Hershey's organic sector goes dark

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate, Nutrition, Marketing

Hershey-owned organic chocolate company Dagoba has launched four
new additions to its confectionery range to keep consumers
indulging after the new year festivities.

Incorporating the latest confectionery health trends such as superfruits and a high cacao content, the new product bars are Lemon Ginger, Nibs, Seeds and Superfruit which contains acai, currants and goji berries.

Last year's takeover of Dagoba allowed US confectionery giant Hershey to enter the organic chocolate market and, through its newly-acquired subsidiary, the company now hopes to capitalise on the growing 'healthy' indulgence market which has seen dark chocolate being marketed as a functional food.

Cocoa contains high levels of polyphenols and flavanols - antioxidants which can work to protect the body from cell damage - research into their effects suggests they can halt the development of cancer cells, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

As these benefits become more widely known, consumers are catching on and driving up sales of dark chocolate which, according to analysts Leatherhead International, now make up 19 per cent of global chocolate sales.

Figures from Leatherhead show Hershey, who have a licence to sell Cadbury products in the US, is the fifth largest confectionery company in the world with a 2005 turnover of $4.83bn (€3.8bn).

The company owns the largest chocolate market share in the US with around 40 per cent and holds 11 per cent of the global market.

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