Hershey gives grant to Harrisburg University to create research lab

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A university and a chocolate giant have joined forces to develop a sensory science and consumer research program.

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Hershey said their initiative will be developed, thanks to a grant of $90,000 from Hershey, to equip a new sensory science and consumer research laboratory and cover other start-up costs during the program’s first two years. The college 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, the two said.

The program’s research results then will be integrated with sensory testing conducted at The Hershey Co.’s Technical Center in Hershey, Pa., where professional sensory panels and employee panels provide feedback that guides ongoing new product development.

The university expects to complete the lab, which will be located at the university's school campus in downtown Harrisburg, in February.

“We are creating a unique research program where students will learn applied science and technology that has meaningful, real-world applications,” said Eric Darr, EVP and provost at 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.”

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