Hershey expects sweet rewards


THE CHIEF executive of US confectionery giant Hershey said acquisitions will be the priority for the chocolate-maker’s cash as the company looks to take confectionery market share in North America and expand abroad.

The company sees $10 billion (€8 billion) in potential local and regional acquisitions across the globe, chief growth officer Michele Buck said during an investor meeting in New York yesterday. Including other categories such as sweet snacks, acquisition opportunities total as much as $30 billion, Ms Buck said.

Hershey is seeking to surpass Mars to become the largest confectionery company in North America.

The 2008 purchase of Wm Wrigley Jr by Mars created the world’s biggest sweet-maker. Hershey is targeting China to be its second-largest market, after the US, within five years as it strives to boost revenue to $10 billion. Last year, Hershey had sales of $6.1 billion. The company also sees significant opportunity in India.

The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based chocolate-maker passed on a chance to buy Cadbury in 2010. Kraft Foods bought Cadbury that year. – (Bloomberg)