Coffee & Chocolate

Starbucks, Hershey team up to launch premium chocolate line

SEATTLE & HERSHEY, Pa. -- Starbucks Coffee Co. and The Hershey Co. has announced a development and distribution agreement in the premium chocolate segment. The companies will create and market a new Starbucks-branded premium chocolate platform in the United States starting this fall.

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

Expert chocolatiers are developing products that translate Starbucks coffeehouse flavors into chocolate products. The premium platform will combine chocolate with Starbucks beverages and cafe flavors, as well as fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. In addition to flavors, this platform will offer new forms and packaging and will be available in a broad range of retail channels such as food, drug and mass merchandise outlets across the United States.

The alliance will draw on the premium expertise of Artisan Confections Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hershey. Artisan Confections' portfolio consists of Scharffen Berger and the truffles of Joseph Schmidt.

Starbucks is one of the world's leading brands among consumers seeking a unique experience, said Christopher J. Baldwin, senior vice president, president North American Commercial Group, for Hershey. 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. 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.