As part of its increased focus on the high growth premium chocolate category, The Hershey Company has acquired the assets and operations of Dagoba Organic Chocolate.

Dagoba produces high-end natural and organic chocolate bars, hot chocolate and chocolate-covered coffee beans sold in natural foods outlets and gourmet stores.

Announcing the acquisition, Richard H. Lenny, Hershey chairman, president and CEO, said: “Organic chocolate products are experiencing dramatic growth as consumers continue to trade up for indulgent, high-quality products. Dagoba, with its well-regarded portfolio of quality organic products, will enable Hershey to build on its leadership in the North American chocolate market by meeting emerging consumer needs and building profitable new marketplace opportunities.”

Hershey was particularly attracted to Dagoba because of its presence in the natural channel, Chris Baldwin, SVP and president North American Commercial Group, said.  “Dagoba’s use of only the finest organic ingredients makes it a great complement to our existing, premium portfolio of Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt products,” Baldwin added.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Dagoba,” said Frederick Schilling, CEO and founder of Dagoba. “Hershey’s deep commitment to quality and sustainability throughout its supply chain will help Dagoba improve and expand its mission of improving cacao farmers’ livelihoods and expanding organic farming methods. This partnership will enable us to continue creating the world’s most exquisite chocolate and make it available to a much broader consumer base.”