Hershey Company moves further into healthy snack market with latest acquisition

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Dec 20, 2017 4:02 AM

Photo by Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News


(Harrisburg) -- The Hershey Company is making a move to gain a stronger foothold in the "better for you" snacking market.

It's the chocolate-maker's second non-candy acquisition in the last three years.

Hershey has agreed to pay $1.6 billion for Texas-based Amplify Snack Brands, which makes healthy snacks like Skinny Pop popcorn and Oatmega protein bars.

Chrystalleni Stivaros, an analyst with market research firm IBIS World, said the move will likely make Dauphin County-based Hershey a stronger company.

"Chocolates and candies, they're not doing well. So in order to stay competitive, Hershey needs to branch out, and snacks is where it's at right now," Stivaros said.

The "better for you" snacking market that has seen a surge in recent years.

"Consumers are looking for better snack options," Stivaros said. "So Hershey will benefit from Amplify because they already have established brands in the market. For example, Skinny Pop is the popcorn that's available across the country in major retailers such as Walgreens, Target, CVS. They're even in Whole Foods."

In 2015, Hershey bought Krave Pure Foods, an "all-natural" food brand that makes beef, pork, and turkey jerky.

Last year, the charitable trust that controls Hershey rejected a $23 billion takeover bid from Mondelez International, which would have created the world's largest confectioner.

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