The US's largest chocolate manufacturer, Hershey, has expanded its Goodness Chocolate portfolio with the launch of Hershey's Antioxidant Milk Chocolate and Hershey's Whole Bean Chocolate, products that the company claims bring the health benefits associated with dark chocolate to the milk chocolate category.

"Consumers are very interested in the goodness benefits of chocolate, including the antioxidants found naturally in dark chocolate," said Michele Buck, SVP and chief marketing officer. "This interest is driving explosive growth in dark chocolate. Now, Hershey's Antioxidant Milk Chocolate and Hershey's Whole Bean Chocolate bring the goodness benefits of dark chocolate to the broader milk chocolate category."

Hershey said its Antioxidant Milk Chocolate features more flavanol antioxidants than leading dark chocolates - 260mg per 40g serving, versus 110mg in the leading dark chocolate. Meanwhile, Hershey's Whole Bean Chocolate is made from the whole cocoa bean. It contains 40% less sugar than the leading milk chocolate bar and is high in fibre and antioxidants - containing 7g of fibre and 180 mg of flavanol antioxidants per 40g serving.

Hershey's Goodness range has been produced to deliver health and wellness benefits without sacrificing the familiar taste of regular Hershey chocolate, the company said. It includes: Hershey's Extra Dark, Hershey's Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate, Hershey's Extra Dark Cranberries, Blueberries and Almonds, and Hershey's Extra Dark Macadamia Nuts and Cranberries. Meanwhile, the portion controlled Hershey's Sticks, containing 60 calories each, include four flavours: Rich Dark Chocolate, Mint Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Caramel-filled Milk Chocolate.