US- Leading American chocolate manufacturer, Hershey is seeking to enter the premium milk market through the launch of a co-branded chocolate milk series with the a2 Milk Company. 

The chocolate milk is set to use a 2% reduced fat milk and is scheduled to hit retailers’ shelves beginning in January 2022 in 59 oz refrigerated cartons as well as in 8 oz shelf stable single, 6-pack and 18-packs. 

The partnership with a2 brings Hershey into the premium milk space and provides the company with another way to promote its brand name beyond the snacks or confection aisles.  

Notably, a2 Milk comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein rather than the combination of A1 and A2 proteins contained in most dairy products.  

Published research suggests that milk that naturally contains the A2 protein may help avoid stomach discomfort in some people which is usually associated with the A1 milk protein.

The new Hershey a2 chocolate milk is not only tummy-friendly but also hits on other trends by containing 8 grams of protein per serving, and eschewing artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.  

“Partnering with the a2 Milk Company not only aligns us with a brand that is synonymous with quality and rapid growth but also selling a product that is a staple in almost every family’s refrigerator,” Ernie Savo, senior director of global licensing at Hershey said.  

Even though the product doesn’t hit shelves for a few months, Hershey is already expecting it to be a success. 

“It’s an excellent co-branding opportunity that we expect to yield strong results,” the senior director of global licensing at Hershey added.  

The move comes as the business continues to expand its core range of products to broaden its offering for consumers who are more closely watching what they eat. 

Since 2017, Hershey has purchased fast-growing SkinnyPop popcorn, protein-bar maker One Brands, and invested an undisclosed amount in Quinn, a natural foods snack manufacturer.  

Earlier this year, Hershey bought Lily’s, a fast-growing, better-for-you confectionery brand whose low-sugar products include dark and milk chocolate style bars, baking chips, peanut butter cups, and gummies. 

 The maker of Almond Joy and its namesake chocolate bar is also expanding its portfolio to deliver more reduced sugar, organic and plant-based alternatives. 

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