A History of Goodness

Milton Hershey’s love for confection started at a young age and flourished when he established The Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894. By 1900, we sold our very first candy bar. Today, our portfolio of brands has expanded beyond the beloved and iconic HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar.

1890’s

1894: Lancaster Caramel Company

Milton Hershey incorporates the Lancaster Caramel Company and establishes Hershey Chocolate Company as a subsidiary.

1900’s

1900: Milk Chocolate bars

Launch of Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars.
 

1900: Milton Hershey sells LCC 

Milton Hershey sells LCC and retains Hershey Chocolate Company to continue focus on chocolate. Introduction of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. Transforming a luxury item into an affordable and accessible treat.
 

1907: Hershey's Chocolate Kisses

Hershey begins manufacturing Hershey's Chocolate Kisses.

1909: Deed of Trust

Milton and Catherine Hershey signed the Deed of Trust for The Hershey Industrial School which would become the Milton Hershey School.

1910’s

1918: Milton Hershey School Trust Fund

Milton Hershey places the assets of Hershey Chocolate Company in the trust fund of Milton Hershey School.

1920’s

1921: Trademarked Plume

Factory begins using mechanical kiss wrapping machine.  Kisses are now wrapped with trademarked Plume.

1925: Mr. Goodbar

Launch of Mr. Goodbar

1927: NYSE

Hershey is traded on the NYSE.

1930’s

1939: Hershey's Miniatures

Launch of Hershey's Miniatures. Miniatures were originally used by sales as sample bars.

1940’s

1930-1945: The Great Works Project

The Great Works Project – created jobs during Depression building most iconic landmarks of Hershey during this time (Hershey Park, Theatre, Hershey Hotel) & created Ration D bar (World War II service).

1960’s

1963: H.B. Reese Candy Company

Hershey acquires H.B. Reese Candy Company.

1970’s

1971: Hershey's Tropical Bar

Hershey's Tropical Bar sent to the moon with Apollo 15 Astronauts.

1973: Hershey's Chocolate World

Hershey's Chocolate World, the first retail center, opens.

1975: York Peppermint Patties

National distribution of York Peppermint Patties begins.

1977: Hershey acquires Twizzlers

Hershey acquires Y&S Licorice, including the Twizzlers line of products

1979: $1 Billion Achieved

Hershey achieves $1 billion in annual sales.

1980’s

1988: Re-launch of "5th Avenue"

National re-launch of "5th Avenue" candy bar.

1990’s

1996: Acquisition of LEAF, Inc.

Acquisition of LEAF, Inc. Products adds 40 new brands to the portfolio including Jolly Rancher, Whoppers, Milk Duds, Good & Plenty, Pay Day, Heath, Rainblo and Super Bubble.

2000’s

2000: World Cocoa Foundation

Hershey is a founding member of the World Cocoa Foundation and begins investment in West Africa to support cocoa farmers and improve cacao agriculture.

2003: Sugar free Hershey's and Reese's Candy

Launch of sugar free versions of Hershey's chocolate candy and Reese's peanut butter cups.

2007: 100th anniversary of Hershey's Kisses.

100th anniversary of Hershey's Kisses.

2008: $5 billion in sales

Hershey reaches $5 billion in sales.

2010’s

2012: Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

The Hershey Company named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

2012: The Hershey Company named to The Civic 50

The Hershey Company named to The Civic 50 as one of America’s most community-minded companies

2012-2016: International Expansion

International expansion to China, India, Brazil and further growth in Canada and Mexico.

2014: New Corporate Logo

The Hershey Company introduces a new corporate logo.

2016: Simply 5 Syrup and Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups

Launch of Hershey's Simply 5 Syrup and Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups.

2016: Hershey's Chocolate World 100th millionth visitor

Hershey's Chocolate World welcomes its 100th millionth visitor.

2018: Michele Buck becomes CEO

Michele Buck becomes the company’s first female CEO.

2019: CEO Michele Buck introduces Innovative Snacking Powerhouse

CEO Michele Buck introduces Innovative Snacking Powerhouse vision that leads to purchase of Amplify Snack Brands and Pirate Brands.

2019: #35 on DiversityInc

The Hershey Company recognized as #35 on DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

2019: Named to Dow Jones Sustainability World Index

Hershey named to Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for seventh consecutive year.

2020’s

2020: Achieved 1:1 Aggregate Gender Pay Equity

Hershey achieved 1:1 aggregate gender pay equity for salaried employees in the U.S.

2020: #21 on DiversityInc

The Hershey Company recognized as #21 on DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

2021: Achieved 1:1 Aggregate POC Pay Equity

Hershey achieved 1:1 aggregate gender pay equity for salaried employees in the U.S.

2021: #10 on DiversityInc

The Hershey Company recognized as #10 on DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

2021: Recognized to The Civic 50 for the Ninth Consecutive Year

The Hershey Company recognized to The Civic 50 for the ninth consecutive year as one of America’s most community-minded companies.

2021: Acquisition of Lily’s Sweets

Hershey announces acquisition of Lily’s Sweets, the high-growth, better-for-you confectionery brand.