With a new partnership with South Carolina-based 3D Systems, Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) could take a big step towards becoming the real-life version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Using the new ChefJet Pro 3D printer, which 3D Systems revealed at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hershey will start 3D printing chocolates and candies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
William Papa, Hershey’s vice president and chief research and development officer, said the company will use 3D printing to develop new forms of candy and new ways to produce candy.
The ChefJet 3D printer, which is priced below $5,000 and will hit the market this year, can edible sugar and chocolate in single colors. A $10,000 model, the ChefJet Pro, will be able to print in full color. The 3D printers are designed for high-end bakeries, cake shops and special events.
It’s unlikely that Hershey will use the 3D printers to start mass producing Hershey bars anytime soon. Instead, the 3D printers will likely go in retail shops to let customers design customized candies.
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3D Systems will also release a “Digital Cookbook” for customers to design and develop products with various flavors.
The real question: will 3D-printed snozzberries taste like snozzberries?