Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tune into The Today Show (Now Friday)

imageThe Today Show contacted me a couple of weeks ago. They were pursuing the story of how some major manufacturers were quietly substituting their regular ingredients with cheaper ones. Of course the reason for emailing me was because of the recent news that Hershey’s has changed the formulation for some of their oldest bars: Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar and Krackel as well as their other candy products like Kissables, Reese’s Sticks, Almond Joy, 5th Avenue and Whatchamacallit.

The piece is scheduled to air

Thursday morning (September 18) between 7:40 and 8:15am.

The video should be available online after that (I’ll post it if I can).

An L.A.-based crew came to the house on Monday, September 8th. (I spent the whole weekend cleaning, and good thing, we shot bits in every room downstairs.) We did two interview segments and then some “B-roll” stuff of me and my process of reviewing candy. I have no idea if this will make it into the piece, the important part is that consumers need to read both the front and back of all their candy right now if they want to be confident that they’re getting the product they expect.

UPDATE: I just got word from the producer that the segment has been bumped to Friday’s show. I’ll update with the time as soon as I know.

UPDATE 09/17/2008: Word now is that the piece will air tomorrow, Friday, September 19 at 7:40 AM.

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POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:47 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyFeatured News

  1. That’s so cool! I’ll have to tape it, since I leave for work at 7:40…

    Comment by Debby on 9/16/08 at 7:47 am #
  2. Wow!  That is amazing news!  My kids love M&M;‘s (who doesn’t?!?) and now I know to keep an eye out.

    Congratulations on being tagged by the Today show for their segment.  Just sorry it had to be about this and not some segment on candied grasshopper belly button gumdrops.

    Comment by Tablebread on 9/16/08 at 8:14 am #
  3. Congratulations! What fun if some of the footage of your setup and process makes it on the air.

    Comment by Snackreligious on 9/16/08 at 8:30 am #
  4. how thrilling!  can you post a link to the piece after it airs?  thanks

    Comment by Amy on 9/16/08 at 9:22 am #
  5. Most excellent. Your write-up on Hershey’s “chocolate” was awesome.

    Speaking of candy, if you get a chance, try the gummi worms they sell at CVS. Whatever their brand is. Get the little 99c bag, and make sure they are oily.

    The bigger bag just leads to disappointment and suffering.

    I swear by them or on them…depending on how many I have.

    Comment by Jason on 9/16/08 at 12:29 pm #
  6. First - I’m super excited that you’ll be on tv!
    Second - I’m glad that this story is getting the national attention that it should. Way to go Today Show!

    Comment by fightin' mad mary on 9/16/08 at 12:30 pm #
  7. I’m glad I don’t eat that stuff anymore. I usually eat imported or organic candy if I can. I mean, they use natural sugar and high quality cocoa in other countries. The best chocolate I’ve ever had is Meiji.

    The other problem is with these cheaper products you have to eat more of it to be satisfied and they contain more bad stuff in each bite than other bars. I hope your bit on TV does some good to the public. Hopefully they stop buying cheap nasty candy and support more natural products. I miss the days when candy tasted better.

    Comment by Nathan on 9/17/08 at 6:47 am #
  8. Sera's avatar

    That’s AWESOME Cybele! Congrats! I hope I can catch it! smile

    Comment by Sera on 9/17/08 at 11:46 am #
  9. Good job!  Maybe this story will shame Hershey into putting the chocolate back in their candy bars.

    Comment by Johnny carruthers on 9/18/08 at 5:46 am #
  10. Oh that’s fantastic!  And I have off on Friday so I can actually watch it!

    Comment by candyann on 9/18/08 at 5:47 am #
  11. I’d wondered about the Reese’s Sticks, they’ve been tasting different lately.  I’m so disappointed, between those and the kissables change, they’ve broken most of the newer candy I loved of theirs :-(

    Comment by Eagle on 9/18/08 at 10:54 am #
  12. Just for the record, I saw an ad a few minutes ago on NBC promoting the segment about chocolate on tomorrow’s Today Show. Sounds like they mean it! smile

    Comment by Crafting Jen on 9/18/08 at 3:22 pm #
  13. Just saw the Today Show segment. I’m so glad you’ve made this information available to everyone! I live about 40 min. from Hershey and we’re there frequently throughout the year. I feel like since I was a kid Hershey’s has been increasingly cheapening their product. I totally understand the rising costs of food, but I can hardly eat their products anymore. To me, it became candy and not real chocolate years ago. Compared to the way a Hershey’s Kiss tasted—and I distinctly remember—when I was a kid, the current product just doesn’t rate. It’s unfortunate. Meredith said she thought the new product wasn’t bad. I disagree!

    Comment by janman on 9/19/08 at 1:56 am #
  14. I thought you did a great job on the show and your comments were well placed until you were quoted as “boycotting” Hershey products.  The tests were obviously inconclusive with half the folks liking the new formula and not all of their products have removed cocoa butter. I thought you would be a bit more objective.

    Comment by Merle on 9/19/08 at 3:00 am #
  15. I thought the Today Show segment was great!  I’m a staunch fan of the Original Hershey’s recipe and was really saddened to hear that they were “cheapening” it.  Is nothing sacred!?

    P.S. I love your Blog! I wish I had heard about is sooner!

    Comment by Regina on 9/19/08 at 3:44 am #
  16. I just saw the piece on TV. It wasn’t bad. Half of their random tasters preferred the mockolate kissibles.

    I’d say the weakest thing was they didn’t track down any images of older (pre- mockolate) wrappers so they could show the difference. Ok, they had one, a 5th Avenue I think. But a few more would have been nice, to help consumers detect the difference.

    Comment by bitguru on 9/19/08 at 3:45 am #
  17. Mere, I don’t remember any talk of “boycotting” on the broadcast. Closest I can remember is she said that until they put chocolate back in every product that she would read the labels carefully before buying any Hershey’s product. That seems fair.

    Do all NBC affiliates show the same thing? Perhaps we saw different edits??

    Comment by bitguru on 9/19/08 at 3:48 am #
  18. Congratulations—you looked and sounded GREAT on the Today Show! And lots of face time, too!

    I was a little disappointed in the Today Show’s reporting and banter, however. The show made it seem as though the original Hershey Bar and Hershey Kisses were still original recipe products; of course, that’s not true.

    The sad passing of Dr. Robert Steinberg this week brought back memories of Milton Hershey. Dr. Steinberg was passionate about ingredients and passionate about making top-quality chocolate. Milton Hershey, by all accounts, felt the same way. He would be horrified by the ingredient changes to his product, I’m certain.

    In the meantime, Scharffen Berger, Dagoba and Joseph Schmidt are all “Hershey products,” and those are the products we’ll be buying until the mockolate stops.

    Comment by Frances on 9/19/08 at 4:12 am #
  19. I also saw the promo on Thursday night—it was during the results show for “America’s Got Talent” which has been one of the most watched shows for the past few years. So hopefully the audience was solid and the word will start getting out.

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 9/19/08 at 4:43 am #
  20. While it makes me sad that companies all over are doing this to MANY of products we’ve known and loved all our lives - I think it’s terrible that you/NBC focused strictly on Hershey products. Do you people know that M&M;products have been using the “fake” chocolate for years. Yep - those M&Ms;are not real chocolate and haven’t been for YEARS. This should have been an unbiased piece talking about ALL chocolate companies, not just singling out one corporation. This is business today and this could have trickle down affects that affect this company and its very hard-working people. Let’s not forget that. I like the real stuff too, but I think this could have been better presented.

    Comment by Wendy on 9/19/08 at 7:29 am #
  21. Just saw the news item via Fark and MSNBC.  Seems like the Hersheys people had a contingency plan, got to modify the story.

    Familiar ground, like HFCS.  Consumers might not notice, but if they do, have a smokescreen ready.

    You are the acid test, the canary in the coal mine.  And once again you have stood against the enemy.  Thank you.

    Comment by Penelope Patroklus on 9/19/08 at 3:51 pm #
  22. Nice work!! We just watched the video on the Today Show website. Love the editing with your comments throughout the piece. Makes me want to taste the old vs. new Kissables. It may not be a fair test, though, since there were more changes to the formula than just replacing the cocoa butter.

    Comment by Dawn on 9/24/08 at 12:37 pm #
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