5 Gum demonstrates that smart packaging and branding can help a mediocre product burn brightly, if only for a short while. Of course packaging matters, and taste matters, but what about texture?
Imagine biting into a Reese’s PB Cup with smoothed-out ridges. You’d miss out on a satisfying part of the Reese’s PB Cup experience. The texture of chocolate, food, and candy is important, and it very often goes overlooked. Our sensitive tongues crave tactile stimulation, but The Hershey Company doesn’t deliver. The company misses an opportunity when it limits its thinking about candy shape to “how can we mold these chocolate bars to be easily broken into bite-sized pieces?”
5 years from now, textured foods and textured candy will be the new frontier. Marketers and designers will research which textures best stimulate the tongue (rather than those which look pretty, though the two aren’t mutually exclusive). New manufacturing processes will spring up around this research.
What an outstanding marketing concept for Hershey to grab and run with! I hope they do. I want to live in a world where I can buy chocolate bars with the texture of corn-on-the-cob, course-weave linen, or patent alligator. This is a million-dollar idea, and Hershey would be wise to get a sizable research team working on it before a savvy boutique candy maker breaks off a chocolate-swirled piece of the the their market share.