Hershey's Is Hiring a Chocolate Futurist

Adapting to climate change, one candy bar at a time
Reuters

The Hershey Company—makers of the eponymous candy bar, York Peppermint Patties, and Reese’s Cups—is a big, complex organization. Not only is it the largest chocolate manufacturer in the United States, selling 40 percent of domestic dark chocolate, but it also operates a store/museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And one in Times Square. And one in Las Vegas.

And, oh, also an amusement park

Now—in response to all this bigness, all this complexity, all these diversified models—it has prepared for a changing world. The Hershey Company is hiring a futurist.

That’s not what companies call it, exactly. Hershey’s is hiring a “Senior Manager” in “Foresight Activation,” someone with experience converting “existing foresight (trends, forecasts, scenarios) into strategic opportunities (SOs).”

The company’s posting never breaks down just what “foresight” means, though it does specify applicants should be “collaborate with and align multi-functional stakeholders.” But let me be clear, foresight means trying to understand the future. Hershey’s is hiring a chocolate futurist.

Of course, this is not an outlandish position, even if it will require regular excisions of jargon. Companies everywhere analyze trends, try to figure out what imperils their business, and make plans accordingly. If they depend on products of the land, they specifically try to plan for the big, amorphous future risk of climate change.

Little wonder: A 2011 Gates Foundation-funded study found that even small amounts of climate change could ravage the cocoa market, sending “yields crashing and prices soaring.” And Starbucks has long insisted that climate change, more than anything else, threatens the global supply chain of coffee, and, thus, its business. 

 

via Scott Smith

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Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

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