Hershey changes recipes for some candies
by The Patriot-News
Saturday September 20, 2008, 12:01 AM
A spot in the “hometown” paper, The Harrisburg Patriot News, for Hershey’s. I talked to them early in the day in reaction to the NBC Today show piece.
They had some reactions from Hershey’s about the piece, here were some of their quotes:
What is Hershey’s response?
Hershey spokesman Kirk Saville said the program was “misleading.” He said about 85 percent of Hershey’s portfolio contains pure chocolate, including its core brands of Hershey’s, Kisses, Reese’s, Kit Kats, York, and Bliss, a product introduced this year. Some products have been altered, but some changes go back a couple of years. The Mr. Goodbar formula was changed to allow the peanut flavor to come through, Saville said.
“Consumers love this, and people prefer the change,” he said.
At the annual shareholders meeting this year, president and CEO David J. West said Hershey received fewer consumer complaints about product quality in 2007 than in 2006.
Yes, it’s true, the piece didn’t talk about Hershey’s products that are the same as they always were ... we also didn’t talk about Twizzlers or the fact that they closed down two major factories in North America. There were a LOT of things that we didn’t talk about that we could have talked about.
I’m curious about this fact that Saville has mentioned before, this 85% quote ... is that gross weight? Because if we listed all the products by name, I’d say that chocolate loses (Hershey’s has a lot of non-chocolate candies including Twizzlers, Bubble Yum, Jolly Ranchers, Payday, Whoppers & Zagnut.) I have no doubt that Hershey’s made a lot of Kisses and Hershey Bars.
The plain fact is that the Mr. Goodbar formula changed and if it was such a good idea then why wasn’t it announced. Why didn’t the package say “Now Even Better” or “Improved Formula” or even “Better Peanut Flavor”.
And who cares how much other chocolate they make? If I only bought Kissables, then that’s what I care about. If I only bought Take 5, then I’m going to feel cheated when my Take 5 costs more and doesn’t taste the same.
The thing to take away from this is that Hershey’s logs consumer reactions. So if they didn’t get a big enough negative reaction about their changes so far, well, maybe they should get one now. (Though you’d think sales not growing at expected rates would fall into that negative column.)
Would consumers even notice the changes?
“The consumers may not notice the difference since these reformulations are being done to mass-market chocolate products with lots of sugar that would dominate their taste profiles,” said Curtis Vreeland of Harrisburg, a consultant to the confectionery industry.
I haven’t even scratched the surface with the implications of what they’re putting in there now. While I don’t prefer the new formula, I think they’d done an admirable job creating a similar product.
My betrayal comes from the fact that they’ve raised their prices twice in one year and are delivering less than what they used to.
I don’t want palm oil in my candy.