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If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try a New Name

Hershey Chocolate used point of purchase placards to market its products in stores. 1933-1936
Hershey Chocolate used point of purchase placards to market its products in stores. 1933-1936

While Hershey’s Milk Chocolate is the United States’ most iconic confectionery product, not all Hershey products have been so successful. Sometimes when Hershey introduced a new product, the company was not satisfied with its sales and quickly removed the product from production. Other times, Hershey continued to market the product, tweaking the recipe, the packaging and even the name.

In 1927, Hershey Chocolate introduced Hershey’s Honey bar. The bulletin distributed to the sales force announced the product this way:

Bulletin No. 9 February 22, 1927

Within the current week Hershey Chocolate Company will go into big production of Hershey’s 5-cent HONEY BAR. We use those descriptive words in alluding to this new bar because the principal ingredients being sweet milk chocolate, broken almonds, and broken honey nugget, the printing on the labels emphasizes the words “HERSHEY’S” and “HONEY” in this manner:

“HERSHEY’S Sweet Milk Chocolate with Almonds and HONEY”

In spite of what surely were the company’s best efforts to distribute and market the new candy bar, the product faltered. Instead of giving up, however, Hershey sought to improve its marketing efforts tweaking the name, so that it would be clear that this was a candy bar.

And yet the sales remained sluggish. Though the “Hershey’s” name was prominent on the package, perhaps the yellow wrapper did not encourage consumers to recognize that this was a Hershey product. So in 1935, Hershey again renamed the product “Hershey’s Honey-Almond Milk Chocolate” and redesigned the wrapper to make it more obviously a Hershey product.

And still product sales lagged. Maybe no one knew what honey-almond milk chocolate tasted like?

So Hershey tried one more time, reintroducing the product in 1939 as Hershey’s Nougat-Almond bar.

With this new name, Hershey replaced the familiar maroon and silver packaging with blue and white. To promote the product, Hershey’s Nougat-Almond bars were one of the five products included in Hershey’s Miniatures (the other products were milk chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel, and Bitter-Sweet) when it was introduced in 1939.

Hershey’s Nougat-Almond bars were discontinued in 1942, as part of Hershey’s product line consolidation in response to wartime restrictions.

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