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Hershey says mint, gum sales hit as lockdowns restrict social gatherings

·1 min read
The company logo for Hershey Co. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York
The company logo for Hershey Co. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) - Hershey Co <HSY.N> said on Wednesday 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.

The company, the maker of Ice Breakers and Kisses, said its second-quarter performance would also be impacted due to a decline in its food service business and stunted candy sales at airports and stores.

"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 http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/47111/000004711120000027/0000047111-20-000027-index.htm.

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.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)