and a call to action for Hershey.
“As director of US customer supply chain for Hershey, I’ve seen some incredible things happen since COVID-19 began,” he says. “In the shadow of uncertainty and rapid change, I believe there is a silver lining in the ways that families have come together during quarantine to savor the simple things in life. Gathering around s’mores has been one backyard activity that consumers continue to cherish.”