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My friend Andrew writes Hershey about ingredients in their “high end” products

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Nov 08, 2014

Hershey's_en_Times_SquareMy friend Andrew wrote to Hershey to complain about the ingredients high-fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated fats, in their high-end Brookside chocolate products. It’s astonishing that, in their response, they don’t address his actual concerns about the effects on the public health. They defend themselves by saying that corn syrup is easy and has a long shelf life, and hydrogenated fats, sure, they’re fake–but they make products last longer.

And finally they state their agenda: to make products people like. This kind of red-herring argument, ignoring what harms our health, is why I advocate for maximizing raw, organic plant foods in the diet, and eliminating processed junk made by big food conglomerates. You’re always better off! Check out what Hershey told Andrew:

Thank you for sharing your comments about our BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters Berry Medley Flavors. We are pleased to hear how much you enjoy our BROOKSIDE products but are so sorry to learn of your disappointment with the use of some of our ingredients.

Corn syrup hersheyAs you may know high fructose corn syrup is a liquid sweetener with a sweetness level similar to table sugar. High Fructose Corn Syrup has many functions that help improve qualities of food and beverages. In addition to enhancing the flavor of foods and beverages, high fructose corn syrup also provides shelf stability, promotes browning in baked goods, improves texture, and helps protect and preserve food longer. High fructose corn syrup is commonly used in place of table sugar because of ease of use in product applications and cost effectiveness.

Additionally, partially hydrogenated oil has had some of their double bonds replaced with hydrogen to obtain a more solid fat that is not as susceptible to spoiling.

candy isle 2As always, our goal is to develop products with widespread consumer appeal. While we are sorry to learn of your disappointment, please know that we value your comments. You can be certain we will take them into consideration during future planning.

We hope you have a sweet day.

Consumer Representative


Posted in: Food Industry, Reader Letters, Standard American Diet

7 thoughts on “My friend Andrew writes Hershey about ingredients in their “high end” products”

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  1. Laura Richards says:

    Wow, this is mind boggling!

  2. When I was a kid, the only soft drink I liked was Country Time Lemonade. I read the ingredients and saw ‘ester of wood rosin’. We didn’t have the internet in 1990 when I was 10, so I wrote them a letter and asked them what it was and why it was in the drink. I never got a reply 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    Wow! What a way to spin an unhealthy product. I guess it’s all about stability so they don’t have to worry about how long something sits on a shelf. 🙂

  4. Stefanie says:

    Well, at least they were honest.

  5. That was an interesting answer in how they gave Andrew a “lesson” regarding the ingredients. Anyone writing to complain about specific ingredients knows far more about those ingredients than listed in their response. Good for Andrew for writing them and good for you, Robyn, for sharing the plant-based message, and Hershey’s silly response to health concerns with their ingredients!

  6. Carm Ping says:

    Just wrote a letter to Hershey’s “contact us”. That was interesting in and of itself. They”needed to know my month and year of birth to get to the contact us page.

    Since they say liquid corn sweetener, basically, is natural, I asked them to please send the name of the tree from which we can “tap” it, as we do Maple syrup, and the locations in the US where it grows best. (=^.^=)

    Can’t wait for my reply …. suppose that might take a bit of time… if ever (0>o)

  7. It’s always interesting to see the other arguments that companies have for their products. It seems like taste, shelf-life, texture, and cost are the main reasons they sight for using high fructose corn syrup, which is interesting. Bananas are sweet have a lot of taste, apples can last for weeks in a fridge (how’s that for cool shelf life?), blackberries have amazing texture and flavor, and carrots are super cost effective. Hmmm this is starting to sound like a good green smoothie recipe…just add some spinach and GSG chocolate protein powder and we might be on to something! 🙂

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