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Old 09-29-2008, 10:54 PM
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Hershey Chocolate Changes!

Chocoholics sour on new Hershey’s formula
Former fans kissed off about replacement of cocoa butter with vegetable oil.


Oh, milk chocolate. Wherefore art thou?

Apparently not in some Hershey’s products that contained milk chocolate for years, and that has passionate chocolate aficionados fighting mad.

Products such as Whatchamacallit, Milk Duds, Mr. Goodbar and Krackel no longer have milk chocolate coatings, and Hershey’s Kissables are now labeled “chocolate candy” instead of “milk chocolate.”

What’s going on here? On Friday, TODAY consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman reported that Hershey’s has switched to less expensive ingredients in several of its products. In particular, cocoa butter — the ingredient famous for giving chocolate its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture — has been replaced with vegetable oil.

The removal of cocoa butter violates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of milk chocolate, so subtle changes have appeared on the labels of the Hershey’s products with altered recipes. Products once labeled “milk chocolate” now say “chocolate candy,” “made with chocolate” or “chocolatey.”

Some say the label changes are too difficult to spot.

“A lot of people don’t notice it. The package looks exactly the same,” said Cybele May, who has chronicled the changes in detail on her Candy Blog. “I feel betrayed by Hershey’s. They’re giving me an inferior product and they’re not even telling me …

“I call it mockolate, which is basically a fake chocolate product.”

Crunched by rising costs
In a statement, Hershey’s told TODAY that consumers love its products and all its candies are clearly labeled. It still offers real milk chocolate in Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and its classic chocolate bar.

“And recently it put back the milk chocolate in Almond Joy because consumers complained,” Lieberman said Friday in her report.

Experts say that while many manufacturers cope with higher costs by increasing their prices or reducing their product sizes, Hershey’s change was meant to be less noticeable to customers.

“Clearly food costs, commodities costs have been rising for some time now,” Harry Balzer of the market research firm The NPD Group told TODAY. “The real question is, how will they pass along these costs to consumers without hurting their profits?”

May said the recipe change has ruined the Hershey’s taste for her. But in a blind taste test conducted by TODAY, about half of the participants said they liked the new Hershey’s Kissables even better than the Kissables with cocoa butter.

Nevertheless, some taste-testers were alarmed to learn about the switch from cocoa butter to vegetable oil. One woman said she felt “kind of cheated.”

Fudging the standards?
In terms of calories and fat content, the change from cocoa butter to vegetable oil hasn’t affected the candies significantly. Nutritionists do point out that cocoa butter can offer health benefits — specifically by protecting chocolate’s antioxidant properties. What’s more, cocoa butter doesn’t raise cholesterol levels.

Last year, a number of industry groups lobbied for a change to the FDA’s definition of chocolate — a change that would have allowed cocoa butter to be replaced with vegetable oil. At the time, Hershey’s spokesman Kirk Saville told the Harrisburg Patriot-News that “there are high-quality oils available which are equal to or better than cocoa butter in taste, nutrition, texture and function, and are preferred by consumers.”

The proposed definition change caused a furor among chocolate connoisseurs, who sent hundreds of outraged letters to the FDA. In June 2007, the agency assured them that they had nothing to fear.

“Chocolate lovers need not be alarmed about the future of their favorite product,” the FDA said in a consumer update. “Cacao fat, as one of the signature characteristics of the product, will remain a principal component of standardized chocolate.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26788143

I don't approve. Don't mess with my chocolate. Nothing tastier than a mouthful of vegetable oil. No thanks.


Sheesh! Between this and the Cadbury recall, Christmas won't have much chocolatey goodness this year.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:07 PM
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I beg your pardon! Not at See's, where our recipes have stayed the same since 1921, especially our chocolate. We have spent countless hours and who knows how much money fighting those like Hershey who look to call the absence of cocoa butter chocolate...and we won. Thank goodness. And at $15 per pound, not only do we taste better we are a much better value (do the math).
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:14 AM
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Hershey's is doing what other's have done and they think the consumer doesn't notice.

I was at Hershey Park the end of August, my first time there and I was taken back by the $10 parking charge. I know it takes a lot of money to run amusement parks but add that $10 to the high price of admission and for families it is quite costly. Bottled water was $3.50 and there was no drink cheaper. (If anyone is planning on going there, be sure and wear comfortable shoes for there is a lot of walking and a lot of it consist of hills).

Hershey candy is not as good as it use to be and I'm sure Milton Hershey would be very upset with what they have done with his vision.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:28 AM
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Nothing can compare to Belgian chocolate !!
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:19 AM
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Wow! First Cadbury. Then Hershey. Jeff, thank you for the heads up on Sees chocolates. The price is a bargain to get the real thing.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by joyful View Post
Hershey's is doing what other's have done and they think the consumer doesn't notice.

I was at Hershey Park the end of August, my first time there and I was taken back by the $10 parking charge. I know it takes a lot of money to run amusement parks but add that $10 to the high price of admission and for families it is quite costly. Bottled water was $3.50 and there was no drink cheaper. (If anyone is planning on going there, be sure and wear comfortable shoes for there is a lot of walking and a lot of it consist of hills).

Hershey candy is not as good as it use to be and I'm sure Milton Hershey would be very upset with what they have done with his vision.

I agree with you....it's not as good. I usually buy Dove if I want something better.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:45 AM
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
I beg your pardon! Not at See's, where our recipes have stayed the same since 1921, especially our chocolate. We have spent countless hours and who knows how much money fighting those like Hershey who look to call the absence of cocoa butter chocolate...and we won. Thank goodness. And at $15 per pound, not only do we taste better we are a much better value (do the math).
See's is very good. When we first moved to AZ when I was around 10 my mom had bought some and it was great! I haven't had any of it for years now though.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kerst View Post
Nothing can compare to Belgian chocolate !!

You are soooo right!!! Belgian Chocolate is the BEST!! My Grandmother was born and raised in Belguim. She met my grandfather while he was stationed there fighting in the war. They were married and she came to the states on a ship. We visited Belguim about 15 years ago. My family in Belguim used to send us chocolates and in return we sent them peanut butter. BELGIAN CHOCOLATE IS MY HERITAGE LOL!!!!
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:07 AM
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BLASPHEMY! How could Hershey even think they could get away with replacing cocoa butter with OIL?! Yuck! Of course we're going to notice the difference! I, for one, am completely and utterly offended! Milk chocolate has gotten me through so many hard times... *temper tantrum*.
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