Hershey takes a bite out of China's huge candy market

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by CBS News

khou.com

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Hershey has been making and selling chocolate for more than a century, but in places like China the company is just getting started. Interestingly, this classic American brand is changing to appeal to customers on the other side of the world.

Sales of chocolate, candies and gum have jumped nearly 50 percent in China over the last five years. The country's craving for chocolate, nearly $2 billion's worth a year, is too sweet for Hershey to ignore.

Far from its Pennsylvania roots, Hershey has just built its first research and development center in Asia, on the outskirts of Shanghai.

Qingbin Yuan heads Hershey's "innovation center," and said that its mission is to "try to develop product that is tailored to the taste of the consumer, the local consumer."

Hershey's research shows the Chinese prefer salty flavors, nuts and chocolate that is not as sweet as what is sold in America. So based on local consumers taste and preferences, they create products that are unique to China and not sold in the United States.

Hershey even fine-tunes the amount of chocolate needed to coat a wafer to fit what the Chinese like most.

Click here to read more and watch the report on CBSNews.com.

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