Tomorrow is National Almond Day, and for more than 100 years, Hershey’s has been using California almonds, starting with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar in 1908. Since then, almonds have been featured in other fan favorites such as Kisses with Almonds, Almond Joy and more recent innovations like Hershey’s Snack Mix.
Fresh California almonds are one of the wonderful ingredients that make many of our products so beloved. And I’m proud to be a part of this tradition as the nut buyer for The Hershey Company. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is getting to see the entire process of sourcing our high-quality ingredients, from the farm to our factory.
Almonds, along with many of our other ingredients are grown right here in the United States on family farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. California is the world’s largest producer of almonds and California's Central Valley is home to more than 6,800 almond growers. More than 60% of the farms are small – under 50 acres – and 90% of those are family-owned and operated, many for three and four generations. And that’s where we get our almonds for Hershey products.
Recently, I visited an almond orchard in the Central Valley of California to experience this year’s almond harvest and talk to an almond grower about the life of a family almond farmer. Check out the video from my trip to learn more about how almonds are grown and processed before making their way to our West Hershey plant in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to be covered in rich milk chocolate to make Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar.
We like to share this level of detail about our ingredients because, more than ever, consumers want to know what’s in their food, where the ingredients came from and how they are grown. The demand for this level of transparency is changing the food industry and as a manufacturer of great-tasting food, we want to share information about the ingredients we use. Hershey has always put food quality as a top priority, and today we are also focused on sharing details of where and how we get our ingredients with the people who love our products.
Ever wonder where the “peanut” comes from in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? You can find out here and view more of our ingredient conversation videos.
At Hershey, we are proud of our long-standing traditions and the great stories behind the delicious ingredients we use in our products. We hope that you will share your love of Hershey’s products with generations to come.