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Hershey takes on fast-growing Nutella with new line of chocolate spreads

  • This photo provided by Hershey's shows a  new line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero.  The company announced the new product on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)

    This photo provided by Hershey's shows a new line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero. The company announced the new product on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)

  • This photo provided by Hershey's shows a  new line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero.  The company announced the new product on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)

    This photo provided by Hershey's shows a new line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero. The company announced the new product on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)

  • This photo provided by Hershey's shows a  new line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero.  The company announced the new product on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)
  • This photo provided by Hershey's shows a  new line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero.  The company announced the new product on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)

The Hershey Co. has announced that it will be introducing a line of chocolate spreads, including a hazelnut variety reminiscent of Nutella, a spread made by the Italian company Ferrero.

The move points to the strong growth in the category; over the past five years, sales of Nutella in the U.S. have more than tripled to $240.4 million, according to market researcher Euromonitor International.

In 2012, J.M. Smucker Co. also got into the game with its Jif hazelnut spreads.

Hershey wants people to try putting the chocolate spread on a variety of foods, saying in a statement that it’s a “snack enhancer” for items such as graham crackers, strawberries, pineapples and even pickles.

Anna Lingeris, a Hershey spokeswoman, noted that the most common uses for chocolate spreads are pairings with fruit. But she says Hershey will feature the “endless possibilities” for its spreads in national TV ads, which were set to start airing this week.

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