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Large Kiss Is Planted On Big Apple

September 18, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ Three, two, one ... Happy Hershey’s with almonds 3/8

The chocolate company, borrowing from a New Year’s Eve tradition, unveiled its new product in Times Square on Tuesday - a 6-foot, 500-pound replica of a Hershey’s Kiss with almonds.

The giant, aluminum kiss was dropped from One Times Square, the site where a giant ball is dropped annually to ring in the new year.

The stunt lacked Dick Clark and the thousands of revelers associated with New Year’s Eve, but Hershey Chocolate U.S.A. officials said there was a connection - the Kiss was introduced in 1907, the year the ball was dropped.

The introduction of almonds is the first change in the traditional Kiss since it was patented 83 years ago, said Hershey spokeswoman Bonnie Glass.

The almond Kisses are wrapped in gold foil to distinguish them from the silver-wrapped originals. They are available in bags of 6 ounces to 24 ounces and in bulk.

Ms. Glass said the new Kiss took five years to develop and will be manufactured only at the Hershey plant in southern Pennsylvania. It was successfully test-marketed in Midland, Texas, and Pittsfield, Mass., she said.

The Kiss is consistently among the chocolate candy industry’s top-10 best sellers.

Analyst John McMillan of Prudential Bache said long-standing market recognition gives the new version a head start.

″In the new-product game, you hesitate to call anything a can’t-miss item, but this is a can’t-miss,″ McMillan said. ″The only question I have is how much will it cannibalize existing sales of Hershey candy.″

Among Hershey’s other top-selling candies are Reese’s peanut butter cups, Kit Kat wafer bars, York peppermint patties, Almond Joy bars and Hershey bars, with and without almonds.

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