Hershey built its image on chocolate, so now the brand is building a 3-D printer that puts any image on chocolate. The printer is called the CocoJet and it lets customers customize chocolate with any personal image. The company plans to exhibit this printer at its Chocolate World attraction in May. Hershey hopes that the 3-D printer gives people a new view of chocolate and lets them experience the Hershey brand in exciting new ways. The brand is certainly right on-trend with the rise in 3-D food printing, so AdAge.com offered a taste of what Hershey is planning to share.
Making Chocolate More Appealing
To create the chocolate printer, Hershey partnered with 3D Systems, one of the oldest and largest in the field. They’ve spent months tweaking the system and their latest iteration is a 2′ x 2′ cube-shaped machine. After fine-tuning the features, the process can take from a few minutes to just under hour, all depending on the complexity. And consumers can be assured that the chocolate it produces has the Hershey taste they love.
The purpose of the printer is to increase consumer discovery and help people engage with chocolate in ways they never imagined. It’s also a marketing tool for Hershey since it will bring in curious customers and gain attention from the media.
Taking a Bite of a Recent Trend
In recent years, 3-D printing has made its mark throughout the food industry. It’s used by brides to personalize wedding treats and brands to customize edible gifts, and now NASA is trying to figure out how to use it to feed its astronauts. It lets some be creative and helps others solve big problems. And its future is unlimited as people discover new uses.
Hershey recognized its potential, so they’re using this 3-D technology to boost their business and brand awareness.
“This technology will be fundamental to the way people interact with food in the future,” said Jeff Mundt, senior marketing manager of technology at Hershey’s innovation center. “If we don’t get on the edge and lead the way to edible food printing, somebody else will do it for us.”
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Written by Michael Del Gigante