Candy executives at The Hershey Co. are hot under the collar about a logistics problem that's causing some of their profits to melt away. While the love of chocolate knows no season, the delivery of e-commerce orders can be tricky during the steamy summer months. In particular, Hershey has found that the confections tend to melt in the back of overheated delivery trucks.
To solve this sticky problem, Hershey has launched a technology contest, asking the public to submit innovative ideas for a lightweight, affordable shipping system that will keep chocolate close to the temperature at which it was packed for at least 48 hours. The ultimate goal is to develop a system that is inexpensive enough to use year-round as part of the standard packaging for consumers' chocolate shipments.
The contest winner will receive $25,000 in development funds and the opportunity to collaborate with Hershey to further develop proposed solutions. The company hopes the contest will generate sweet new systems or materials that allow chocolate to be shipped during summer months or in warm climates without the need for expensive gel packs.