HERSHEY, PA: The Hershey Company has selected RF Binder as the AOR for its premium Scharffen Berger brand.
Jody Cook, director of PR for Hershey, confirmed the win. In May, PRWeek reported the Hershey Company was in the midst of a closed review for the brand. Bay Area-based PR firm, the MacKenzie Agency, worked with Scharffen Berger for more than two years, but its contract was discontinued earlier this year.
RF Binder will primarily work on media relations and increasing the brand's popularity, Cook added. Representatives at RF Binder were not immediately available for comment.
"The brand will remain identical to what it has always been," Cook said. "It's a phenomenal brand and we want to make it available to wider range of consumers."
Hershey recently coined a new process for the making Scharffen Berger chocolates that increases the production quantity, allowing for larger distribution channels, Cook noted.
"It preserves the same chocolate-making process but allows the distribution to increase," she said.
Scharffen Berger, which is known for its high-cacao-content, dark chocolate bars, and baking products, was founded in San Francisco in 1997. Hershey acquired Scharffen Berger in 2005 – along with another San Francisco gourmet chocolate maker – for a combined price of more than $40 million. Earlier this year, the chocolate giant closed the popular Scharffen Berger chocolate factory in the Bay Area, but maintains a retail Scharffen Berger store in the area. The brand will appear in the film Julie & Julia set for nationwide release on August 7.