NEW YORK — Hershey Co. is launching a new candy brand, its first in 30 years, a soft caramel creme line called Lancaster. And it is taking a double-barreled approach, debuting the candy in the United States and China at once.
China is increasingly a focus for US companies seeking to offset slower growth in developed markets like North America. Hershey, which makes Kit Kat, Twizzlers, and Hershey’s Kisses, said new products in the United States and overseas helped its net income rise 18 percent in the most recent quarter.
‘‘China and the US are major focus markets for the company,’’ said Steven Schiller, senior vice president.
The Lancaster name stems from founder Milton Hershey’s first candy company, Lancaster Caramel Co., founded in 1886.
Caramel is a fast-growing category globally, Schiller said, growing faster than chocolate.