The fourth quarter looked fairly sweet for Hershey (NYSE:HSY), which delivered higher earnings despite some negative confection-related trends.

Consumers' new dietary restrictions are partly to blame for Kraft's (NYSE:KFT) recent woes, but so far, Hershey has kept growing. Lest it be remiss, however, the company's launched a line of chocolate-flavored bars dubbed 1 g Sugar Carb. Though you have to appreciate its attempt to address an important part of the market -- chocoholics who wish to drop 10 fast pounds using the Atkins diet -- one might wish they had come up with a name with a little more pizzazz.

Several new products from Hershey's chocolate factories have had success so far. These include Swoops, which are chocolates shaped like potato chips, as well as S'mores bars, with ingredients based on the traditional fireside treat that has gotten much more trendy lately, judging by Cosi's (NASDAQ:COSI) "make s'mores at your table" gimmick.

In case you were wondering, here are a few that may or may not get you salivating. White chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups, which began shipping last month; caramel-filled Kisses, touted as the first variety of the Kiss with a soft and gooey center, which will debut in March; and sugar-free York Peppermint Patties, also due for a March rollout. Hershey's rivals include Wrigley (NYSE:WWY), which makes products like Juicy Fruit and Big Red, and Cadbury (NYSE:CSG), well known for its seasonal offering, the Cadbury Creme Egg.

Hershey's net income for the fourth quarter came in 11% higher, at $144.9 million, or $1.10 per share, as compared to $130.3 million, or $0.96 per share in the year-ago quarter. Sales increased by 2%, to $1.18 billion from $1.16 billion. Judging by its stock's closing price Wednesday, investors didn't get a thrill from the quarter, though one might argue that given the climate, it was a pretty decent showing.

Hershey's enthusiasm over new offerings gives some room for excitement, but the American sweet tooth has changed; whether white chocolate Reeses, mints that look like caviar, or 1 g Sugar Carb will be huge hits remains to be seen. If new products and old standbys don't deliver impressive sales, investors may be willing to kiss Hershey's goodbye.

Are you a former chocoholic on a low-carb diet? Have you tried Hershey's 1 g Sugar Carb bar? Talk it over with other Fools on the Low Carb Way of Life discussion board.

Alyce Lomax doesn't own shares of Hershey, but she's never met a chocolate she didn't like. She welcomes your feedback via e-mail.