The Hershey Company announced its net sales and earnings for the fourth quarter, projecting sales growth despite flat results in year-over-year fourth quarter results.
Hershey and Kellanova projected sales would continue to grow this year, though consumers are pushing back on higher prices—even for some sweet and salty treats, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Hershey said that sales were roughly flat in the fourth quarter compared to the year-ago period. Higher prices for the company’s products pressured sales volumes as the company battles higher cocoa and sugar costs.
Higher prices contributed 6.5% to Hershey’s revenue, largely offsetting a similar deduction from sales volumes.
“We continue to operate in a dynamic environment, but we are encouraged by the resilience of seasonal traditions and the consumer response to innovation within our categories,” said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company president and chief executive officer. “While historic cocoa prices are expected to limit earnings growth this year, we believe our strong marketing plans, innovation, and brand investments will drive top-line growth and meet consumers' evolving needs. We are elevating our focus on productivity and transformation to strengthen our business and deliver peer leading performance over the long-term.”
According to a company statement, The Hershey Company is beginning its efforts to increase agility, enhance automation, and support a more efficient operating model to deliver its long-term business and financial goals. The company expects the work to generate ongoing supply chain, manufacturing, and operating expense savings, and net of reinvestment, of $300 million by 2026, of which $100 million is expected to be realized in 2024.