Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hershey Foods Corporation and the Love of Chocolate

Among the largest manufacturers of chocolate and confectionery products in America is known as a company called The Hershey Foods Corporation. The company is a major exporter of chocolate-related products and has additional factories in Canada and Mexico. This company was founded in 1894 by Milton Hershey which is located in Hershey Pennsylvania.

By the age of fifteen, the young Hershey, following a candy apprenticeship attempted to run his own candy shop in Philadelphia which failed after six years. But undeterred by his failure he continued to operate on his business idea of making caramel with fresh milk until in 1886 he returned to Lancaster founded the Lancaster Caramel Company and made a success of the company until he sold it for $1 million in 1900.

Seven years after founding the Lancaster Caramel Company, Hershey made a decision to concentrate on making chocolate-covered caramels after buying a German chocolate-making machine and in 1894 he established the Hershey Chocolate Company that manufactured baking chocolate, chocolate coating, sweet chocolate and cocoa. A dedicated chocolate manufacturing plant was constructed by the company in 1905 and shortly the local community was dominated by the Hershey name together with the company's activity for chocolate for love.

The firm went from strength to strength although Hershey would not trust in advertising and marketing and he made a poor investment in Cuban sugar in the 1920s. The Great Depression saw a downturn in the market but to survive Hershey open his doors to public tours to promote his chocolate by referral and kept the regional population employed through various construction projects.

However, Hershey generously did not stop there, he and his wife, who were childless established a school for orphans in 1909, the Hershey Industrial School, which has eventually renamed the Milton Hershey School in 1995 and still owns 35.5 percent of the company's stock via a trust fund.

In 1945 following Hershey's death the firm continued in the 'giving' tradition of its founder and established the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Pennsylvania State University in the town of Hershey.

The company continued to prosper during the 1960s and began diversifying its product range outside of chocolate for love towards pasta and it brought two pasta companies established the company name to Hershey Foods Corporation. As the company expanding into Europe it started advertising and marketing and in 1980 it acquired rights of the British candy maker Cadbury Schweppes PLC. The expansion grew with acquisitions in Canada, Sweden and the Ronzoni Foods Corporation, that make Hershey the most significant supplier of dry pasta in the north American market.

No comments:

Post a Comment