updated 12/16/2004 4:54:25 PM ET 2004-12-16T21:54:25

People looking for that next chocolate fix might find it a little bit more expensive Thursday after Hershey Food Corp. said it will raise wholesale prices to offset higher raw material and other production costs.

The company — which makes everything from the famed Hershey’s Kisses to Reese’s Pieces — increased the prices for about half of its domestic confectionary line, effective immediately. The increase will be used to combat rising costs of raw and packaging materials, fuel, utilities, transportation and employee benefits.

Prices for the company’s standard chocolate bar will go up 5.8 percent, effective immediately. An increase on packaged chocolates will be effective Feb. 14, the company said.

The company said wholesale prices on its entire domestic product line will rise by approximately 3 percent. Domestic sales account for about 90 percent of the company’s income.

Hershey last raised wholesale prices two years ago by an average 3 percent, saying it was reacting to price increases by competitors.

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