First established as Brookside Farms in 1954, Brookside Foods Ltd. stayed true to its agricultural roots by providing consumers with healthy choices including fruits and nuts. In 1988, it added chocolate to the mix in a way that eventually catapulted it to national attention from its status as a relatively small rural manufacturer to part of a multibillion-dollar international candy company, Hershey.

Brookside Foods Ltd. maintained strict quality control over its chocolate-covered fruit pieces, which were made from distilled natural fruit juice and which retained the delicious flavors of their fresh counterparts. The company made it a point to pair only premium nuts and fruits with equally premium chocolate, a combo that attracted Hershey’s attention and resulted in the acquisition deal.

Hershey acquired Brookside Foods Ltd as part of its plans of capitalizing on North America’s healthy snack trend. This was a good move considering that the chocolate-covered fruit pieces are a big hit not just in Canada but in the United States, too, thanks to distribution in large retailers like Walgreens, Costco, and Target.