While there may have been some negative connotation with eating chocolate. Studies show otherwise. In fact, there are several benefits of eating chocolate. It is a great source of antioxidants, it improves blood pressure, and even increases serotonin levels. This is the main reason why people actually crave them. But did you know that one of the most popular chocolate brands doesn’t use an actual key ingredient to make milk chocolate?
Cocoa butter, the ingredient for making milk chocolate, was replaced with vegetable oil. The change is violating the FDA’s definition of milk chocolate. Several Hershey’s brands rebranded “chocolate candy” to comply with FDA standards.
Cocoa Butter to Vegetable Oil
There have been many changes to Hershey’s products’ ingredients over the years, and this is due to the rise in costs. But the most significant change was in done in 2007, when the company switched from using cocoa butter to vegetable oil in products like Whatchamacallit, Mr. Goodbar, and Krakel.
Cocoa butter is the ingredient responsible for giving chocolate products its creamy and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Products created with cocoa butter are defined as milk chocolate by Food and Drug Administration’s standards.
The transition from cocoa butter to vegetable oil violated the FDA’s standard definition of milk chocolate. And in order to mitigate the violations, Hershey’s subtly changed the branding on its wrappers. Now, instead of using the wording milk chocolate, products that saw the change are packaged with the wording chocolate candy, made with chocolate or chocolatey. (Source: Today)
Impact to Consumers
The change from cocoa butter to vegetable oil caused some stir to the consumer market. The subtle change to the ingredient and the product wording on the packaging went unnoticed by most of the people who consumed the products.
However, chocolate lovers like Cybele May, founder of the Candy Blog website and chocolate snack reviewer, had a different take on the change. In her detailed review, she states that she felt betrayed by Hershey’s.
She feels that the company is selling an inferior product, and they’re not even telling the consumers. May thinks that the change makes it a fake chocolate product or a mockolate.
Some nutritionists point out that though the change from cocoa butter to vegetable oil doesn’t significantly affect the calorie count and fat content, cocoa powder can offer more health benefits, such as its natural antioxidant properties, and doesn’t cause cholesterol levels to rise.
However, this point was countered by the big names in the industry, stating that there are high-quality oils available that are equal to or better than cocoa butter in taste and nutrition. (Source: Today)
Consumers have now evolved. We are more conscious of the health benefits of the products we consume. And with the negative association between chocolates and obesity, Hershey’s brought about making their available products healthier.
Hershey’s created the Better-for-you product category. Products under this specific category are focused on targeting market segments looking for healthier alternatives to the classic chocolate snack.
The company’s goal is to provide solutions to the health-conscious market. Currently, Hershey’s launched remakes of their classic products like Organic Reese’s, Hershey’s, and Zero Sugar Jolly Ranchers. The company also stated that the serving size of the better-for-you products is smaller.
The company plans to add more choices for the organic chocolate market. They are continuously researching and finding partners to help them create procedures and recipes to make a bar of healthier chocolate. (Source: Eat This)