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Aggressive Mars breathes down Hershey’s neck in US
Posted: 10 October 2008 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Aggressive Mars breathes down Hershey’s neck in US
by Marc Levy / Associate Press

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pennsylvania: This stretch of rolling dairy country has long been Milton Hershey’s turf, where he first found success making chocolate more than a century ago and earned a name synonymous with chocolate in America.

But M&M;-making rival Mars has crept up on Hershey’s dominance of U.S. chocolate buyers. And now, Mars has delivered a chocolate-coated slap in the face, setting up shop in south-central Pennsylvania, just 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Hershey’s flagship factory on Chocolate Avenue.

The article covers quite a bit about Hershey’s reformulation of many of its products as well as the opening of the new “Dove Chocolate Center of Excellence” by Mars and their recent comments to the public about their committment to “real” chocolate and making their products in the US. With cost concerns though this has meant that they’ve raised prices as well.

My favorite quote though is this passage:

The company also said consumer taste-testers approved of the substitutes for cocoa butter, such as sunflower oil and palm oil. In Mr. Goodbar, for instance, the change lets the peanut flavor shine through, Hershey spokesman Kirk Saville said.

Besides, Hershey maintains that 85 percent of its chocolate lineup is pure, including popular items like Hershey’s bars, Kisses and Reese’s peanut butter cups. Even with a cocoa butter substitute, a Mr. Goodbar has more chocolate by percentage weight than Mars’ Snickers bar, Saville said, and a Krackel has more than a Mars-made Three Musketeers.

My question is if Hershey’s is so proud of the changes, why don’t they herald it on the FRONT of the package instead of burying the change on the list of ingredients?

My other question is if Hershey’s is so proud of the cocoa content in their Krackel bar, why won’t they tell me the ingredients? (And really, who thinks that 3 Musketeers is really a “chocolate” bar? Let’s compare apples to apples, folks.)

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