Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When Coffee Dreams, It Dreams of Chocolate

Starbucks Coffee Company invites coffee, tea and chocolate enthusiasts to discover new Starbucks® Chocolate products. Debuting nationwide March 2008, Starbucks Chocolate is artisan-style chocolate inspired by Starbucks® coffee, tea and classic coffeehouse flavors. The portfolio reflects the artistry of the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process and is crafted with high quality, flavorful cacao from around the world. Each chocolate is then thoughtfully blended with the authentic flavors of the Starbucks coffeehouse. The result is an inspired collection of delicious and intriguing truffles, tasting squares, signature bars and chocolate covered coffee beans that melds the Starbucks Experience with the premium chocolate expertise of Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company. The collection offers coffee, tea and chocolate lovers a delicious new way to enjoy the flavors and taste sensations they love.

To create Starbucks Chocolate, the master chocolatiers of the Artisan Confections Company start with all-natural ingredients, authentic Starbucks coffee, Tazo® tea and other classic flavors of the coffeehouse. The ingredients are thoughtfully blended and infused with artisan chocolate to create tastes, shapes and aromas that are uniquely Starbucks. The artistic portfolio of fine chocolate includes: signature dark, mocha, and milk chocolate bars and tasting squares; Tazo Chai, Passion and Citron tea-infused chocolate tasting squares; Caffè Mocha, Chai, Espresso and Vanilla Bean Truffles; and Milk Chocolate Covered Caffè Verona Coffee Beans.

“The craftsmanship and artistry of Starbucks Chocolate brings the Starbucks Experience outside of the coffeehouse setting,” said Wendy Piñero, vice president, consumer products, Starbucks Coffee Company. “Starbucks Chocolate is a delicious new way to enjoy and explore the world of premium chocolates.”

Inspired by Starbucks coffee, tea and coffeehouse flavors, the Starbucks Chocolate portfolio is crafted using the same artistry, commitment to community and socially responsible approach Starbucks is known for worldwide. Together, Starbucks Coffee Company and The Hershey Company are committed to making a positive difference in the world’s cacao growing regions by sourcing and purchasing cacao that is economically viable, ecologically sustainable and meets the high-quality standards required to craft Starbucks Chocolate.

Available nationwide beginning March 2008, Starbucks Chocolate retails for $2.99 and up and will be sold at mass retailers, grocery and drug stores. The Starbucks Chocolate portfolio will not be available in Starbucks coffeehouses at this time.

About Starbucks

Starbucks Coffee Company provides an uplifting experience that enriches people’s lives one moment, one human being, one extraordinary cup of coffee at a time. To share in the experience, visit www.starbucks.com.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and sugar confectionery products. With revenues of nearly $5 billion and more than 13,000 employees worldwide, The Hershey Company markets such iconic brands as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, and Ice Breakers. Hershey is the leader in the fast-growing dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey’s Special Dark, Hershey’s Extra Dark and Cacao Reserve by Hershey’s. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger, known for its high-cacao dark chocolate products, Joseph Schmidt, recognized for its fine, handcrafted chocolate gifts, and Dagoba, known for its high-quality natural and organic chocolate bars. Visit us at www.hersheynewsroom.com.

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