On Its 40th Anniversary, Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction Hits Record Attendance and Sets Bar for Multisensory Brand Experiences
At age 40, Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, the world's most visited brand experience recorded its best summer season in its history this year and the original location in Hershey, Pa., hosted more than two million visitors from all over the world. The experiential marketing leader continues its momentum as more stores are set to open around the world.
"As a pioneer in offering devoted brand fans a place to immerse themselves in a complete brand experience, Hershey's Chocolate World has been a popular destination since we opened the doors of our flagship location in 1973," said Amy Hahn, Vice President and General Manager of The Global Hershey Experience and Licensing. "We keep modernizing these amazing branded experiences to give consumers unique new ways to engage with our brands and keep coming to Hershey's Chocolate World in record numbers."
More than 150 million guests have visited a Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction since 1973, and the flagship location in Hershey, Pa., hosts more visitors than any other brand experience in the world.
Record-Breaking Summer Season
Summer is the peak season for Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction and this summer set the attendance record and ensured the popular destination will record its best full-year attendance in its 40-year history. Summer attendance was eight percent above last summer, the previous season record.
Summer 2013 also featured some record-breaking statistics for the original location in Hershey, Pa.:
- More than one million pounds of chocolate sold
- 200,000 visitors were immersed in a Hershey's Kisses digital experience that pulled consumers inside the imaginary factory of the Hershey's Kisses TV commercial
- 175,000 visitors created customized chocolate bars at Hershey's Create Your Own Candy Bar attraction, a 12 percent increase over the prior year
- 75,000 guests learned the art of tasting chocolate through the Chocolate Tasting Adventure
- More than 200,000 guests helped solve a mystery inside the Hershey's Chocolate Factory with live animated Hershey, Reese and Kiss characters at the "Hershey's Great Chocolate Factory Mystery 4D Show" launched in May in time for the 40th anniversary
Multisensory Marketing Leader
The Hershey Company has been recognized for its use of technology and innovation to develop new confectionery products to meet consumers' needs. And Hershey's Chocolate World has long been recognized as a leader for breaking ground with new, interactive and customizable multisensory consumer engagement experiences. From the moment guests walk through the doors, the scent of chocolate and freshly baked cookies greets them, along with Hershey branded characters and brand imagery on a scale unmatched anywhere else. From high-tech exhibits to unique ways to make the experience completely personalized, visitors to Hershey's Chocolate World are completely immersed in their favorite candy brands and every sense is constantly pampered and teased with chocolate.
Guests can customize their chocolate bars, taste different chocolate offerings and in Hershey, Pa., take a chocolate tour ride to learn how Hershey's Milk Chocolate is made. These memorable, engaging and multisensory experiences increase consumer loyalty and result in lifetime retention.
Award-Winning Retail and Merchandising Designs
Part of the success of Hershey's Chocolate World in creating a 360-degree brand experience is retail and merchandising designs that visually surround consumers in a complete brand experience, engage them with their favorite brands and provide access to the widest assortment of product available in one location.
The Hershey's Chocolate World Times Square store underwent a complete design renovation in 2012 and received top honors in the Visual Merchandising & Store Design (VMSD) magazine's International Visual Competition. Only 10 stores were recognized in VMSD, the leading magazine for retail design and visual merchandising industry
"Our Hershey's Chocolate World stores not only set a high bar for merchandising excellence, we also learn new and innovative ways to present our brands to consumers and then share that learning with our broad distribution retail customers," added Hahn. "Our store designs are pacesetters for what traditional retailers can do in their stores. They serve as learning labs where we can continually create new and better ways to present and merchandise our products in ways that capture the attention and imagination of candy-loving consumers."
40 Years of Confectionery Fun:
Hershey's Chocolate World Attractions have celebrated a number of key milestones over the past four decades, including:
- 1973: Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction in Hershey, Pa., opens its doors for the first time, offering chocolate-lovers a "behind-the-scenes" view of the creation of the classic confections through a simulated factory tour ride
- 1984: Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction visitors take on the Hershey's brand - literally - with personalized messages on molded chocolate bars, followed by personalized 5-pound bars (1999) and packaging that features customers' images on a Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar wrapper or genuine Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction Syrup bottle (2009)
- 2000: Visitors to Niagara Falls, Canada, plunge into a chocolate-lovers dreamscape with the opening of the first Hershey's retail experience outside of Hershey, Pa.
- 2002: A new Hershey store opens in New York City's Times Square featuring actual factory equipment to dispense candy to millions of Hershey's chocolate patrons at the landmark location
- 2008: Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction makes its first appearance outside North America in Shanghai, bringing the chocolate-loving experience to millions more in the Eastern Hemisphere
- 2014: Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction will open in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the new retail experience will bring a bit more of New York City's Times Square to MGM's New York, New York Hotel & Casino
- 2014: Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction will open a second location in Shanghai, China, bringing the latest retail brand experience to the second largest confectionery market in the world
Hershey's Chocolate World Global Footprint Grows for the Next 40 Years
To share the Hershey experience with more brand devotees around the world, The Hershey Company continues to invest globally and expand its retail footprint around the world by launching the next generation Hershey's Chocolate World retail experience. The new retail experience, which captures the excitement and imagination of the original global flagship location, will be packaged and exportable to new markets to reach new and loyal consumers across the globe.
Hershey's Chocolate World retail footprint will expand in the next four to five months with the new stores opening in Las Vegas and China and plans for additional new locations worldwide over the next few years.
Current Hershey's Chocolate World locations include: Hershey, Pa., New York City, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.
Additional information and multimedia on this announcement is available at: http://www.HersheyExperience.com.