Saturday, August 23, 2008

Trouble In Chocolateville

Not only have they raised their prices in recent months, but The Wall Street Journal* reports this morning that The Hershey Company is now removing some of the cocoa butter (the raison d’ĂȘtre of chocolate!) from its chocolate bars and replacing it with vegetable oil. We were told back in January and again last week about the price hikes, but NOT about the reduction of cocoa butter.

They had already changed the formula on their candy coated kisses, Hershey’s Kissables. Instead of labeling the product “candy coated milk chocolate”, it’s now called “chocolate candy”. The first ingredient on the old package was milk chocolate, now chocolate is the third.

The WSJ also mentions what other food makers are doing during this economic downturn. Hamburger Helper features fewer pouches (that can only be a good thing); General Mills changed out the pecans in its turtle cookies to walnuts; and I’m sure you’ve noticed the downsizing of everything from ice cream to, for quite awhile now, coffee.

Let’s just hope our favorite food television shows aren’t shrunk to 18 minutes. Of course, in the case of some of them, that would be a cutback we could celebrate.

* In another way of squeezing the consumer, you have to be a subscriber to The Wall Street Journal to read the full article online. I hate that.


Nanc Twop said...

''The first ingredient on the old package was milk chocolate, now chocolate is the third.''

Huh? So what are the first two ingredients now - arsenic and old lace?

Sad for us chocolate fans.

Tom Aarons said...

That's it. It's over between us, Hershey.

You and me, we just can't do this together if you're not for real.

Sorry. But I'm moving on.


Jen said...

Not that I eat Hershey's all that often, but still, how could they do this? and does this mean other producers will be doing the same?

Sue said...

Hi Nanc,
I know! It's kind of unbelievable. Another reason I'm glad I'm a dark chocolate fan.

Hey Tom,
It's sad, but true. I don't blame you for cutting ties with a fake, a poseur, a veritable mountebank.

Sue said...

Hi Jen,
Remember what happened when one airline decided to charge for checked luggage? I suspect things like this become industry wide initiatives and we'll have to check all of our chocolate labels a lot closer.