In a quirky, yet somehow it-all-makes-sense development, it turns out that the pandemic has been really good for Hershey’s chocolate sales. Sales have been especially high in ZIP codes that have been hit hard with the novel coronavirus, as people have been spending more time outside. And if you’re spending lots of time outside around campfires, what better food is there to make than S’mores to go along with your carbonized hot dog on a stick? And more S’mores means more Hershey’s bars flying off the shelves, 40-50% more than usual, CNN reports.
“Our teams quickly created a model that combined actual and projected Covid-19 cases by zip code with store level traffic and sales trends,” CEO Michele Buck said in a pre-recorded message regarding Hershey’s third quarter sales. “We were able to predict spikes in demand, adjust our manufacturing schedules, and proactively get the right amount of inventory into the right stores.” That sounds like it must have been a lot of chocolate to shift around.
Halloween was a challenge too. Hershey’s created a website that suggested the safest ways to celebrate based off of COVID caseloads in specific ZIP codes using a color-coded map. The suggestions ranged from trick or treating with masks on to just staying at home watching scary movies on Netflix.
And, of course, there’s just the plain ol’ chocolate-to-face stress eating and baking. People have been baking their butts off, at least according to my Instagram feed, but apparently the 15-20% sales growth over the past few months in baking supplies like cocoa, chocolate syrup, and chocolate chips is what’s propping up the lagging sales in foodservice. Man, the world is changing. I know we’re all stressed out, but it’s still nice to know that chocolate will always be our collective best friend.