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Sweet Smell of Chocolate

Andrea Thomas

Andrea Thomas

AS the founder of Hershey’s Chocolate, Milton S. Hershey may have only gotten it half right when he said, “Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing.” But he was certainly correct about the lasting appeal of chocolate.

Wi07_2674Chocolate has become particularly attractive to Andrea Brantzeg Thomas (MBA ’93), the new vice president of global chocolate for the Hershey Company. In her new assignment, Thomas is responsible for developing strategies to launch the company’s products in markets around the world, including India and China.

Formerly at Frito-Lay as vice president of innovation, Thomas created new-product proposals that generated more than $1 billion in sales in the salty-snack line. Prior to that Thomas served as vice president of retail marketing and promotions, where she led marketing for the Fritos and Tostitos brands.

In June 2006 Thomas was highlighted for her success at Frito-Lay as one of BusinessWeek’s 25 Champions of Innovation. When the Hershey Company announced Thomas’ appointment, they said her “outstanding record of driving growth through innovation and her commitment to winning in competitive markets will be invaluable.”

Thomas’ husband, Kyle, and their three children support her career in many ways, including acting as occassional testers for Hershey’s prototypes.