Can a Kiss be more than a Kiss? Maybe, if it involves Starbucks
After Hershey got creamed in last week's quarterly earnings announcement, it sounds as though it could use the boost. Maybe it could use some of Starbucks' high-end panache to help push some products, even if it's not the only one that benefits. Of course, it's hard not to remember Starbucks' ill-fated drinkable chocolate, Chantico. It might have sounded like a perfectly good idea at the time, but ultimately, customers just weren't into it. So Starbucks cut it from the menu.
The products from Hershey and Starbucks will be available from retailers as a premium line. Hershey isn't exactly known as a top-end product, but in a press release, the companies promised that chocolatiers are hard at work on this high-end chocolate line. It's interesting for Hershey, because nowadays you can get new and exciting premium and organic chocolate at all kinds of retailers -- I'm always picking the stuff up at Whole Foods
When it comes to Hershey's partner, you could say Starbucks is a bit of a tart ... since it's hooked up with lots of companies before on such products. Starbucks has been in your grocer's freezer ever since it teamed up with Dreyer's to create its own line of ice cream. Then it got liqueured up on its deal with Fortune Brands'
Speaking of which, supposedly Pepsi's the reason why Starbucks' shares mysteriously gained nearly 6% last Thursday, the same day it announced its deal with Hershey. While Starbucks was in denial about the rumors going around that Pepsi and Starbucks were going to expand their agreement, I was pretty sure Starbucks' hook-up with Hershey had little to do with the extra love for Starbucks' stock, even if it does sound like a sweet deal.
Everybody loves chocolate, and lots of people love Starbucks, but the infamous Chantico incident shows that chocolate-flavored bliss isn't a foregone conclusion, even with the mermaid's stamp of approval. However, this move certainly makes sense, as Starbucks continues to try to get its brand in front of as many people as it can. It's hard to imagine anybody's not aware of the brand yet, but this process could lure in more and more consumers into its coffeehouses. Let's just hope this deal with Hershey produces an excellent premium product. Starbucks may get around, but it has its reputation to keep up, after all.
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