The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., announced on April 26 (Wednesday) its purchase of Ripple Brand Collective, LLC, a privately held company located in Congers, N.Y. Ripple owns the barkTHINS snacking chocolate brand, which includes strips of dark chocolate 'bark' made with fair trade sugar, cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, coated in nuts, dried fruit, seeds and grains and sold in reclosable standup pouches.
"This acquisition is a great addition to our Hershey chocolate portfolio and enables us to expand our mass premium offerings into this growing and on-trend category," said Michele G. Buck, president, North America, of the Hershey Co. in a release. "Since its launch in 2013, barkTHINS has quickly become a favorite snack brand due to its commitment to using simple ingredients, fair trade cocoa, non-GMO certification, and no artificial flavors or preservatives. barkTHINS is a very attractive and uniquely crafted brand that essentially created a new form of chocolate snacking ... barkTHINS addresses key consumer trends, such as premium, high quality ingredients and snacking. We look forward to building barkTHINS by leveraging Hershey’s scale at retail."
Added Scott Semel, founder and CEO of Ripple Brand Collective, LLC, "We’re proud of the rapid development of the brand since our launch in 2013, and look forward to the next phase of accelerated growth that Hershey can provide. Our unique proposition, brand equity, and outstanding team give us confidence that there is tremendous upside for barkTHINS with a confectionery leader like Hershey."
The barkTHINS brand is largely sold in the U.S. in the resealable packs and is also available via the clubstore channel as well as select natural and conventional grocers. Annual net sales of the business in 2016 are expected to be in the $65 million to $75 million range. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company recently introduced 2-oz. single-serve pouches of dark chocolate almond with sea salt and dark chocolate pretzel with sea salt.