Coffee retailing giant Starbucks has entered into a tie-up with US confectionery group Hershey that will see the creation and distribution of Starbucks-branded premium chocolate in the US.

The companies said that expert chocolatiers are developing products that "translate Starbucks coffee-house flavours into delicious and distinct chocolate products".

In addition to innovative flavours, the collaboration, which will come into operation in the autumn, will offer new formats and packaging and will be available in a broad range of retail channels such as food, drug and mass merchandise outlets across the US.  

"Chocolate is the perfect complement to coffee and tea and has long been a part of the coffee-house experience," said Gerry Lopez, president, Starbucks global consumer products group.
 
Christopher Baldwin, president of Hershey's North American commercial group, added: "Our product development is focused on value-added chocolate and coffee-based products that will provide consumers with a new experience and accelerate growth in this key segment."