The a2 Milk Co. and The Hershey Co. are releasing the co-branded Hershey’s/The a2 Milk Co. chocolate milk, marking Hershey’s first partnership with a premium milk company.
Hershey’s a2 Milk, using 2 percent reduced fat a2 Milk, is scheduled to hit retailers’ shelves beginning in January 2022 in 59-oz. refrigerated cartons as well as in 8-oz. shelf stable single, six-pack and 18-packs.
A2 Milk comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein rather than the combination of A1 and A2 proteins contained in most dairy products. Published research suggests a2 Milk that naturally contains the A2 protein may help avoid stomach discomfort in some people. That feature, as well as strong sales in the overall premium milk category, have helped the company achieve multiple years of double-digit growth including a 30 percent growth rate in the U.S. in its last fiscal year.
Coupling a2 Milk with Hershey’s cocoa creates a chocolate milk with Hershey’s classic taste, 8 grams of protein per serving and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
“Premium milk buyers appear to want three things from chocolate milk: taste, quality and natural ingredients,” said Blake Waltrip, CEO of The a2 Milk Co. U.S. “Partnering with the iconic Hershey’s brand and using Hershey’s well known cocoa in this new product guarantees great chocolate taste… Pairing this with high quality a2 Milk seals the deal in terms of delivering a delicious product that may help some consumers avoid stomach discomfort and that all consumers can feel good about giving their families. With this partnership, we have taken chocolate milk to a whole new level.”
“This new chocolate milk is the latest example of how we are expanding The Hershey Co. in to expanded better-for-you categories,” said Ernie Savo, senior director of global licensing for The Hershey Coy. “Partnering with The a2 Milk Company not only aligns us with a brand that is synonymous with quality and rapid growth but also selling a product that is a staple in almost every family’s refrigerator. It’s an excellent co-branding opportunity that we expect to yield strong results.”
The a2 Milk Co. was founded in 2000 in New Zealand by Dr. Corran McLachlan after scientific research suggested that proteins in milk may affect some people differently. The company entered the U.S. market in 2015, works exclusively with U.S. farms that are Validus certified for animal welfare and is now one of the fastest growing brands in the premium milk category in the U.S. with distribution in more than 23,000 locations. Its U.S. headquarters is in Boulder, Colorado.