The Hershey Company completed the acquisition of Lily’s, the high-growth maker of low-sugar, better-for-you (BFY) confectionery products, for a purchase price of $425 million.
According to the company, Lily’s low-sugar products include dark and milk chocolate style bars, baking chips, peanut butter cups and other confection products that fit Hershey’s multi-pronged better-for-you snacking strategy.
“Lily’s is a great addition to Hershey’s growing portfolio of better-for-you snacking brands, and we are excited to add this high-growth, leading BFY brand and to get to work with its talented and innovative team,” said Chuck Raup, president Hershey U.S.
BFY snacking continues to grow faster than mainstream segments across snacking categories such as potato chips, ice cream and cookies. BFY offerings, however, are still under-developed in confection and the Lily’s acquisition would enable Hershey to accelerate this growth and reimagine the future of the candy aisle in partnership with retailers.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Lily’s traces its roots to co-founder Cynthia Tice’s decision to raise awareness about better-for-you foods by opening Center Foods, a natural foods store, in Philadelphia in 1978.
In 2012, Cynthia launched four Lily’s chocolate style bars nationally in Whole Foods Market and today the expanded line of bars, baking chips and other confections can be found across the country at key retailers. The brand’s mission is to offer consumers a range of great tasting, low sugar treats.
The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and has approximately 17,000 employees around the world. The company has more than 90 brands that drive more than $8 billion in annual revenues, including iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat®, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate’s Booty.