Hershey moves to acquire Lily’s reduced sugar confectionery

US-based Hershey Company has moved to acquire Lily’s better-for-you (BFY) confectionery brand, signalling the company’s intention to expand into low sugar series, writes Neill Barston.

Terms of the deal have not been released by the key sweets and snacks giant, but the business noted that its latest investment was based on market segment of high growth.

As the company noted, Lily’s low-sugar products include dark and milk chocolate style bars, baking chips, peanut butter cups and other confection products that fit Hershey’s multi-pronged better-for-you snacking strategy. Lily’s will add a key better-for-you confection brand to Hershey’s portfolio of iconic chocolate and candy favourites.

Hershey is focused on developing a BFY confection portfolio that offers a variety of choices to meet the evolving needs of our consumers,” said Chuck Raup, President U.S. “Lily’s is a great strategic complement to our existing offerings in this growing segment of the confection category.”

BFY snacking continues to grow faster than mainstream segments across snacking categories such as potato chips, ice cream and cookies. BFY offerings, however, are still under-developed in confection and the Lily’s acquisition would enable Hershey to accelerate this growth and reimagine the future of the candy aisle in partnership with retailers.

Based today in Boulder, Colorado, Lily’s traces its roots to co-founder Cynthia Tice’s decision to raise awareness about better-for-you foods by opening Centre Foods, a natural foods store, in Philadelphia in 1978.

In 2012, Cynthia launched four Lily’s chocolate style bars nationally in Whole Foods Market and today the expanded line of bars, baking chips and other confections can be found across the country at key retailers. The brand’s mission is to offer consumers a range of great tasting, low sugar treats.

“Cynthia had the vision that consumers wanted a better-for-you option in confections and today 80% of adults want to cut back on their sugar intake,” said Jane Miller, CEO Lily’s. “By joining the Hershey’s family of brands, Lily’s will become a platform confection brand making BFY options easily accessible to all consumers.”

Lily’s acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings in the first full year post closing. The deal is expected to be completed within several months.



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