Hershey Revamps Insights Centers; Offers Immersive Experiences For Customer Collaboration

Hershey, PA — The Hershey Co. recently unveiled new Hershey Insights Centers. The facilities are designed to offer customers across every channel an opportunity to develop strategic plans based on retail growth initiatives and Hershey’s unique shopper insights.

“We’re very proud to build upon Hershey’s legacy of category leadership in a new and innovative way,” says Ryan Shaffer, senior manager of the centers. “Showcasing our capabilities in both in-store and digital executions in such as tangible way allows us to deepen customer relationships and explore strategies for growth through an unprecedented experience.”

The centers are based in Hershey, PA, and can offer three distinct capabilities that reflect the most current retail trends and technologies impacting today’s CPG environment based on Hershey’s thought leadership in shopper insights and category management, the company explains.

Global Customer Insights Center (GCIC)
Hershey’s 19,000-square-foot collaboration center has undergone an extensive renovation. Lab stations include paypoints, seasonal solutions and in-aisle merchandising strategies with special environments dedicated to foodservice and global licensing capabilities. Each gallery offers interactive and customizable content for retail partners to see collaborative strategies brought to life.

Mobile Customer Innovation Center (MCIC)
The second capability of the Hershey Insights Centers is the company’s mobile customer collaboration center known as the Mobile Customer Insights Center (MCIC). First launched in 2018, the 53-foot expandable tractor trailer includes 22- x 53-foot collaborative workspace that can seat up to 15 people. The MCIC was designed to offer customers who cannot travel to Hershey a similar experience to the GCIC. After nearly two years of inactivity due to COVID-19 restrictions, the MCIC will kick off a national schedule of customer visits starting in January 2022.

“The MCIC is a game-changer for some of our smaller or regional retail partners that cannot dedicate the time to travel to Hershey” says Shaffer. “We’re able to bring our industry-leading insights literally to their front door with a mobile experience that rivals our collaboration space in Hershey.”

The Hershey Insights Network (HIN)
The third capability of the new insight center is the Hershey Insights Network, a virtual platform that allows the company to engage remotely with its partners. The HIN operates like a live television newsroom equipped with a multi-camera studio and green-screen capabilities to deliver solutions to retail partners. The HIN was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but has quickly become a way to further the enhance customer collaboration sessions happening inside the GCIC.

“With the broadcast capabilities of the HIN, we’re able to bring not just the most senior executives into planning sessions, but a customer’s functional experts in everything from digital to media to operations,” Shaffer adds. “These new ways to connect with our customers offer a new level of holistic planning and collaboration to unlock growth across the retail experience from the physical to the digital shelf.”