Could this be a precedent? The Hershey Company, famous to US readers for its eponymous candy bars, is bringing to the US a line of confectionery that was originally launched in China.

As far as we know, this is the first time a western consumer brand has launching a new brand in China and then later brought it to its home market.

The introduction of the Lancaster brand marks a significant milestone for The Hershey Company, as it’s the first time the company has launched a new brand that is not a brand extension or acquisition in the past 30 years.

It is also the first brand to be launched outside the US. According to the company, the decision to launch the new brand in China rather than the US “underscored the company’s deep commitment” to China, as well as the importance of the market in Hershey’s global growth plans. Last year, it opened an Asia Innovation Center in Shanghai staffed by 12 scientists, presumably all with a sweet tooth.

The initial launch in May included three cities – Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu – and will be followed by a wider distribution in China in 2014.

Hershey expects China to become its second largest market behind the US in the new five years.

Lancaster Soft Cremes will be officially launched in the US in January 2014.

More on Hershey’s China ambitions in this article

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