HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co., through its C7 Ventures venture capital vehicle, has announced minority investment in snack businesses Blue Stripes L.L.C. and Fulfil Holdings Ltd.
Blue Stripes, based in New York, was founded by cacao entrepreneur Oded Brenner. Blue Stripes Cacao Shop is a restaurant that showcases cacao pulp in a range of offerings from bowls to shakes.
“Blue Stripes Cacao Shop enables further go-to-market opportunities by offering experiential retail that combines the goodness of cocoa with a unique customer experience,” Hershey said.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Fulfil manufactures vitamin-fortified, high-protein nutrition bars in the U.K. and Ireland. Containing fewer than three grams of sugar, the bars come in such flavors as chocolate orange, white chocolate and cookie dough, and chocolate hazelnut whip.
The partnership will create opportunities in new occasions among new consumer segments and markets, Hershey said.
“Successful companies evolve and engage consumers in new and different ways,” said Mary Beth West, chief growth officer at Hershey. “As we continue to expand our snacking portfolio, our innovation agenda takes a balanced approach across investing in core brands and experimenting with new business models. This includes creating new platforms through R.&D., strategic acquisitions and investments in businesses that are sitting at the cross section of new consumer snacking needs.”
Hershey’s C7 Ventures model seeks opportunities for company growth through small capital investments in disruptive or emerging platforms that focus on new occasions, technologies and go-to-market prospects.