Hershey Raising Prices to Cover Higher Costs

Those rising commodity prices and increases at the pump are causing even candy costs to rise.

Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) said Wednesday that it plans to increase wholesale prices across the majority of its portfolio in the U.S., Puerto Rico and for export. The company said a weighted average price hike of approximately 9.7% will go into effect Wednesday for Hershey’s instant consumable, multi-pack, packaged candy and grocery lines. The candy-maker said the price bump will help cover “significant” increases in raw materials, packaging, fuel, utilities and transportation.

"We remain committed to the higher levels of global brand support, consumer spending and investment in go-to-market capabilities communicated in February," said David J. West, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We will work with our retail customers to ensure that the implementation of the price increase is supported with customer trade promotions and merchandising that continues to grow the category."

The confectioner backed its fiscal 2011 forecast for earnings between $2.54 and $2.63 a share, and said it expects full-year 2011 net sales growth to be between 3% and 5%, with adjusted earnings per share and growth in the range of 6% to 8%.

The stock was inactive in after-hours trading.