Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hershey-ets

Hersheyette's CaneLong before Hershey’s came out with Kissables, they had a product called Hershey-ets. They were introduced in 1954 and were pretty much direct competitors to M&Ms. They never quite took off so by 1978 the machinery for Hershey-ets was turned over to the Reese’s Pieces project and Hershey-ets were only made seasonally.

My personal memories of these candy covered chocolate lentils are pretty vague. I know that I could get them at Hershey Park in little vending machines for a dime or quarter for a handful. (Not to be confused with the machines that dispensed duck food.) The only reliable time, for many years, to find Hershey-ets was around the holidays when they were sold in Christmas colors and found in bags in the baking aisle or in these cute little clear plastic canes.

Then the disappeared in 2006 with the introduction of Kissables (2005)... then Kissables were reformulated from their original candy-coated milk chocolate drops formula into candy-coating mockolate in 2008... then they were quietly discontinued in 2009. Earlier this year Hershey’s announced a new product line called Pieces, which would add to the existing Reese’s Pieces line three new products: York Peppermint Pattie Pieces, Almond Joy Pieces and Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces. One item missing from that list was a classic milk chocolate version ... the Hershey-ets.

Hersheyettes

So I can’t say I was surprised when I stumbled on a display of Hershey’s Canes at Target a few weeks ago. They featured the Hershey’s Canes I remembered from my childhood - a clear plastic tube filled with Hershey-ets (green & red) or Reese’s Pieces (in white, green & red). They were only 99 cents so I picked up a few.

There’s not much to say about the construction of them, as most Earthlings are familiar with this candy construction. Milk chocolate ovoid covered with a brightly colored sugar shell.

Are they just smashed Kissables or are they mini Hershey’s Easter Milk Chocolate Eggs?

Kissables Original (2006) Ingredients:  Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR & artificial flavors), sugar, red #40, yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #1 & carnauba wax.

Hershey-ets (2009) Ingredients: Sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, contains 2% or less of artificial colors (yellow #5, red #40, blue #1), corn syrup, corn starch, modified food starch, resinous glaze, soy lecithin, carnauba wax, vanillin. (Manufactured on shared equipment with peanuts).

I don’t have a wrapper for the classic Hershey’s Eggs, but just by tasting these I’m going with a mini version of the Hershey’s Eggs. What’s weird is that there’s no PGPR in there.

M&Ms & Hersheyettes

Finally, since they look and act like M&Ms, I also did a little one-to-one comparison. Hershey-ets are little bulkier, a little less tapered at the edges. The shell is also thicker, so there’s more crunch.

M&Ms milk chocolate is sweet and tastes a bit like cocoa with a light peanut touch and milk. Not intense and the shell is like a light crust. They’re very easy to eat, and keep eating though they never quite fill me up.

Hershey-ets milk chocolate is classic Hershey’s tang. Honestly, sticking my nose in the little tube, it smelled like chevre, or at the very least, chocolate cheesecake. The tangy yogurt note cuts through the sweetness a bit, and the extra crunchy shell provides more than just melting protection. Still, they’re every sweet and after a handful they gave me a sore throat. I enjoy the fact that they’re so different from M&Ms, but they’re not quite the jumbo pop of the Easter version that I prefer which has more shell and more of an uninterrupted fudgy chocolate flavor and texture. I easily ate both tubes I had over two days.

Lately I’ve found that Hershey’s chocolate has tasted a little rancid, a little more like burps than is considered polite for candy. I’ve been blaming it on PGPR, which I think either adds some sort of off flavor or allows the flavors to oxidize quicker. These don’t seem to have that problem. The flavor, though tangy with that slightly caramelized milk note is still there, but either sealing them in the little airtight candy shell or the lack of PGPR gives me back my classic Hershey’s chocolate.

Though I don’t remember them, they were once available in single serve packages just like M&Ms, Candy Wrapper Archive has an image of them from the 60s. Retro Commercials remembers when Hershey-ets were sold by the bucket.

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  7. Jelly Belly JBz
Name: Hershey-ets
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Target (Harbor City)
Price: $.99
Size: 1.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:38 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. These sound intriguing and I will have to try them. What I find so funny is that you say “what’s weird is that there?s no PGPR in there.”  It seems we’ve gotten to the point where we’re perplexed if they haven’t shoved some artificial substitute into our candy!  Glad to hear, despite these having more sugar and milk than actual chocolate product, that they are retro in their relative benign-ness. grin

    Comment by Karyn on 12/02/09 at 12:34 pm #
  2. Interesting. I might try these. I, like you, have had more than a few issues with the quality of Hershey’s chocolate lately.

    Comment by Richard @ The Bewildered Brit on 12/02/09 at 3:49 pm #
  3. This reminds me, have you seen these “Premium” m&ms;?  I saw them for sale at the airport, and i would have bought them but they were like six bucks!!  They looked quite nice, though—kind of fat m&ms; with a pearly, marbled look, in a stand-up package with a celophane window.

    (P.S. I won NaNoWriMo!  w00t!)

    Comment by JJR on 12/02/09 at 5:37 pm #
  4. Lately I?ve found that Hershey?s chocolate has tasted a little rancid, a little more like burps than is considered polite for candy.

    With that indelibly implanted in my flavor memory bank, I’m quite sure Hershey’s chocolate will never again pass my lips.

    Comment by Liz/PDX on 12/02/09 at 5:48 pm #
  5. I don’t care what they are. I LOVE the Hershey’s chocolate eggs and, if these are similar, I’ll have to pick some up immediately.

    Comment by chocolate and whine on 12/04/09 at 6:30 am #
  6. Hmm, I think I’ll stick with M&Ms;. An interesting bit of trivia to add to your story: I don’t remember the original Hershey-Ets either, but in _Built on Chocolate: The Story of the Hershey Chocolate Company_, there is a description of their “distinctive football shape” when they were originally manufactured 1954-1978, also a picture of an ad and wrapper from that period which definitely has the shape of a football, not an M&M. It says they were made by bonding two chocolate chips together; that would account for the shape. Maybe they changed to the rounder shape when they brought them back into production.

    Comment by CandyProfessor on 12/04/09 at 11:11 am #
  7. Cybele's avatar

    I know for sure that they were M&Ms;-like in the 70s. The 60s wrapper I linked to also shows them as a lentil shape. Interesting bit of info, I am curious when they shifted that ... and whether the Hershey’s Eggs at Easter are closer to that.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/04/09 at 11:21 am #
  8. I bug Hershey several times a year to come back out with Hershey-ets, not just at Christmas.  I always preferred them to M&M’s.  I buy so many tubes at Christmas my family threatens to have me committed.  I actually stretched my supply to last week.  It will be a long time til December for me.

    Comment by Barb Petranto on 2/05/10 at 8:06 am #
  9. I agree 100% with Bob - I buy as many tubes as I can afford to get at the holidays - and ask all my family to give me more as Christmas presents.

    I don’t like M & M’ s at all.  Why can’t they make Hershey’ets year round?

    Comment by Sue Patrick on 2/08/10 at 5:24 am #
  10. Is it possible to buy hersheyettes right now (not just at Xmas)?  Is there a website or store where I can order them?

    Comment by Tony on 3/09/10 at 10:36 pm #
  11. I also was a BIG FAN of Hershey ets I love them and it would be awesome to find them again.  I used to buy a big bag of them?  Where can I get them.  NJ/NY area I MISS HERSHEY ETS they were my favorite, unlike M & M’s.  Please email me where I can get these???

    Comment by Janet Pedersen on 10/04/10 at 12:53 pm #
  12. I found Hershey Ets at Ocean State Job Lot in Connecticut.  They were in a glass jar labeled Angel Treats with the hershey ets name on the label.  I was reluctant to buy them for fear that they were just an imitation, but they taste like the real deal.  There were also jars with kissables as well.  There were jars with the seasonal red and green and jars with yellow and blue which leads me to believe that they may carry them all year long.

    Comment by James on 11/29/10 at 6:20 pm #
  13. I was just at Hershey’s Chocolate World today (for those who aren’t familiar it’s a Hershey Attraction) and they indeed had Hershey-ets in a sealed plastic bag.  They were holiday green and red.  I remarked to the cashier that I used to love the mint Hershey-ets when I was a child.  She was unaware they ever made mint Hershey-ets.  Here’s an online pic of the package for mint Hershey-ets (be sure to copy the entire URL):  http://www.flickr.com/photos/60585948@N00/4562985557/

    Comment by Ocean on 12/07/10 at 12:57 pm #
  14. I remember Hersey-ets when they came in brown colored packages When my Mom was in the hospital in 1956 she would send a package home every day with my Dad. A great memory for me. I look forward to being able to buy them every Christmas and I always buy extra for my sisters and brother.

    Comment by judy on 1/08/11 at 8:31 am #
  15. Remembered Hershey-ets from the early 70’s.  The kissables were a nice substitute.  Now I wait yearly for the Hershey Easter eggs with the candy shell.  Very much like the Hershey-ets I remembered as a kid.

    Comment by Dave on 4/18/11 at 12:47 pm #
  16. I clearly recall Hersheyettes (no hyphen) from the 60s and at least part of the early 70s.

    Nothing described above is anything like the delicious pieces I enjoyed. The direct competition for M&Ms; could not be more clear. The candies looked nothing like a “bean,” as some people have asserted - I suspect that those shapes came later.

    The difference between the 2 was that while M&Ms; were good old fashioned chocolate. (Yum!)
    Hersheyettes had a slight flatter coating, and a hint of pepermint. My favorite summer activity ws enjoying a package or 2 while I read Perry Mason novels.

    Am I only one in the world who loved the real Hersheyettes?
    Cheers!

    Comment by pmjones on 6/02/11 at 3:45 pm #
  17. PS = I forgot to note that Hershyettes were not covered with primary colored shells. All were pastels, such as soft pink & purple (or lilac, as my mom would say!
    Cheers!

    Comment by pmjones on 6/02/11 at 3:55 pm #
  18. I was just gobbling up my Hershey eggs left over from Easter (the ones with the pastal colored shell) - hard to stop at just one. And I remembered how much I loved those Hesheyettes from my youth. I prefer the Hershey milk chocolet to the M&Ms; and regret that we can’t get Hersheyettes anymore. I also loved those Kissables and wish they had not discontinued that one. Would choose them over M&Ms; any day!

    Comment by Laura on 6/17/11 at 2:31 pm #
  19. Hersheyets were SO much better than M & Ms ever were, but Hershey never advertised them.  No wonder they never caught on!  If Hershey had been willing to take on its competition, they would have come out on top, for sure.  What about Hershey’s candy shell coated, chocolate Easter eggs?  Have those been discontinued, too?

    Comment by Wendy on 7/20/11 at 7:42 pm #
  20. Hersheyets tasted head & shoulders above M&Ms;, & were crunchier.  If Hershey had only advertised, they certainly would have eventually beaten their competition.  But without it, Hershey gave M&Ms; a free pass to win against their competition! :(

    Comment by Wendy on 7/20/11 at 7:51 pm #
  21. Great news hershey-et fans!  Hershey’s is finally selling them again. (Hersheystore.com) I just purchased 25 lbs.

    Comment by rgreen on 10/27/11 at 6:17 pm #
  22. Hersheyetes were in I think boxes of K rations or Red Cross packages in Vietnam (can’t remember which but I remember a pyramid shape). Loved them then and love them now. Stumbled on the Hershey Easter Eggs years ago and recognized the taste. Buy them every year. Of course here on the west coast we had the Hersheyetes for a couple years and then they diasppeared….......

    Comment by Peter Leonard on 12/08/11 at 9:00 pm #
  23. The Hersheyetes I cam across lookded like M&M’s but with an “H” mark. The came in SP (sundary packs) in Vietnam.

    Remember Tropical chocolate

    Comment by Barnie Chandler on 12/17/11 at 5:30 pm #
  24. If you like Hersey-ets as I do you may enjoy
    non-stops from Norway! They are very simalar with a thick candy shell.  They also come in dark chocolate.  Available on many Norwegian websites and of corse a must when in Norway!

    Comment by dianne on 3/01/12 at 7:05 am #
  25. I remember these from the 60’s and 70’s they were sold in a candy section of a department store and my favorite they were pastel in color and a slight mint flavor. I anyone knows where to purchase please post

    Comment by robin on 3/07/12 at 11:09 am #
  26. I love hersheyettes but will not buy them any more. Not enough in cane to make it worth it.

    Comment by Kim Konopka on 11/18/12 at 7:46 am #
  27. Hershyettes have been a fav of mine since the 70s. The rich chocolate flavor and the shell is far superior to others… but will try the Norweigen “Non Stops” since Hershey’s cannot seem to do right by us and have them as smaller Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Drops.  In the 70s I used to get a large bag of them and melt them in my mouth, one at a time, have my tongue roll the shell apart and suck out the melted center… then eat the crunchy shell.  It made the experience and the candy last much longer. I was heartbroken every time the shelves wer e empty and Hershey’s was no longer making them.  The Eggs at Easter are way too large.  They would be better if they were half the size and double the amount in the bag.  I’m eating a bag of the milk drops now. I agree, they do not taste quite the same without a hard shell and are too large.  Ruins the fun!

    Comment by Beani Cecile on 11/23/12 at 1:04 pm #
  28. These should be marketed in bigger candy canes and during the year. They are better than M&Ms;.

    Comment by Marcos on 12/10/12 at 7:02 pm #
  29. I’ve just looked at candywarehouse.com and they offer Hershey Easter Eggs that look a lot like Hershettes. Does anyone know if they taste the same? I really want more Hershettes and buying them in the candy canes makes the per pound price REALLY high.

    Comment by Sunnie Parish on 12/22/12 at 4:21 pm #
  30. I love Hershey-ets, In Chicago in the 60s that is all my mom bought. The Chocolate is far superior to M&Ms; It needs a thicker shell because the chocolate melts at a lower temp do to it’s creamy goodness. After having Hershey-ets I cannot go back to M&M and have taken many friends down that path as well

    Comment by Connie on 1/07/13 at 2:23 pm #
  31. I am the author of the Matt Davis Mystery Series.  My protagonist, Matt Davis, is the Chief of Police of Roscoe, NY, and is addicted to Hershey-ets.  I, the author, have been so addicted since I was a little kid, and passed on my addiction to my children and step-children, who would always receive a 14-1/2 ounce bag in their Christmas stockings.  Over the last few years, however, these delectable morsels have slowly but surely been disappearing from retailers’ shelves, not to be found in any other container but the clear, plastic canes mentioned in this blog.
    One famous story in our family is of a camping trip to Hershey, PA.  During a tour of the Hershey factory, I purchased SIX, 14-1/2 ounce bags of Hershey-ets and a gigantic, clear, glass mug with the word Hershey on it.  My intent was to fill the mug with the six bags of Hershey-ets, which, in my deluded thought process, I expected to last for several years.
    In less than a WEEK, I had eaten all six bags!  I awoke on the final night of the “great consumption,” itching and scratching to beat the band.  When my wife turned on the light in the bedroom, she was horrified to discover that I had broken out in hives all over my body.  She rushed me to the local emergency room and I was treated with an injection of Epinephrine.
    True story!
    Anyway, I have written to Hershey’s, asking that they bring back this delightful confection, even going so far as to design an ad campaign that had at its heart the saying: “Display them and they will sell!”
    My favorite way of consuming them is one at a time.  I let the candy warm in my mouth, then crack the shell and suck the chocolate out of each half of the shell, before crunching the remainder.  Try it - if you can find some!

    Comment by Joe Perrone Jr. on 1/09/13 at 10:04 am #
  32. Joe I feel your pain I eat them the same way you do it is the best. The chocolate melts faster than M&Ms; so it is perfect.  I have also written them every year asking that they make them year round.

    Comment by Connie on 1/09/13 at 6:16 pm #
  33. Thanks for commiserating, Connie.  For such a successful company, Hershey’s sure is stupid.  Incidentally, have you noticed that Hugs seem to be going the same way as Hershey-ets?
    What I love about Hugs is that the white chocolate melts faster than the darker milk chocolate, so I can enjoy each separately.  A 14-1/2 oz. bag is mere child’s play for yours truly…heh, heh, heh.

    Comment by Joe Perrone Jr. on 1/09/13 at 8:00 pm #
  34. Hershey-etes are my favorite candy.  So much better than M&Ms; - of which i don’t like at all.
    Like Joe, i too passed my addiction on to my children.  My son-in-law was eating some and said they were o.k.  My daughter grabbed them from him and told him he didn’t appreciate them enough to eat them. Ha!  Each year i am pleasantly surprised to find the candy canes in a few local shops, usually $1 each.  I, too, buy what i can, but i think Bob and Sandy live in my neighborhood because they often run out by Halloween - yes Christmas candy is out with Back-to-School stuff!
    Love mysteries so i must look for the Matt Davis series.  Must be good since the lead character has such excellent taste in candy.
    Anyone remember Hershey-ets peanut? Those were delicious. Really miss those but am happy i can get an annual fix of Hershey-ets.  Thanks for the memories!

    Comment by mari on 2/07/13 at 9:30 am #
  35. I see we have another holiday to eat Hershey-ets.  Walmart had the valentines Hershey-ets tubes just like the Christmas ones.  The only difference is the cane top is replaced by a heart.

    I’m still holding out for the yearly Easter Hershey hard shell Eggs.  They are much like Hershey-ets but bigger and better (in my opinion.)

    Comment by Dave on 2/07/13 at 9:40 am #
  36. Each year, prior to Easter, my youngest son phones me and says, “Day, they’ve got the Hershey eggs at Wal-Mart.”  I like the eggs, but I tend to eat too many.  I still prefer the Hershey-ets, because of their “suckability” factor.  Eating one at a time, sucking the chocolate out of each half of the hard, candy shell is the only way to go.  Nirvana!  (But, don’t get me wrong; if someone sent me a case of the eggs, I wouldn’t turn them down.  I’m in love with Hershey-ets, but I’m not crazy!)

    Comment by Joe Perrone Jr. on 2/07/13 at 9:56 am #
  37. I, too, miss Hersheyettes.  However, I do not remember the flavor being peanutty or minty.  They tasted just like the Hershey’s Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs that come out around Easter every year.  I have seen only one candy cane with them but since it was at the 99 Cent store I didn’t buy it.  Can’t we start a campaign to have them start making them once again?

    Comment by Jo Ballantyne on 3/05/13 at 4:04 pm #
  38. Trust me, Jo, Hershey’s is not in tune with its customers.  I have written several creative letters, all to no avail.  Apparently, others have done so, too.

    Some first-year college grad with a “marketing” degree answered each time, saying (I’m paraphrasing) “thanks, but not thanks.”

    The theme of my initial letter was “If you advertise them, they will sell,” which parodied the line from the movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.”  The idiot who responded to the letter was probably too young to even understand what I was getting at.  But, hey, give it a try.  Just be sure to let me know if they start putting them out there again.  LOL.

    Comment by Joe Perrone Jr. on 3/05/13 at 5:32 pm #
  39. Guess, we’ll just have to find out the recipe and make it ourselves!

    Comment by Jo Ballantyne on 3/05/13 at 5:47 pm #
  40. maybe I will start a facebook petition and page. perhaps that might get their attention.

    Comment by Connie on 3/17/13 at 12:41 pm #
  41. Hey everyone,

      I discovered Hersheyettes in a new form a couple days ago at Walmart. They had a white coating and were packaged to mimic the shape of a carrot (there were also Reese’s Pieces ones with an orange coating in the same shape.) There were only 4 left and I bought them all, meaning to hoard them but my family was having none of that and I had to share. So, now it looks like we can get them from October thru Easter.!!

    Comment by Cathy Perkins on 3/17/13 at 5:16 pm #
  42. I remember Hersheyettes from childhood in the 60s, and I also look forward to the plastic candy canes at Christmas and the Hershey Eggs at Easter. I also liked the Kissables. I’ve always preferred their flavor to that of M&Ms;.

    Comment by Tommie Caudell on 6/12/13 at 10:58 am #
  43. where can I buy Hershey-etts?  not just at christmas

    Comment by sheila ledvinka on 12/27/13 at 11:34 am #
  44. Cybele's avatar

    Sheila - I have only seen Hershey-ets for sale at Hershey’s Chocolate World (in Hershey, PA). You may want to try calling them, but I don’t have high hopes that they’d box them up and send them to you.

    Another option would be to keep your eye out on eBay, I know there is someone there now selling 5 lb boxes.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/27/13 at 11:40 am #
  45. Thank God for my sons, Matt and Dave, and my wife, Becky, for giving me so many candy canes filled with Hershey-ets this Christmas.  I can only hope that my Matt Davis Mystery Series becomes a movie or TV series, because it appears that is the only way Hershey’s will ever respond for the public clamor for this fine product.  I feel a bit like a drug addict must feel when first tempted.  They give us just a little taste at Christmas and keep us hanging around all year with our tongues hanging out, waiting for the next little dose the following Christmas.  How cruel!  I pray they will have mercy and finally make them available year ‘round.  Write your congressman, your senators; tell them to pass legislation.  Whatever it takes!!

    Comment by Joe Perrone Jr. on 12/27/13 at 1:56 pm #

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