Michele Buck Was Kraft Confections General Manager

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Hershey Foods Corp. has named a former Kraft Foods executive as president of its recently formed U.S. Snacks Group.
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Snacks category heats up
The appointment of Michele Buck, who recently held the position of senior vice president and general manager of Kraft Confections, is part of Hershey's ongoing plan to move beyond candy into the far larger snack category. The $65 billion-plus snacks arena is quickly heating up as Hershey and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay unit have each pledged to boost their offerings in categories such as cookies and snack bars.

Meanwhile, category leader Kraft, with its Nabisco brand, and Kellogg Co.'s Keebler are investing more to fight back against the onslaught.

Hershey's two divisions
Hershey's president-CEO, Rick Lenny, in late February split the company into two business groups, U.S. Confectionery and U.S. Snacks, to further his mission of building the company's snack portfolio while at the same time building its existing candy portfolio. At the time, he named Thomas Hernquist, Hershey's chief marketing officer, to head up the confectionery unit but did not name a leader of snacks. The appointment of Ms. Buck, with her extensive experience across multiple snack categories, will allow Hershey to quickly and successfully execute its snack market strategy, Mr. Lenny said in a statement.

Prior to heading up confectionery at Kraft, Ms. Buck worked as vice president of marketing of confections and vice president of marketing of Planter's snack nuts at Kraft and also held a marketing position at Frito-Lay.

Thus far, Hershey has entered the snacks arena in multiple categories with the launch of its SnackBarz line, its Smart Zone nutrition bars, a line of Hershey's premium cookies and the acquisition of the Mauna Loa macadamia snack nut company.

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