Coronavirus hit Hershey mint, gum sales because lockdowns restricted social gatherings

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Sales of gums and mints have taken a hit as social distancing protocols spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic discouraged people from participating in gatherings, Hershey Company said on Wednesday.

The company, the maker of Ice Breakers and Kisses, said its second-quarter performance would also be affected because of a decline in its foodservice business and stunted candy sales at airports and stores.

HERSHEY SALES BOOSTED BY CANDY PRICE INCREASES

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HSYHERSHEY FOODS127.75+1.00+0.79%

"We have also experienced a decrease in retail foot traffic and volatility in consumer shopping and consumption behavior across several areas of our portfolio, which has negatively impacted sales of our portable and on-the-go consumption products," the company said in a filing here.

Children horsing around the height markers at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA, on July 23, 2011. (iStock)

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The health crisis triggered a long lockdown, temporarily closing everything from restaurants to malls and forcing consumers to work from home.

Hershey has for long been betting on its nutritious and on-the-go snack portfolio, a hit with health-conscious consumers who would pick up protein bars before heading to work.

The company said it expects many of the changed shopping behaviors since the outbreak of the virus to continue as governments begin a phased reopening of businesses.

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