As consumers increasingly demand to know more about their food, transparency is becoming a top priority for brands. Providing information not only about ingredients, but where and how ingredients are produced is becoming common practice — and those who abstain from such actions are at risk of falling behind.
The Hershey Co. has announced new plans to take its transparency efforts to the next level, with the introduction of Sourcemap, an interactive pilot experience that provides consumers with a glimpse into the company’s supply chain. The interactive map shows where Hershey’s manufacturing facilities are located, as well as the origins of key ingredients for two of its most iconic products: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
By clicking on each ingredient’s icon on the map, consumers can learn more 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 sweet in his very own house and factory in Hershey in the late 1920s. There is also a video about the high-quality peanuts Hershey sources from South Georgia family farmers. Additionally, 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.
SourceMap follows on the success of the company’s SmartLabel QR codes, which provide consumers 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 want to do more."