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NEW YORK, July 23 Mars Chocolate North America,
the maker of M&M's and Snickers, said on Wednesday that it will
raise its prices by an average of 7 percent "to offset rising
costs," its first increase in three years.
The price hike by Mars, which did not provide an effective
date, follows Hershey Co, the No. 1 candy maker in the
United States, which on July 15 raised its chocolate prices
about 8 percent due to soaring commodity costs.
"In the three years since our last price increase, in March
2011, we have invested significantly in the category and have
experienced a dramatic increase in our costs of doing business,"
a spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.
Mars Chocolate North America is a subsidiary of Mars Inc,
the third biggest confectionery business globally next to
Butterfinger-maker Nestle SA and Cadbury-maker
Mondelez International, according to Euromonitor
The cost of cocoa, a key ingredient in chocolate, has
seen a meteoric rise in the past year, having climbed nearly 50
percent to a three-year high on Wednesday at $3,204 per tonne on
ICE Futures. U.S. Dairy prices have also soared.
These price increases come three months after Swiss-based
Nestle SA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer Wan Ling Martello said on a conference call that "there
will be pricing" action in the company's confectionery business.
(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by David Gregorio,