Hershey is partnering with Ocean Spray on a line of fruit dipped in chocolate, the companies said in a statement. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Milk Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Bites and Dark Chocolate Dipped Cherry Infused Cranberry Bites will be available in select stores across the U.S., including Walmart, Publix and regional grocery stores, starting this month.
- The partnership between Ocean Spray and Hershey is the latest move by companies to bring their unique strengths together through a licensing deal. In this case, Ocean Spray is licensing the Hershey brand.
Few companies are as synonymous in their respective categories as Ocean Spray is with cranberries and Hershey is with chocolate.
Hershey, in particular, has been especially prolific in getting their core brands, most notably Hershey’s and Reese’s, into other product categories through licensing deals. The Pennsyvlania-based company already has a strong presence in everything from cereal and ice cream to cookie dough and milk.
The partnership with Ocean Spray furthers that initiative. It brings one of the company’s brands into another section of the grocery store beyond the candy aisle.
“We are excited by this partnership and extension of our iconic Hershey’s brand into new snacking occasions," Ernie Savo, who heads licensing at Hershey, said in a statement.
Ocean Spray, an agricultural cooperative with about 700 farmer families, has been actively expanding its portfolio in recent years under the leadership of Tom Hayes, the former CEO of Tyson Foods.
The cooperative has partnered with Atlantic Sea Farms, a regenerative aquaculture company, to include its cranberry seeds in the Maine-based company's kelp cubes. It also has debuted the juice drink Frutas Frescas, which has fewer calories and sugar than other similar beverages. And just last week, Ocean Spray announced it was collaborating with Pernod Ricard USA’s Absolut Vodka on a ready-to-drink cocktail.
Ocean Spray’s cranberries are used in over a thousand products across more than 100 countries worldwide.
“When brand alignment and collaboration makes sense, we jump at the chance to partner,” Kelvin Vuong, senior director of brand marketing for foods and snacking at Ocean Spray, said in an email.
The partnership with Hershey brings a valuable brand to Ocean Spray that gives the new cranberry bites further recognition in the marketplace.
The multi-serve resealable pouches are being touted for their versatility, including as a family snack, an addition to trail mix or to sprinkle on top of ice cream. It also brings two unique taste profiles together with the tartness of the cranberry and the sweetness of the Hershey chocolate. As consumers toggle between better-for-you eating and indulgence, the chocolate-covered cranberry bites could quickly resonate with shoppers.