Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Harrisburg University and The Hershey Company to Develop Sensory Science Research Laboratory

Hershey grant will fund lab start-up, contribute to new-product development

Harrisburg, PA, January 12, 2011 -- Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) are joining forces to develop a Sensory science and consumer research program at the school’s campus located in downtown Harrisburg, Pa. The initiative includes creating a research laboratory where the University will conduct consumer taste tests on a range of confectionery products, including Hershey’s chocolate. Consumer insights obtained from the lab’s research will guide product development efforts.

"We are creating a unique research program where students will learn applied science and technology that has meaningful, real-world applications," said Dr. Eric Darr, Executive Vice President and Provost, Harrisburg University. "We want to thank Hershey for their support. This research will not only benefit the innovation work of one of the world’s best-known companies, it will give students the opportunity to gain practical experience that will prepare them for science and technology jobs."

The Hershey Company will give the University a grant of $90,000 to equip a new sensory science and consumer research laboratory and cover other start-up costs during the program’s first two years. The University plans to complete the lab in February.

The sensory science and consumer research program is aligned with the University’s mission to create innovative and ambitious programs that meet the educational needs of youth as well as create economic opportunities in the region. Harrisburg University staff and students will conduct the consumer research working closely with Hershey research staff.

The program’s research results will be integrated with sensory testing conducted at The Hershey Company’s Technical Center in Hershey, Pa., where professional sensory panels and employee panels provide feedback that guides ongoing new product development. "Having broad consumer input improves our ability to innovate as we develop the best-tasting and most appealing chocolate and sugar confectionery products on the market," said Dan Azzara, Senior Vice President, Global Research & Development at The Hershey Company. "This will be an exciting partnership that will keep us closely connected with consumers and influence future Hershey products as we develop innovative new forms to meet the needs of consumers.  We’re proud to continue our support of the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology."

For additional information about sensory science research activities at Harrisburg University, please contact Dr. Rene D. Massengale at 717.901.5133 or

About Harrisburg University
Founded in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution that produces graduates who provide increased competence and capacity in science and technology disciplines to Pennsylvania and the nation. Harrisburg University ensures institutional access for underrepresented students and links learning and research to practical outcomes. As a private University serving the public good, Harrisburg University remains the only STEM-focused comprehensive university located between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

For more information on the University's demand-driven undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in applied science and technology fields, call 717.901.5146 or email

About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and more than 12,000 employees. With revenues of more than $5 billion, Hershey offers such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers as well as the smooth, creamy indulgence of Hershey's Bliss chocolates. Hershey is a leader in the fast-growing dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey's Special Dark and Hershey's Extra Dark. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where we live, work and do business. Milton Hershey School, established by the company's founder in 1909, provides a nurturing environment, quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. The School is administered by the Hershey Trust Company, Hershey's largest shareholder, making the students of Milton Hershey School direct beneficiaries of Hershey's success.

Steven Infanti
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
326 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101