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NEW COCOA MIXES STIR

By Published on .

New products are pouring into the $312 million hot-cocoa category, but advertising isn't going on as a topper.

Hershey Foods Corp. is now rolling out nationally its Goodnight Hugs and Goodnight Kisses cocoa mixes, but will only use free-standing inserts to support the launch.

The two products are part of the company's Hot Cocoa Collection line, and blend Hershey's Kisses and Hugs with chocolate and white chocolate cocoa mixes.

No agency has been named for the product, but Kisses and Hugs chocolate candies are handled by Ogilvy & Mather, New York.

The new Hershey line moves away from the category trend toward extra marshmallow. Category leader Hunt-Wesson's Swiss Miss brand now has a Marshmallow Lovers variety, while rival Nestle's Carnation is marketing a Marshmallow Blizzard product.

SALES RISE EVEN WITHOUT ADS

Even without significant advertising, category sales are on the rise. Competitive Media Reporting found combined ad expenditures for Swiss Miss, Nestle and Hershey mixes combined were under $7 million for the first half of 1996.

According to Information Resources Inc., the chocolate milk flavorings/hot cocoa category rose 7.4% in dollar sales for the year ended Oct. 16. Swiss Miss held a 25.7% share for its regular, Marshmallow Lovers and Chocolate Sensations brands combined. Nestle's Carnation came in with a 23.8% share and its Quik brand held another 21%.

Hershey's share is 5.1%. That doesn't include Cocoa Collection, which has a 1% share.

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