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Will Papa, Chief Research & Development Officer, The Hershey Company
3-D printing is a game-changing technology. It is going to dramatically change the way people live their lives in the future. Nearly every industry is looking at how 3-D printing can and will transform the creation and commercialization of products in the marketplace. The nearly endless capability for customization is 3-D printing’s competitive advantage, and it was for that reason that The Hershey Company formed a partnership with 3-D Systems, the industry’s leading 3-D printing company, in January 2014.“3-D printing is a game-changing technology” We understand the future potential of 3-D printing food and as a company deeply focused on technology innovation and understanding consumer needs, we knew we were well suited to bring 3-D printed chocolate to the world. Now, we are using 3-D technology to bring our iconic Hershey’s goodness to consumers in one of the most unanticipated and exciting ways. 3-D Printing at Hershey This January, we debuted our 3-D chocolate printer – the world’s most advanced – to the technology community at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Engadget put the printer in the running for the “Best of CES” award in the Maker-Friendly Technology category. AdAge included Hershey in its list of five non-technology companies that “outshone electronics and tech companies” at the show. The response from the tech community was resoundingly enthusiastic. It’s incredible that in just one year we went from a signed agreement with 3D Systems to a fully functional 3-D chocolate printer that can print multiple customized chocolate shapes in less than an hour. The printer we showcased at CES was our fourth generation, and we continue to work on the technology. With each iteration, it is getting faster and more precise. The speed at which we developed the technology perfectly demonstrates our existence in an exponential world – companies must act quickly to get ahead of technology shifts that will dramatically change how consumers interact with each other, the products they love and the world.