(AP) — Jolly Ranchers are heading to India, the first international market for the hard candy outside of North America in its 65-year history.
Hershey India Private Ltd., a subsidiary of The Hershey Co., said Thursday that the expansion underscores the significance of a growing confectionery market in India, a nation of more than 1.2 billion people.
The move into India will also allow the U.S. candy maker to better compete with international players like Mondelez, which split from Kraft Foods last year. A big motivation for that split was a push to get snacks and candy into fast-growing emerging markets, including India.
Hershey said the Indian confectionery market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world and that it has singled out five brands that it will push globally over the next several years.
The candy is being sold in select stores in India already as a lollipop. Jolly Ranchers there are available in three flavors: green apple, watermelon and mango. Mango was developed solely for the Indian market.
Shares of the Pennsylvania company fell 61 cents to $96.13 by midmorning, in line with broader market movement.