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HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Co. is launching its first new confectionery brand in decades with the introduction of Lancaster caramel soft crèmes. This marks the first time the company has launched a new brand that is not a brand extension or acquisition in the past 30 years.
The brand will roll out nationwide in January. Lancaster is rooted in Hershey's heritage and inspired by Milton Hershey's original confection company, The Lancaster Caramel Co., Hershey said.
Lancaster Soft Crèmes are designed to provide a modern caramel taste experience to meet a growing consumer demand and are inspired by similar candies made more than 120 years ago by Hershey founder Milton Hershey, according to the announcement. The Lancaster Candy Co. was his first successful candy company and both established his reputation in the confectionery industry and provided the foundation for the launch of The Hershey Co., which first produced sweet chocolate as a coating for the caramels.
"The launch of Lancaster Soft Crèmes takes Hershey back to the early days of our founder Milton Hershey and his truly innovative spirit and desire to make great-tasting, high-quality products for consumers," said Steven Schiller, senior vice president, sweets and refreshment, The Hershey Co. "The Lancaster brand will delight all consumers looking for a rich and indulgent experience as they savor our new soft crèmes that are rooted in our company's deep history."
Hershey successfully introduced Lancaster Soft Crèmes in China earlier this year in its first brand launch outside the United States. The candies became available in May in three cities -- Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu -- and will see a wider distribution in China in 2014.
Lancaster Soft Crèmes will be available in the United States in three flavors: Caramel, Vanilla and Caramel, and Vanilla and Raspberry. Eight-ounce bags will retail for $3.99 and 4-ounce bags will retail for $2.49.
A robust integrated marketing campaign is scheduled to support the launch starting in the first quarter of 2014.