Bengaluru: Hershey’s India Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of American confectionary maker Hershey Co, on Tuesday launched a line of premium protein cookies—the first of a planned portfolio of ‘better for you’ snacks that it wants to drive future growth in India. The cookies will be sold under the company’s Sofit brand and will mark its foray into biscuits in India, a crowded market with several big brands such as Britannia, Parle and ITC dominating across price points.

Sofit Protein cookies will also be the first line of products in the biscuits space that the company will develop internally, rather than license the business out or partner with other firms.

India is a critical part of the company’s international business and one of its focus markets, Hershey’s India’s managing director Herjit Bhalla said.

The chocolate maker has a clearly stated ambition of accelerating its growth in India, in line with which it launched its iconic Hershey’s Kisses chocolates about a month ago.

“Our very clear strategic intent is to drive growth of Sofit by building a ‘better for you’ snacking portfolio that spans different categories. This is the first big launch keeping that strategic intent in mind," Bhalla said. The company will, however, launch snacking options under its flagship Hershey’s brand too, he said.

Last year, Hershey’s said it will invest $50 million over the next five years in India. Bhalla said the investment was on track but did not give details.

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