Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hershey's New Chocolate Kisses

I was watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent (a fantastic show, by the way. I usually don't watch much TV, but now I've watched two episodes in a row) when my program was interrupted by a commercial for a new kind of chocolate by Hershey's: Air Delight Kisses. As you might already know, a Hershey's Kiss is a little pyramid-shaped "drop" of chocolate. The "Air Delight" comes into play because Hershey's added little air bubbles into the center of the Kiss, a process technically known as "aerating" (and thus creating "aerated chocolate").

I cannot think of any reasonably decent reasons as to why Hershey's made such a pointless product.

The first thing that came to mind is how revolting the texture of the chocolate would be. Granted, I have not tried an Air Delight Kiss yet, but it seems that chocolate with holes in it might not exactly be the most ingenious idea. If you just look at the picture of the chocolate (below this paragraph), I think you would agree that the chocolate just looks defective. To me, it looks like worms have been burrowing inside this chocolate and the tunnels are the result of their movements. It looks gross and squishy and like it would just collapse in your mouth. I don't understand what textural/flavor appeal this chocolate would have over the regular Hershey's chocolate.

Furthermore, the economic side of me immediately raised a red flag. If I put air into my chocolate, I would use less chocolate to make each Kiss. Therefore, I would be selling less chocolate at the same price. I looked this up online, and the following numbers are from

The same “classic bag” of solid Kisses is 12 ounces. The Kisses Air Delight is 9.4 ounces. A standard portion size (200 calories) is 9 pieces (40 grams). For Air Delight it’s 11 pieces (41 grams). So each Air Delight Kiss is approximately 3.64 grams, while a classic Hershey’s Kiss is 4.44 grams, or approximately 18% lighter.

There you have it, almost as clear as day. Hershey's is shortchanging you 2.6 ounces of chocolate candy per aerated candy bag, which comes out to be roughly 21.67% less chocolate by weight. In other words, you're probably going to pay the same amount of money for these weird aerated chocolates than you would pay for the standard chocolate Kisses, even though you're going to get significantly less chocolate.

So why bother buying them?

Apparently, as I have found out researching for this blog post, aerated chocolates are supposed to be a big deal in those other countries: Japan and the UK, for example, already have aerated chocolates in major brands. The total market for aerated chocolates is roughly half a billion dollars, and the demand for these chocolates is predicted to increase.

I don't quite think Hershey's made the smartest play here. These aerated chocolates look disgusting and cost more than regular Kisses. I love chocolate and I love air, but I certainly don't see the need to put them together.


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