Hershey's Kisses

Hershey's Kisses is a brand of chocolate first produced by the Hershey Company in 1907. The bite-sized pieces of chocolate have a distinctive conical shape, sometimes described as flat-bottomed teardrops. Hershey's Kisses chocolates are wrapped in squares of lightweight aluminum foil. A narrow strip of paper (called a plume) sticks out from the top of each Hershey's Kiss wrapper. Originally designed as a flag for the "Hershey's" brand, the printed paper plumes were added to the Kisses product wrapper in 1921 in order to distinguish the Hershey's Kiss from its competitors who offered similar products.[1]

Hershey's Kisses
Hershey kisses logo.png
Hershey's KISSES Chocolate Flavors Written on Paper Plume.jpg
Hershey's Kisses in foil wrappers. The paper strip coming out the top identifies each flavor.
Product typeChocolate candy
OwnerThe Hershey Company
Produced byThe Hershey Company
CountryUnited States
Introduced1907; 115 years ago (1907)
Related brandsHershey bar
Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme
MarketsWorldwide
Ambassador(s)Milton Hershey
TaglineSay it with a Kiss
Websitehersheyland.com/kisses

HistoryEdit

 
Old Hershey's Kisses ad

When first manufactured in 1907, Hershey's Kisses were wrapped by hand. In 1921, a machine was used so the Kisses would be wrapped automatically. This machinery also added the paper plume or paper strip flag to the aluminum foil wrapper to identify Hershey's Kisses, replacing the original small square of printed tissue that was inside the foil wrapper.[2]

In 1924, Milton S. Hershey received a registered design trademark (Reg. 0186828) for "foil wrapped conical configuration with plume" which included the paper plume sticking out from the top of the aluminum foil wrapper.[3] In 1976, Hershey received a registered trademark for the Hershey's Kisses foil wrapper.

 
In 1924, Milton S. Hershey received a registered design trademark (Reg. 0186828) for "foil wrapped conical configuration with plume" which included the Hershey's paper plume sticking out from the top of the aluminum foil wrapper

During 1942, production of Hershey's Kisses was briefly interrupted due to the rationing of aluminum foil. Instead, the machines were re-purposed to create military chocolate D ration bars for the soldiers in World War II. According to military historians, these chocolate D rations served two purposes: as a morale boost, and as a high-energy, pocket-sized emergency ration. The ingredients of these four-ounce bars were a blend of chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk powder, and oat flour, containing 600 calories. The specifications for the D ration chocolate bars were a bar weighing about four ounces, able to withstand high temperatures, high in food energy value that it had to taste "a little better than a boiled potato" [4] so troops would only use them for emergencies.[5] By the end of World War II, Hershey's had produced more than 3 billion D ration chocolate bars.[6]

PopularityEdit

Kisses are one of the most popular brands of candies in the US. In 1989, the chocolate drops were the 5th most popular chocolate brand in the United States, spawning sales that topped $400 million. More than 70 million Hershey's Kisses chocolates are produced each day[7] at the company's two factories. Today's Kisses brand chocolates use Hershey's original milk chocolate formula.

Kisses brand varietiesEdit

 
Hershey's Kisses filled with caramel
 
Unwrapped Hershey's Kisses flavor varieties next to their paper plume label and portion of aluminum wrapper

Though originally made of solely milk chocolate, many variations of the Kisses brand of chocolates and candies have since been introduced. Hershey introduces and discontinues new Kisses flavors constantly as part of its standard Kisses offering, including holidays.[8] In addition to the standard milk chocolate, year-round varieties include caramel, Special Dark, hazelnut (deluxe), birthday cake, cookies'n'cream, milk chocolate almond, and white chocolate (Hugs).[9] Seasonal varieties include cherry cordial, hot cocoa, mint truffle, sugar cookie, candy cane, lava cake, and "vampire" milk chocolate with strawberry creme.

Discontinued and Limited Edition KissesEdit

Throughout the years, Hershey's has created many different flavors of kisses, most of which are currently discontinued. The following list, updated in December 2021, is not necessarily exhaustive.

KissablesEdit

Introduced in late 2005, these mini candy-coated milk chocolate kisses were similar to M&Ms and Reese’s cups. Colors included red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, as well as pastels for Easter, pink, red, and white for Valentine's Day, and red, purple, and brown Special Dark Kissables. In 2008, Hershey's attempted to cut production costs by changing the recipe for these (and other chocolates), opting to use vegetable oils instead of cocoa butter. Customers were not pleased and this change ultimately led to the death of Kissables in July 2009.[10]

Candy Corn KissesEdit

These Limited Edition Halloween kisses were introduced in 2007, and had three layers of white chocolate flavored candy; yellow on bottom, orange in the middle, and a white tip. Discontinued in 2011, Hershey's opted not to bring them back for future Halloween's due to candy corn flavoring not being super popular among most shoppers.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cone KissesEdit

This Limited Edition flavor was only available for a few months around Easter 2021. It was an immediately crowd pleaser, and customers are hopeful that Hershey's will include it in the 2022 Easter seasonal kisses.

Pumpkin Spice KissesEdit

Released in fall of 2008, shortly following Hershey's Kiss 100th anniversary, this limited edition candy was well received by the public. The kisses had that iconic pumpkin spice smell; some compared it to snickerdoodles or ginger snaps. The orange kiss was filled with a white pumpkin-flavored creme, and wrapped in a special gold and brown foil wrapper.

Wrapper history and varietiesEdit

When introduced in 1907, Hershey's Kisses chocolates originally were wrapped by hand. The automated wrapping machinery was introduced in 1921.

The original wrapper was silver-colored foil and Hershey's Kisses were only available in this single color for decades. In 1962, Hershey became one of the first companies to change its wrappers for seasonal sales.[11] That was the first year that Kisses chocolates were available in different colored foil wrappers: red, green, and silver-wrapped candies were manufactured to coincide with the Christmas season. This idea was the suggestion of John Figi, owner of Figi's "Gifts in Good Taste"—a mail-order food gifts company based in Marshfield, Wisconsin. The green and red colored wrapped chocolates were featured for the first time in the Figi's Christmas catalog.

In 1968, pastel blue, pink, and green wrappers were introduced for Easter, and in 1986, Valentine's Day-themed wrappers of red and silver were introduced. Xs and Os have also appeared on pink and red wrappers as well as little red hearts on silver wrappers for Valentine's Day. "Fall Harvest" colors were introduced in 1991. Independence Day has silver with red stripes and blue-starred wrappers. Pink wrappers with "ribbons" on them to support breast cancer research have also appeared. Camouflage wrappers are also available, primarily on military bases. Kisses Dark Chocolates come in a deep purple wrapper. The Halloween themed Kisses Candy Corn candies come in a wrapper whose colors imitate the color of a candy corn with yellow, white and orange stripes swirling around the candy.

In 2016, four limited Holiday wrapper varieties were released: Santa hats, Kissmas sweaters that resemble knit Christmas sweaters, Kissmas Trees with plumes that read "Fa La La", and "Kissmas" Presents with plumes that read from me to you. The Christmas themed Kisses Candy Cane candies also come in a wrapper whose colors imitate the color pattern (red stripes and white chocolate). The original silver (for regular) and gold (for almonds) wrappers are available year-round.

Paper plumeEdit

 
The "KISSES" paper strip plume and silver aluminum foil are the traditional packaging for the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kiss.
 
"When the candy is bigger, the plume is bigger"

All Kisses wrappers have the paper strip called a plume as an identification tag sticking from the top of the foil wrapper.[12] When the paper plume was added to the Kisses wrapper in 1921, originally it was a flag for the "Hershey's" brand, distinguishing Hershey's Kisses from its competitors. [13] A few years later in 1924, Hershey received a registered US trademark for its wrapper design, consisting of the conical foil wrapper plus the paper plume.

Later "KISSES" was printed on the paper plume, as well as other Kisses flavors. The company has also added special variety plumes (such as "cheesecake"). Special messages have been available for various occasions, including "Happy Halloween," "Get Spooky," "Gobble Gobble," "Lucky You," and "Love is in the air bud “

AdvertisingEdit

"Christmas Bells" is a commercial in which Hershey's Kisses, fashioned as a handbell choir, perform the Christmas carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". It premiered in 1989 and has run each holiday season since in the United States; it is the longest-running television commercial for the Hershey brand.[14] In 2020, Hershey's introduced a new "Bells to Blossoms" version of the ad, but was criticized for changing a 30-year running iconic holiday tradition. The company made the decision to air both the "classic" and newer versions of the holiday ad throughout the holiday season.[15]

Ingredients and nutrition informationEdit

Beginning with its own consumer research into product information, in 2015 Hershey led the SmartLabel initiative.[16] Hershey's was the first brand to adopt this Grocery Manufacturers Association mobile-scannable packaging standard. [17]

Kisses ingredients are cane sugar, milk, chocolate, cocoa butter, milk fat, lecithin, and natural flavor. A 1.45-ounce serving of Hershey's Kisses consists of seven Kisses pieces.[18] Kisses has the following nutrition information:[19]

  • 200 Calories
  • Total fat 12g
  • Saturated fat 7g
  • Trans fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 10 mg
  • Sodium 35 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 25g
  • Dietary fiber 1g
  • Total sugars 23g
  • Protein 3g
  • Vitamin D 25.8 iu
  • Calcium 80.8 mg
  • Iron 1.4 mg
  • Potassium 147.7 mg

AdditivesEdit

Hershey's Hugs and Hershey's Kisses Cookies 'N' Creme are made with the ingredient PGPR (Polyglycerol polyricinoleate, E476),[20] which is used as a cheaper replacement for cocoa butter.[21]

Broken tip controversyEdit

On December 9, 2018, a member of the Wedding Cookie Table Community on Facebook posted a picture of a tip-less Kiss, wondering “Do this year’s Kisses look like this for you? Or are the tops broken off?”[22] Other members of the group began to check their Kisses and as a result, dozens of others posted in the group that many, but not all, of them were found to be missing their tips.[23] Twitter users soon picked up on the controversy and began to post pictures of Kisses that were also tip-less.

Hershey representatives had responded to the group's messages. At first, customer service told consumers that it was deliberate so the pieces did not fall off after production, but later on, they said the company was looking into the cause.[24] In a statement, Jeff Beckman, a Hershey spokesman, said, "We love our Kisses as much as our consumers. We make more than 70 million Kisses a day here in Hershey, PA, and we want each of them looking as great as they taste. The iconic, conical shape is one of the reasons families have loved Kisses for generations. We shape the tip on our classic, solid Milk and Dark Chocolate Kisses to create that iconic appearance. And while there has always been some variability in that process, we are working to improve the appearance because it's as important to us as it is to our fans."[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "HersheyArchives@30, Part 18: Only Hershey's Kisses are Kisses – Hershey Community Archives".
  2. ^ "It's the Cocoa Bean, Baby – Hershey Community Archives".
  3. ^ "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval". tsdr.uspto.gov.
  4. ^ "Ration D Bars – Hershey Community Archives".
  5. ^ O'Shea, Siobhan (February 14, 2018). "First military chocolate bar was designed to taste "a little better than a boiled potato" Hitler's secret weapon". Interesly.
  6. ^ Butler, Stephanie. "How Hershey's Chocolate Helped Power Allied Troops During WWII". HISTORY.
  7. ^ "Hershey's Kisses: Fun Facts and Recipes". ABC News.
  8. ^ "HERSHEY'S Chocolate & Candy | HERSHEY'S Products". www.hersheys.com.
  9. ^ "Full List of Hershey's Kisses Chocolates". Chocolate Brands List. Retrieved 2021-12-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Glass, Sandie (2012-02-27). "What Were They Thinking? The Kiss That Lost Its Cocoa". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  11. ^ "How the Hershey's Kiss Conquered Valentine's Day". Time.
  12. ^ "HERSHEY'S KISSES Chocolates | History and FAQs". www.hersheyland.com.
  13. ^ "Hershey's Kisses got its name from the machine that makes them, which makes kissing sounds and appears to "kiss" the conveyor belt onto which the chocolate is dispensed". September 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "Ringing in the Holidays: Hershey's Kisses Chocolates". HersheyArchives.com. January 18, 2011. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  15. ^ "Hershey's Kisses' classic Christmas bells ad got a makeover — and people are outraged". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  16. ^ "Hershey leads SmartLabel initiative". Packaging World. September 29, 2016.
  17. ^ "Hershey first brand to adopt new GMA SmartLabel". Food Dive.
  18. ^ "Calories Per Hershey's Kiss". LIVESTRONG.COM.
  19. ^ "HERSHEY'S KISSES - Milk Chocolates - SmartLabel™". smartlabel.hersheys.com.
  20. ^ "Kisses with almonds (click on icons at URL for other Kisses varieties)". thehersheycompany.com.
  21. ^ "Manufacturers overlook cocoa butter savings" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-11-26. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
  22. ^ "The Wedding Cookie Table Community". www.facebook.com.
  23. ^ Taylor, Kate (20 December 2018). "Hershey's Kisses are suffering from widespread broken tips, and people are furious". MSN. Business Insider. Archived from the original on 20 December 2018.
  24. ^ "The mystery of Hershey's Kisses missing tips". www.cbsnews.com.
  25. ^ "Where are the Hershey Kisses tips? Company responds to complaints about ugly chocolate". pennlive. December 20, 2018.

External linksEdit