The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Americans shop for groceries. At the beginning of the stay-at-home order in New York City, for example, people found a shortage of everyday staples including toilet paper, flour and pasta.
Many big brands have responded to the changes in consumer behavior by reducing or increasing the number and types of products they make according to new data. The Hershey Company‘s response has been interesting to watch. At the height of state lockdowns, consumers wanted more chocolate and less gum and mints.
Hershey’s VP of commercial planning and supply chain Susanna Zhu reports: “If you think about mint and gum, it’s very much a social courtesy, so when you’re home for whatever reason people are less concerned about minty fresh breath than when they are out and about.”
After many states loosened their lockdowns, Hershey’s mint brand Ice Breakers launched an ad campaign with the taglines, “Mint Before You Mask” and “Because mask breath is real.” See video above.