Hershey's Cookies

New Hershey's Cookies, York Peppermint Pattie variety deliver convenience and indulgence in portion-controlled packs.

By Hollis Ashman and Jacqueline Beckley, Consumer Understanding Editors

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The pouch has the familiar York Peppermint Pattie logo in the blue and white letters on a silver background. The package includes a beauty shot of two cookies, and a yellow swirl that announces four dark chocolate-dipped cookies with peppermint crème.

Flavor (aroma and by mouth), texture and appearance are critical to the perception of quality in candy bars and cookies. For candy bars, quality has a lot to do with the color and sheen of the chocolate, the aroma, followed by the type of texture and then the lingering flavor in the mouth. Consumers of cookies are looking for a variety of textures, either the crispy outside and soft/chewy inside or all-chewy texture or an all-crisp, dense texture.

For these chocolate cookies, the size of the cookie was a little small, but four cookies for 300 calories seemed like a good deal to our tasters. The chocolate coating was dark and shiny. What we experienced at this point was great. The chocolate has the distinctive York dark chocolate taste with a good amount of peppermint crème. It was like a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie, only better. The next layer is dense and hard and offsets the crème layer. It was like eating a crunchy York Peppermint Pattie.

The overall effect took tasters back to their childhood memories of Girl Scout cookies, but this was better. It had really good chocolate and a lot of mint crème. It had an abundance of sensory experiences and evoked a lot of memories.

Flavoring with mint has some limitations. Mint is a flavor that is polarizing for most consumers. People either love it or hate it. Chocolate lovers who are non-mint people find the addition of mint to chocolate is an excellent way to ruin good chocolate. But for the mint lover, the York cookie/candy was about as good as it gets – dark, shiny chocolate, lingering clean mint flavor, the smoothness of chocolate and the dry crunch of cookies.

The other flavor options -- Hershey with Almonds, Almond Joy (coconut) and Reese’s (peanut butter) -- also can polarize. The lineup of four should make everyone happy, but it also will take the whole line to make this idea big enough. No single SKU in this line is capable of carrying the whole business.

Does the product deliver?

This brand is about trust and about the chocolate more than the cookie. The brand is about simply making people smile. The chocolate should be high quality and good tasting and taste like dark chocolate. This enables consumers to have a twinkle of a good childhood memory. Hershey’s York Peppermint Pattie cookie version delivers on the peppermint patty experience with the cookie twist.

How to make the idea bigger

This is a good idea for a product and for a business opportunity. Good chocolate with a cookie that is an affordable indulgence is always a good idea. Portion control for those chocolate/cookie cravings is great. Giving the consumer more opportunities to find Hershey and fit that taste into their lives sells more for Hershey.

We wonder if there is an opportunity to bring the more general appeal of milk chocolate.

Rating: The product does deliver on the Hershey/York Peppermint Pattie promise.

Market Potential: Good for the line, good for the category. Good for chocolate and mint lovers.

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