Hershey’s Chocolate World celebrates 40 years
More than two million chocolate-lovers visited the original site this summer, setting a new attendance record.
|Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, Pa.|
Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction may be 40 years old, but it shows no sign of slowing down.
In fact, the original location in Hershey, Pa., hosted more than 2 million visitors from all over the world this summer. And, more than 150 million guests have visited a Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction since 1973. And, the flagship location in Hershey, Pa. hosts more visitors than any other brand experience in the world.
Aside from the flagship location, there are also Hershey’s Chocolate Worlds in New York City, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.
And, in the next four to five months, new stores will open in Las Vegas and China, and there are plans for additional new locations worldwide during the next few years.
Record-breaking summer season
Summer remains the peak season for locals and tourists to experience Hershey’s Chocolate World, and this past summer set an attendance record, an 8 percent gain from last year, which was also a record. This ensured the popular destination will record the best full-year attendance in its 40-year history.
Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pa.,also posted other record-breaking statistics:
- More than one million pounds of chocolate sold
- 200,000 visitors were immersed in a Hershey’s Kisses digital experience that pulled consumers inside the imaginary factory of the Hershey’s Kisses TV commercial
- 175,000 visitors created customized chocolate bars at Hershey’s Create Your Own Candy Bar attraction, a 12 percent increase over the prior year
- 75,000 guests learned the art of tasting chocolate through the Chocolate Tasting Adventure
- More than 200,000 guests helped solve a mystery inside the Hershey’s Chocolate Factory with live animated Hershey, Reese and Kiss characters at the “Hershey’s Great Chocolate Factory Mystery 4D Show” launched in May in time for the 40thanniversary
From the moment guests walk through the doors at Hershey’s Chocolate World, the scent of chocolate and freshly baked cookies greets them, along with Hershey branded characters and brand imagery on a scale unmatched anywhere else.
Guests can customize their chocolate bars, taste different chocolate offerings and in Hershey, Pa., take a chocolate tour ride to learn how Hershey’s Milk Chocolate is made.
Part of the success of Hershey’s Chocolate World is retail and merchandising designs that visually surround consumers in a complete brand experience.
The Hershey’s Chocolate World Times Square store underwent a complete design renovation in 2012 and received top honors in the Visual Merchandising & Store Design (VMSD) magazine’s International Visual Competition.
“Our store designs are pacesetters for what traditional retailers can do in their stores,” says Amy Hahn, v.p. and general manager of The Global Hershey Experience and Licensing. “They serve as learning labs where we can continually create new and better ways to present and merchandise our products.”
40 Years of Confectionery Fun:
Hershey’s Chocolate World Attractions have celebrated a number of key milestones over the past four decades, including:
1973: Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction in Hershey, Pa., opens its doors for the first time, offering chocolate-lovers a “behind-the-scenes” view of the creation of the classic confections through a simulated factory tour ride.
1984: Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction visitors take on the Hershey’s brand – literally – with personalized messages on moulded chocolate bars, followed by personalized 5-lb. bars (1999) and packaging that features customers’ images on a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar wrapper or genuine Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction Syrup bottle (2009).
2000: Visitors to Niagara Falls, Canada, plunge into a chocolate-lovers dreamscape with the opening of the first Hershey’s retail experience outside of Hershey, Pa.
2002: A new Hershey store opens in New York City’s Times Square featuring actual factory equipment to dispense candy to millions of Hershey’s chocolate patrons at the landmark location.
2008: Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction makes its first appearance outside North America in Shanghai, bringing the chocolate-loving experience to millions more in the Eastern Hemisphere.
2014: Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction will open in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the new retail experience will bring a bit more of New York City’s Times Square to MGM’s New York, New York Hotel & Casino.
2014: Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction will open a second location in Shanghai, China, bringing the latest retail brand experience to the second largest confectionery market in the world.