USA- Confectionary company Hershey has showcased various innovations and new products at the 2024 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Indianapolis in augmented reality (AR) and image recognition (IR) as part of its strategies to enhance its retail and merchandising capabilities. 

Hershey is looking to leverage technological innovations to help customers make data-driven decisions that optimize performance and enhance operational efficiency.  

The innovation uses AR and IR to collect customer-relevant data, track performance, and increase sales. 

The company showcased how AR will help determine where a product should be located on the store’s floor, thus aiding merchandising decisions. 

Hershey showcased how territory sales leads (TSLs) can leverage AR to generate an image that shows how a product would look in a store location. 

The company also showcased how IR can be used to track the product in question, gathering insights for the company on how the AR-generated placement has affected sales. 

The company expressed optimism over the innovation’s impact on its business. 

Momin Bhatti, Hershey’s Corporate Communications Associate manager, said, “We’re particularly excited about all the innovations that we’re able to showcase at this event.” 

“We’re going to have a strong 2025 lineup as well, and we’re very confident in the innovation we’re doing across our brands.” 

This optimism stems from the useful insights the technology can provide Hershey and its retail partners. Everyone in the supply chain line can use IR to understand where and why products are selling.  

The company already received feedback on the innovation from staff. TSLs in Florida revealed how the innovation has helped optimize merchandising in various locations.  

Andy Hunt, Hershey’s manager of digital innovation, said, “These innovations will continue to be a part of our TSL toolbox moving forward for other Hershey products, too.” 

Hershey rolled out the innovation with new products during the event. The company is expected to implement the technology through its outlets with its new Reese’s caramel Big Cup product. 

Hunt said, We like to talk about how the combination in Reese’s Caramel is better than the sum of its parts, just like how these technologies are transformational when used together.” 

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