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HERSHEY, Pa. — With food transparency playing a larger role in consumers' lives than ever, The Hershey Co. introduces Sourcemap, a new interactive pilot experience.
As the name implies, Sourcemap is an interactive mapping tool that provides visibility into the supply chain by showing consumers where Hershey has plotted its manufacturing facilities, as well as the origins of key ingredients for two of the company's most iconic products, Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
"With this technology, our goal is to provide consumers with full transparency about where we source our key ingredients, and hopefully teach them something new about where our products come from," stated Deborah Arcoleo, director, product transparency, Hershey.
By clicking on each ingredient's icon on the map, consumers can learn through a gallery of information, photos and videos, including how the ingredient is farmed and harvested, and details about Hershey's sustainable sourcing initiatives in different communities.
For example, in the Reese's Sourcemap, consumers can learn about Reese's Peanut Butter Cup inventor Harry B. Reese, who invented the snack in his very own house and factory in Hershey in the late 1920s. Consumers can also hover over the "peanuts" icon to watch a video about the high-quality peanuts Hershey sources from South Georgia family farmers. Meanwhile, in the Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Sourcemap, consumers can see that every almond comes from California's Central Valley, and that 90 percent of the 6,800 almond groves there are family owned and operated, according to the company.
"For food companies, it's imperative to be transparent about what goes into your products. It's not enough to simply put a little more information on a label. The open and complete sharing of product information is now a must-have for any food company to compete," commented Arcoleo.
Sourcemap is the next step in the company's goal of greater food transparency, following the instrumental role Hershey played in the development of SmartLabel QR codes, a tool that gives consumers access to detailed ingredient information in real time.
"Most packages are already crowded with the small type of mandatory regulatory disclosures, so the physical package is really a poor platform for delivering a deeper level of information about products to consumers," Arcoleo added. "At Hershey, we are a proud leader in the development of SmartLabel QR codes for packaging and the first company to go live with this revolutionary transparency tool. But we [wanted] to do more."