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New from Hershey: soft caramels

NEW YORK (AP) - Chew on this.

The Hershey Co. is launching a new candy brand, its first new brand in 30 years, a soft caramel creme line called Lancaster. And for the first time it is taking a double barreled approach, debuting the candy in the U.S. and China at once.

The move comes as China increasingly becomes a focus for U.S.-based consumer goods companies that are seeking to offset slower growth in developed markets like North America. Hershey, which makes candy such as Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Hershey's Kisses, said in its most recent quarterly report that new products in both the U.S. and overseas helped its net income rise 18 percent.

The Lancaster name stems from founder Milton Hershey's first candy company, The Lancaster Caramel Co. founded in 1886. And the candy comes after two-and-a-half years of research into consumer tastes and the global confectionary market.