Hershey and Starbucks partner for chocolate platform

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. and Starbucks Coffee Co. have announced a development and distribution agreement through which the companies will create and market a new Starbucks-branded chocolate platform in the United States, beginning this fall.

"Chocolate is the perfect complement to coffee and tea and has long been a part of the coffeehouse experience," said Gerry Lopez, president of Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group. "We are excited to bring premium chocolate inspired by Starbucks coffee and cafe flavors to Starbucks customers and chocolate lovers. Creating a new chocolate platform is another way for us to extend the Starbucks experience outside of our stores and enhances the coffeehouse experience."

The new chocolate options will combine high-quality chocolate with Starbucks beverages and cafe flavors as well as fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. The platform also will offer new packaging forms and will be available in a range of retail channels such as food, drug and mass merchandise outlets in the United States.

"Hershey’s chocolate expertise, distribution and selling capabilities combined with the strength of the Starbucks brand will help transform the high-growth premium chocolate segment," said Christopher J. Baldwin, senior vice-president, president, of the North American Commercial Group of The Hershey Co. "Our product development is focused on value-added chocolate and coffee-based products that will provide consumers with a new experience and accelerate growth in this key segment. Customers clearly value the Starbucks brand, and early customer feedback has been outstanding."

The alliance will use the experience of the Artisan Confections Co., a subsidiary of The Hershey Co.

Both Hershey and Starbucks are focusing on purchasing cocoa in a socially responsible, economically viable, ecologically sustainable manner.

"Starbucks and Hershey share a deep dedication to making a positive difference in the communities where they live, work and do business," said Thomas K. Hernquist, senior vice-president and global chief growth officer of The Hershey Co. "We look forward to working together with Starbucks to extend our work that is making a meaningful difference in the lives of farm families in the world’s cocoa growing regions."

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