Leading US confectioner Hershey will return to the negotiating table to try to resolve the dispute, which has prompted 2,800 associates to strike.

The two parties are set to resume talks early next week. The last attempt at federal mediation collapsed when the two sides reached a stalemate over health care provisions.

Meanwhile, the strike is already affecting its share price, with investors discounting stock as concerns grow that the confectioner will not be able to make sufficient chocolate to meet demand as the strike moves into its second month. Hershey says it is able to cope with the strike, which affects some 20% of its production.