Bolstering efforts to diversify, the Hershey Co. appointed Mary Beth West as senior vice president and chief growth officer.

West is a former executive at the department store chain J.C. Penney and packaged-food giant Kraft Foods. At Kraft, West served as chief category and marketing officer for its U.S. beverage and grocery businesses.

Hershey chief executive Michele Buck said recently that the central Pennsylvania company will retrench its overseas overseas operations, innovate new Hershey and Reese's products, and develop a snacks business.

Chocolate sales, which are highly impulsive, have softened as consumer tastes trend toward healthier goodies and shopping patterns shift away from bricks-and-mortar stores.