Following a successful launch in China earlier this year, Hershey is ready to introduce its first new brand to the U.S. market in three decades.
The company plans to launch a line of caramel soft cremes branded as Lancaster beginning in January 2014. The origins of the Lancaster name can be traced to the Lancaster Caramel Company which was the name of Hershey founder Milton Hershey’s original confectionary company. The new Lancaster brand is said to be a milestone event for Hershey because it is the first time in the past 30 years the company has launched a new brand that is not a brand extension or acquisition.
The company said its Lancaster Soft Crèmes will offer a long-lasting and unique taste experience that is distinct from the typical caramels that dominate the category. The surprisingly soft, rich and creamy product provide a modern caramel taste experience to meet a growing consumer demand. The soft crèmes were inspired by similar candies that company founder, Milton Hershey, made more than 120 years ago in his original candy company located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As Milton Hershey’s first successful candy company, The Lancaster Caramel Company established Hershey’s reputation in the confectionary industry and provided the foundation for the launch of The Hershey Company which first produced sweet chocolate as a coating for the caramels before creating the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar.
“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 Company. “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.”
In addition to be the first new brand in 30 years, the Lancaster launch represented another first for Hershey. The initial launch in May in the Chinese cities of Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu was the first time the launch of a Hershey company occurred outside the U.S.
The product will be available in classic caramel flavor as well as vanilla and caramel and vanilla and raspberry. Distribution will be widespread and an eight ounce bag for $3.99 and a four ounce bag for $2.49.