Mixing Sweet and Salty Helped Hershey Became One of Biggest Winners of Terrifying Market

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Hershey has long been a trick-or-treat favorite, but its latest strategy of mixing salty and sweet has helped the company reach new heights in a terrifying stock market, writes Ben Cohen for The Wall Street Journal.

Hershey stock has doubled in the last five years, outperformed tech giants over three years, and beating over 450 companies in the S&P 500 this year.

To avoid the market meltdown, the iconic American chocolate maker made itself less reliant on chocolate. Instead, it spent billions of dollars to add popcorn, cheese puffs, and pretzels to its offerings by acquiring a number of companies over several years, including SkinnyPop, Pirate’s Booty, Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, and Pretzels Inc.

“We see great synergies there,” said Kristen Riggs, chief growth officer at Hershey.

Additionally, the company bucked conventional wisdom and instead of expanding, it scaled back internationally and strengthened its competitive edge at home. This was a risky play that has paid off.

Since last Halloween, Hershey’s stock price is up by 33 percent, while the S&P is down 17 percent. Additionally, Hershey has soared more than 60 percent in three years and nearly 120 percent over five. Read more about Hershey in The Wall Street Journal.

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