Why Hershey Has Made Me Sad… Again.

Some people may not realize that Cadbury Creme Eggs in the United States are not from the UK based Cadbury. They are from Hershey. They have been since they were mass introduced to the United States. Hershey bought the rights from Cadbury for exclusive production and distribution in the U.S., so they make the rules here. The original recipe for the Cadbury Creme Egg started with:

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Soya Lecithin, Vanilla), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Egg Whites, Artificial Coloring, Vanilla.

Sounds good, right? It included plenty of fat, sugar, and happiness. Specifically, the happiness it contained consisted of 176 calories, 7 grams of fat (4 of it saturated), 29 grams carbohydrates (26 of that being sugar), and 2 grams of protein. The grand total of its parts came to 40 sturdy grams in weight and immeasurable amounts of deliciousness.

Then Hershey got to thinking… lets cut off just a gram to save a bit of money. If people ask why it looks smaller, we’ll make a cute response, “It hasn’t – you’ve just grown up!” Hey! Same profit for 97.5% of the product! (Multiply by 1.5 million per day during the busy season). Here are those slightly cheaper and slightly reduced ingredients: (cheaper replacements are italicized)

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Soya Lecithin, Vanillin and other Artificial Flavorings), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Invert Syrup, Egg Whites, Artificial Coloring Including Yellow 6, Vanillin.

Source: http://www.dietfacts.com/html/items/10646.htm

Still sounds pretty good, right? I actually really enjoy vanillin – it is a safe synthetic alternative to expensive vanilla. This version still included plenty of the ingredients for unhealthy happiness, but this time the happiness it contained consisted of only 170 calories, 6 grams of fat (3.5 of it saturated), 28 grams carbohydrates (25 of that being sugar), 2 grams of protein, and 25 milligrams of salt. The grand total here came to 39 grams in weight and again, immeasurable amounts of deliciousness. At this point, you’d be hard pressed to find someone complaining about the drop in quality or the 2.5% decrease in size.

But then, in 2004, Hershey made another change. I guess that 2.5% reduction turned out so well for them that, along with raising the price again, they reduced it another 12.5% by weight. Yep. This new egg is only 85% the egg the original one was. Now we are getting to the complaining part of my little article. Here is the sequence of events:

  1. Cadbury releases an elegant and delicious egg shaped, chocolate coated confectionery that becomes very popular in the UK.
  2. Cadbury gives Hershey the manufacture and distribution rights in the US, forcing them to keep true to the product by processing the ingredients in the UK.
  3. Cadbury and Hershey decide to change the formula very slightly to be more cost effective, and reduce the size by 2.5%.
  4. Hershey gets even cheaper and changes their own process to reduce the egg size by 15% of the original and still increase the price each year, even though Cadbury decides they do not want to follow suit.
  5. I get confused by the piddly size of my Cadbury Creme Egg.
  6. I get pissed off each time I buy a Cadbury Creme Egg and finally decide I’m going to write an article about it.

So now I’m sitting here with my last Cadbury Creme Egg from a four pack, still feeling screwed. It is such a small thing, but I’ve got all my memories of easter filled with (child) fist sized chocolate Cadbury Creme Eggs. These little eggs are now barely the size of an infant’s fist. They don’t match up. Hershey announced a couple of weeks ago that they are closing up chocolate production in the United States and moving it all to Mexico. What are they going to do next? In the big picture, it doesn’t really matter, but the things that drive me to enjoy most of my favorite candies are the memories even more than the taste. Without further ramblings, I’ll get to the raw data again. The ingredients in the newest generation of the piddly Hershey version of the Cadbury Creme egg are as follows: (changed ingredients are italicized)

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Soy Lecithin, Artificial and Natural Flavors), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Invert Sugar, Egg Whites, Artificial Flavor, Artificial Color.

Source: The box sitting in front of me right now

With the reduced happiness version comes reduced fat, reduced sugar, and reduced calories. There are only 150 calories, 5 grams of fat (3 of it saturated), 25 grams carbohydrates (22 of that being sugar), 1 gram of protein, and 20 milligrams of salt. The math here barely adds up to 34 grams of hollow sugary perversion.

The only happy thought I have is that at least those people lucky enough to be born elsewhere in the world can still get a nice 39 gram Cadbury Creme Egg, even if I can’t.

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