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Snacks Retail Expertise

In 2024, Consumers Are Seeking Togetherness, Wellness and Value

Hershey’s Consumer Insights team has released the company’s 2024 consumer behavior predictions, which focus on friends and family, an emphasis on health and wellness and an ongoing search for value.
Martin Moore
Senior Manager, Consumer Insights

Key Takeaways:

    • Hershey’s Consumer Insights team has unveiled its predictions for 2024. 
    • We expect consumers to prioritize friends and family, health and wellness and cost savings this year. 
    • We’re eager to be a part of consumers' moments of goodness by offering a growing array of sweet and salty snacks that pair with every occasion.

January 23, 2024

While we don’t have a crystal ball at The Hershey Company, we do have tools to help us predict the future, thanks to the tireless work of our Consumer Insights team. At the end of 2023, the team was hard at work asking consumers about their attitudes and behaviors as they transition into the new year. Based on those conversations, as well as reviewing macro trend data, we’ve pulled together our data-driven predictions for 2024. These predictions explore how people will spend their time, their efforts, and their money and how Hershey will continue to be a part of more moments of goodness in all those pursuits this year.


1. They’re prioritizing time with friends and family.

Over the last year, consumers rediscovered the joy of connecting, and in 2024 we believe consumers are ready to spend time with the people who matter most to them. In our research, 62% of people polled say they prefer to spend time with friends and family over being alone, and 35% have spent time with friends and family to manage stress. We all know that great snacks are a must when loved ones get together, so pass the SkinnyPop popcorn! From tailgating parties and potlucks to cookie-baking extravaganzas to family movie nights, this year we expect consumers to make salty and sweet snack choices aimed at entertaining and delighting the people they cherish. Pro tip: the new Reese’s Caramel Big Cup is a great conversation starter! Best invention since chocolate met peanut butter?

2. Wellness continues to be top of mind.

Consumers want to look and feel their best. Per our poll, more than half of consumers (59%) currently participate in mental health self-care and at least one-third say that weight management and a healthy diet are important to healthy aging. This movement has been building momentum for years, and Hershey supports it. We expanded our better-for-you offerings to give consumers more of what they want, such as sugar management (e.g., our Zero Sugar, Lily’s and Honest Organic Gummies), protein snacks (ONE™ Brands and FULFIL), and plant-based options (including Hershey’s Plant Based Extra Creamy with Almonds & Sea Salt and Reese’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups). We’ve also found that many health-conscious consumers enjoy treating themselves with a smaller portion of their favorite candy, like our THiNS offerings, including Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, YORK Peppermint Pattie and KIT KAT®.

3. Cost-cutting is still important.

Three out of four consumers surveyed expressed concerns about the rising cost of living. We expect that 2024 budget pressures will force tradeoffs as consumers seek value and aim to strike a balance between quality and price. For some, it might mean investing in value by buying in bulk, like opting for a pantry pack of KIT KAT®, an individual variety pack of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels or even a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Super King. Many of the consumers we spoke with also said that they regularly seek out digital coupons and will continue to do so to cut costs and still enjoy the products they love.  

With these predictions in mind, we’re energized and ready for all that 2024 will bring. We love to see consumers finding joy in spending time with the people they love; we applaud their commitment to mental and physical health; and we understand the importance of seeking (and offering) value. As always, the team at Hershey is driven by our purpose of making more moments of goodness. That’s why we’ll continue talking to consumers about their motivations and concerns and show up for them in every way we can.

Source: Hershey Pulse Survey