Ann Brinkerhoff, The Hershey Company
As a principal scientist in chocolate product development, Ann has led the development of several premium products for The Hershey Company. Most notable are Hershey’s Extra Dark 60% Cacao, Extra Dark Truffles and Extra Dark Tasting Squares, Swoops, Cacao Reserve Truffles in a Tin, Cacao Reserve Origin chocolate bars, Starbucks Chocolates, Scharffen Berger and Dagoba Chocolate Bars. In addition, Ann led the product development of Hershey’s Gold Peanuts & Pretzels.
For the past 10 years, Ann has been teaching the Chocolate Enthusiast Class for Hershey employees, a Temper-Temper class for The Hershey Story, and conducting chocolate and wine pairings for various groups. Ann has helped to provide direction to cacao farmers to improve their post-harvest practices which allows them to improve their livelihoods.
Ann joined The Hershey Company in 1992, initially working on new chocolate items. She quickly transitioned to the non-chocolate group and was responsible for the development of Hershey’s first hard candy, TasteTations, and herbal throat drops. Following her non-chocolate experience, Ann spent two years in a technical support group, allowing her to gain valuable manufacturing experience. After gaining experience with manufacturing, Ann returned to chocolate product development and played a significant role in the development of Hershey’s sugar-free chocolate. In addition, she was part of the acquisition team for Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt, providing technical and product development support.
Ann has been active in the community as a volunteer for the Harrisburg East Shore YMCA, Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, CMN and assistant coach for her son’s soccer team.
Ann and her team were granted a patent for chocolate-flavored hard candy. She holds both a BS and MS in food science from The Pennsylvania State University.