Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hershey’s Simple Pleasures

Hershey's Simple Pleasures Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate with Vanilla CremeHershey’s is introducing its first new candy line since, well, the last time they did it. (The last one was 2007.) The new Hershey’s Simple Pleasures line launched with three different products, all little foil wrapped chocolate patties that boast 30% less fat than most other chocolate things. Or something like that.

It’s odd to be reviewing another little chocolate covered patty after just reviewing some yesterday. Yesterday was something utterly simple, with only three ingredients (though peppermint). The Hershey’s Simple Pleasures Milk Chocolate with Vanilla Creme has oodles of ingredients:

Simple Pleasures, Complex Ingredients*: Milk chocolate (sugar, nonfat milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, PGPR, vanillin), corn syrup, sugar, glycerin, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), sorbitol, nonfat milk, contains 2% or less of: natural and artificial flavor, milk fat, modified cornstarch, soy lecithin, glyceryl monostearate, caramel color, tocopherols, PGPR

* Actually, I added the Complex Ingredients part, so to be clear, their package copy actually states:

Hershey’s Simple Pleasures combines quality ingredients, including dry-roasted cocoa beans, brown sugar and pure milk to create a velvety-smooth chocolate outside and a rich, creamy center

Go ahead, look back up at that list of ingredients and see if you can find brown sugar. Nope, I couldn’t either. Also, I’m not certain why they called them dry-roasted cocoa beans. I don’t know of another process. I don’t think anyone deep fries them, microwaves or steams them in a pressure cooker. So why mention that? To confuse people.

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

The patties are only 1 inch across and nicely made, a dome shape with a swirl on top. They were glossy and well tempered to give a snap when bitten or broken in half. (That’s actually not easy to do, because the filling comes out.)

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

The filling is less of a thick fondant like Junior Mints, it’s quite a bit more runny than that. It does smell quite a bit like vanilla, almost like pudding, which I found appealing. But the appearance of the filling is a little less appealing, since it’s just a sugar goo, like a lemon pound cake glaze that hasn’t set up yet.

The chocolate is more like the Bliss line, not the standard flavor profile of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. It’s sweet, a little grainy but consistent and with a mild cocoa note to it. The vanilla flavoring of the center pretty much screams the loudest though it’s closely rivaled by the severe sweetness of all the sugar components.

The lower fat is achieved in this product by creating a filling that’s pure sugar and water. There are also a few sugar alcohols in there, sorbitol is used, though in very low amounts (3 grams per serving of 6 pieces). So while the UNREAL candy line I reviewed last week gets its lower calorie profile by adding in fiber and other nutrients (also ending up with an incredibly long list of ingredients), Hershey’s gets there with oodles of carbs.

Hershey's Simple Pleasures Smooth & Creamy Dark Chocolate with Chocolate CremeThe Hershey’s Simple Pleasures Smooth & Creamy Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Creme is kind of the richer version of the Milk Chocolate & Vanilla Creme version. They both have the same calorie profile, though the Dark variety has twice the fiber (a whole 2 grams).

In this case the package description on the back is slightly more accurate, this variety does have brown sugar in the ingredients list. But the qualification of the 30% less fat is qualified that it’s based on the average of milk chocolates on the market. I don’t know what the average fat content of dark chocolates is (I don’t even know where to find the source material for those statements - it’s not on their website).

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

The pieces are, again, well made and packaged. The red foil creates an appetizing wrapper and the chocolate does look really good, well molded and glossy. Each piece is only 30 calories, and a recommended serving is 6 pieces, which is quite generous. (The whole package holds 22-24 pieces, or if you lose it and eat the whole thing, it’s about 675 calories.)

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

This smells a bit fudgy, a bit like brownies. Sweet and dark. The chocolate center here is a bit thicker than the Vanilla Creme. It’s like a frosting, thick and sweet and not quite grainy. The cocoa flavors are actually much better than any commercial frosting in a can. The dark chocolate shell is much sweeter than the center and actually started giving me a sore throat after the second one.

The portion control is pretty good on these. Three could be a nice treat and come in under 100 calories and look like a sufficient indulgence. But the bang for the buck and actual satisfaction I got was sub par. The reliance on sugar instead of flavor meant that mostly I was left with the feeling that I’d eaten a bunch of sugar, not some chocolate.

The Hershey’s Simple Pleasures line also includes Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate with Chocolate Creme but I didn’t find those at the Target I got these at.

The fact that Hershey’s has such huge brand recognition and is on so many shelves means that these may succeed in spite of their drawbacks. I don’t care to spend that much money on so little chocolate, I’d rather have a handful of at least all-chocolate chips in a smaller portion. That’s a simple pleasure. This is just too complex for me.

Simple Pleasures are made with dairy and soy. There’s no mention of shared equipment with nuts, peanuts, eggs or wheat/gluten. They’re made in Mexico.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters
  2. Nestle Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp
  3. 3 Musketeers Richer Chocolate Taste
  4. Pretzel M&Ms
  5. Nestle Cranberry Raisinets
  6. Hershey’s Bliss
  7. Hershey’s Favorites - Sugar Free

Name: Simple Pleasures: Milk Chocolate with Vanilla Creme
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.49
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Target

Name: Simple Pleasures: Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Creme
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.49
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:46 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateKosher5-PleasantMexicoTarget

  1. It looks like a flattened Cadbury Creme Egg.

    Comment by Lisa on 7/03/12 at 4:28 pm #
  2. Lisa you’re right. It does look like a flattened Cadbury Creme Egg.

    Saw these at Walmart and was not even tempted after my kids and I slogged through a box of Hershey’s Pot of Gold my mom gave me.

    Lol at “this is just too complex for me”.

    Comment by Barbara on 7/03/12 at 5:32 pm #
  3. The packaging seems a little bit odd saying it 30% less fat than leading chocolate. Is hershey is a leading chocolate company?

    Comment by Alek on 7/04/12 at 7:14 am #
  4. That “quality ingredients” panel is a disgrace! It makes me so angry when companies write a load of bullsh*t to fool customers into thinking that they are buying pure, wholesome food. Looking at the actual ingredients panel, it’s terrifying. I only lived in America for 4 months but that was long enough! Everything is processed, fake and tastes like chemicals. Ingredients panels are huge and contain numbers and things that I don’t even know what they are. In the US it seems like a big deal to boast on packages “made with REAL CHOCOLATE!” because most things are just “chocolate flavour topping” or “artifically flavoured”, and taste like chocolately wax. Even the Cadburys tastes weird. In the UK everything is made with “real chocolate” as standard! How expensive can real chocolate be??

    Comment by Lindsay on 7/05/12 at 7:57 am #
  5. These look all kinds of disgusting.  How do you make chocolate with 0 less fat?  What do you have to add instead?

    Comment by Joe on 7/05/12 at 11:15 am #
  6. Just saw a commercial for the new candy.  Went looking for the ingredients and found your blog.  Why do they think using corn syrup makes it more healthy?  Even if I weren’t allergic to corn I probably wouldn’t bother trying it.  Fail, Hershey!

    Comment by Marty on 7/30/12 at 7:22 am #
  7. An abomination. I would rather eat a piece of real quality chocolate than this stuff.  If you look hard enough, you can find real chocolate truffle under 200 calories.

    Comment by Lynn on 12/13/12 at 5:19 am #
  8. I bought some of the milk chocolate ones with a coupon.  They are gross! they have a chemical taste to them.  It’s funny because about a year ago I was in a focus group for a new Hershey product that would come individually wrapped. Too bad we weren’t taste testing, because the result is bad!

    Comment by rachel on 1/04/13 at 4:24 pm #
  9. I can’t find an ingredient list for the Caramel ones. (My boss gave one to me and no longer has the packaging). As someone with a coconut allergy, this is important. Anyone know anything about them?

    Comment by Laura on 1/14/16 at 7:42 am #


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