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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Hershey Co. joined forces with Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to develop a sensory science and consumer research program and the school's campus located here. The new initiative will include creating a research lab where the university will conduct consumer taste tests on a range of confectionary products, among those, Hershey's chocolate products. The consumer insights from the lab's research will then guide product development efforts, a release from Harrisburg University stated.
"We are creating a unique research program where students will learn applied science and technology that has meaningful, real-world applications," Dr. Eric Darr, Executive Vice President and Provost, Harrisburg University said in the released statement. "We want to thank Hershey for their support. This research will not only benefit the innovation work of one of the world’s best-known companies, it will give students the opportunity to gain practical experience that will prepare them for science and technology jobs."
"Having broad consumer input improves our ability to innovate as we develop the best-tasting and most appealing chocolate and sugar confectionery products on the market," Dan Azzara, senior vice president, Global Research & Development at The Hershey Co. said in the release. "This will be an exciting partnership that will keep us closely connected with consumers and influence future Hershey products as we develop innovative new forms to meet the needs of consumers. We’re proud to continue our support of the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology."
Harrisburg University staff will work closely with Hershey research staff during the program. Research results will then be integrated with sensory testing conducted at The Hershey Co.'s Technical Center in Hershey, Pa., according to the release. The company's professional sensory panels and employee panels will then provide feedback that will guide ongoing new product development.
A $90,000 grant from The Hershey Co. to the university will equip the new sensory science and consumer research laboratory and cover other start-up costs during the program's first two years, according to the release. The university plans to complete the lab next month.