It is probably enough to have Milton Hershey rolling over in his grave. Last year a number of chocolate manufacturer’s lobbied to attempt to get the definition of chocolate changed so that they could substitute cheap fats in place of cocoa butter when making chocolate. This would have allowed them make the product cheaper, and to profit more by selling the cocoa butter at much higher profits to the cosmetics industry for use in lotions, soaps, etc. This however failed, and the FDA re-iterated that “Cacao fat, as one of the signature characteristics of the product, will remain a principal component of standardized chocolate” according to the update.
The part that was most galling (to me anyway) was a statement by Kirk Saville, a Hershey’s spokesman, who said (emphasis added by me):
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.
Preferred by consumers? Preferred? I don’t think so, Kirk. Oh, yeah take out the Cocoa Butter which actually has some nutritional benefit, and lets replace it with hydrogenated corn oil instead. Screw the fact that we take chocolate and actually make it unhealthy… it is healthy for profits. What this really means is, I think we can get away with it, and nobody will notice.
In the Biography of Milton Hershey that can be found at hersheypa.com
He took great pride in the growth of the school, the town, and his business. For the rest of his life, he always placed the quality of his product and the well-being of his workers ahead of profits.
Well, obviously Milton is no longer in charge of the Heshey’s chocolate company. Hershey has done an end run around the issue. So, they can’t call their imitation chocolate “chocolate” but that didn’t stop them from making the change in a number of their products. According the the post on CandyBlog, a number of Hershey’s products are no longer milk chocolate, but instead are now “chocolate flavored candy.”
Look at the list of ingredients from a package of the original “Milk Chocolate” Kissables.
Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR & artificial flavors), sugar, red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 1 & carnauba wax.
Now look at the “Chocolate Candy” Kissables:
Sugar, vegetable oil (palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), chocolate, nonfat milk, whey, cocoa butter, milk fat, gum arabic, soy lecithin, artificial colors (red 40, yellow 5, blue 2, blue 1, yellow 6), corn syrup, resinous glaze, salt, carnauba wax, pgpr and vanillin.
See anything missing? Yup, that is right, no Milk Chocolate in it any longer. The same is true for Whatchamacallits, Milk Duds, Mr. Goodbar and Krackle. Why hasn’t anybody noticed? Because Hershey went to great lengths to make it so that it is difficult to notice. (And in part, thanks to a slight change in labeling law on what has to be called “imitation” ). Products that once bore the words “Milk Chocolate” now instead are listed as “chocolate candy,” “made with chocolate” or “chocolatey.”
Actually, it seems in once case apparently it did get noticed, where Almond Joy was returned to Milk Chocolate after comsumers complained.
Fortunately (so far) Hershey Bars, Kisses, and Reese’s Peanut butter cups remain unaffected and are still Milk Chocolate products. Tell Hershey what you think of their faux chocolate, because messing with our chocolate is just plain wrong.