Company Overview Visit hersheys.com website
Hershey Foods is a company that specializes in chocolate and confections. It is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and has been the largest confectionery manufacturer since it was founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey.
The Hershey Company started as an apprentice to a chocolatier at age 14. At age 16 he opened his own shop but struggled financially due to poor sales of his sweets because of their high price tag (US$0.10 each). After exploring cheaper methods of creating chocolate, he finally hit upon using cocoa butter rather than expensive cacao beans to create his products. He eventually partnered with John Hannon to begin mass-producing these candies for everyday prices starting at US$0.05 each.
Eventually, Hannon left the company and Milton Hershey took over the company in 1894 naming it The Hershey Chocolate Company. In 1907 he would build a town just for his employees across from where their factory stood, which later became the city of Hershey, Pennsylvania. He used his fortune to build an amusement park (Hersheypark), a hotel (Hershey Hotel), an unrivaled chocolate factory (Hershey's Chocolate Factory), and even the town's high school after his wife died during childbirth due to poor medical care. After his death in 1945 at age 88, the company was run by outside managers for four years until it was sold to a group of investors associated with The Seagram Company.
In 1963, Seagram sold The Hershey Company to the Pennsylvania-based George Barrie and New England Confectionary Company (Necco). In 1988, Hershey Foods Corporation became an independent company. Today it is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America and owns such brands as Reese's, Twizzlers, Kit Kat and Ice Breakers gum.