August 17, 2005

Hershey's High End Binge After the close of the market yesterday Hershey announced it was acquiring San Francisco-based chocolate maker, Joseph Schmidt Confections. It also closed the deal on Bay Area-based Scharffen Berger Chocolate. The two acquisitions, taking place in less than a month are part of a new subsidiary of Hershey, Artisan Confections Company. The combined value of the two deals rests in the neighborhood of $46.6MM- $61.1MM; combined annual sales are approximately $25 million. Founded in 1983, Joseph Schmidt's signature products include high-quality, artistic, handcrafted truffles. He can shape chocolate as well as any sculptor. He uses a Belgian chocolate for his products. I have fond memories from the time I ran the retail gift shop during SF Ballet's Nutcracker boutique. To hell with sugarplums, tall chocolate painted soldiers were big sellers. These chocolates are available in both department and specialty stores and in the company's own Bay Area retail outlets. On the surface it looks like CEO Richard Lenny is looking to gain a share of the $1.7 billion premium segment. Scharffen Berger is a leader in the high-cacao-content, distinctive dark chocolate arena, while Joseph Schmidt specializes in fine, handcrafted chocolate gifts. The industry defines premium chocolate as any chocolate that is priced higher than $16 per pound. Category leaders such as Scharffen Berger, Ghirardelli and Lindt have become more widely available. American tastes have shifted over the years to a preference for dark chocolate and a higher quality milk chocolate. The smaller premium chocolate, often available in small packages are...
Summery Fast Food Summertime makes us all busier than usual. Grabbing a piece of fruit or a container of yogurt often stems the hunger pains for a bit. With just a few minutes time and a blender there are a range of tasty, quick and portable drinks that are healthy, if made with low-fat ingredients such as tofu and fat-free yogurt. These drinks are an excellent way to get extra fruit into your diet and fulfill or even exceed the five-a-day recommendation for fruits and veggies. Refreshing and tasting good is just an added bonus. Licuados With a lighter consistency and texture than the American milkshake licuados, pronounced lee-kwa-dos, can be found throughout Mexico and Central America. A combination of cold milk and fruit juices such as mango, apple or plantains these drinks can be a snack or a light meal. Okay, this one is not entirely low in calories but isn’t chocolate suppose to be good for you? Peanut Butter Deluxe Licuado Serves 2 1 1/2 cups milk 4 REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cups 1 banana, sliced 4 tbl chocolate powder 1 cup ice Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Serve chilled. Extra portions can be refrigerated, or frozen for a fast, healthy snack. More liquado recipes: Lassi Lassi, pronounced luh-see is the milkshake of southern India. Aruyvedic healing practices suggest that this drink aids in digestion. Made with cold yogurt, water or crushed ice and flavored either sweet or salty, with rose water, mint, cumin, cardamom,...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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