Hershey, PA—The Hershey Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lily’s the low-sugar confectionary brand, according to a press release.
Products include low-sugar dark and milk chocolate bars, baking chips, peanut butter cups, and more. The press release states that Lily’s will “add a key better-for-you confection brand to Hershey’s portfolio.”
Better-for-you (BFY) snacking is growing faster than mainstream segments across snacking categories such as potato chips, ice cream, and cookies, the press release states, but BFY offerings are still under-developed in confection. The Lily’s acquisition would allow Hershey to accelerate this growth and partner with retailers to reimagine the future of the candy aisle.
Lily’s, based in Boulder, CO, was launched in 2012 by Founder Cynthia Tice, with four chocolate style bars debuting nationally in Whole Foods Market.
“Cynthia had the vision that consumers wanted a better-for-you option in confections and today 80% of adults want to cut back on their sugar intake,” said Jane Miller, CEO of Lily’s, in the press release. “By joining the Hershey’s family of brands, Lily’s will become a platform confection brand making BFY options easily accessible to all consumers.”
The acquisition will be financed with cash on hand as well as short-term borrowings. Lily’s is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings in the first full year post closing. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the next few months.