Case Study – The Hershey Company Produces Sweet Success in Virginia

Case Study by: Virginia Economic Development Partnership

The Hershey Company is North America’s leading chocolate producer and a global snacks company. In 2019, the company celebrated the 125th anniversary of producing its iconic brands, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate’s Booty.

Hershey established Hershey Chocolate of Virginia, Inc. in Augusta County in 1980. The Stuarts Draft plant is the company’s second-largest in the United States and primarily produces Hershey’s peanut-based products, such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Over the past 40 years, the company has expanded the operation numerous times, including the addition of a new product line in 2016, new machinery to increase production capacity in 2017, and a $104 million expansion announced in 2019 to add 111,000 square feet for the manufacture of penuche and peanut cream, which will be distributed to other Hershey facilities on the East Coast. The Hershey Company evaluated potential expansion locations nationally and ultimately chose Augusta County for its new Roasting Center of Excellence, creating 65 new jobs.

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