Ever turn over a product and find yourself wondering what those ingredients listed are? Or why they're used? We want to take the guesswork out of that experience. Many ingredients have scientific names, but are more commonly known by another name you're probably familiar with. Others are used for reasons that you might not have guessed. The list below shares ingredients used across our 80+ brands, what they are and why we use them. We hope you find it helpful.
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As you might have guessed, our chocolate products are made primarily of four ingredients: farm fresh milk, cocoa, nuts and sugar. In fact, these four ingredients account for 80% of our ingredient volume. Every ingredient used by Hershey undergoes a rigorous process from sourcing to production to ensure we only use the best quality — as we have since the beginning.
Let us tell you a bit about our main ingredients.
Yet another reason to love your Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars: we are one of the only large-scale chocolate makers in the world that still use fresh milk. That's what gives our Hershey's traditional milk chocolate bars the distinctive Hershey taste fans have loved for 120 years. We work with dairy cooperatives, which supply fresh milk from farms that are local to our plant in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Each day, shiny milk tankers carrying fresh milk line up to deliver their goods — and in less than 72 hours that creamy milk is used to make our delicious chocolate.
Though we now make hundreds of non-chocolate treats, our roots are in chocolate from our traditional Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar to our dark artisanal Scharffen Berger Chocolates. At the heart of making the best chocolate in the world is sourcing the best cocoa grown around the globe. We buy cocoa for all of our chocolate product worldwide through our Swiss trading office located in Luzern, Switzerland – at the heart of the cocoa industry. We have committed to use 100% certified cocoa for all of our chocolate products worldwide by 2020, and are proud to say that we're ahead of schedule. Certified cocoa is verified by independent auditors who follow recognized international standards for labor, environmental and sustainable farming practices.
We're proud to say we have some of the premier chocolatiers in the world working for us. They craft new recipes, and they're the creators behind our wide range of chocolates. We even have professional tasters who make sure that the products we produce meet our demanding flavor standards. Employees from all parts of the company take classes to learn the art of chocolate making, tasting and pairing.
Even as we grow globally, we're proud to say we still produce most of our iconic brands in Hershey, Pennsylvania — the town in which Milton Hershey first perfected the art of chocolate making.
Eight California almonds in every delicious Hershey Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar. Millions of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups whizzing off the line every day at the Reese plant in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Any way you slice it, we use a lot of nuts to produce our salty and sweet combinations that people have come to love.
Hershey is the largest almond buyer in North America. Our almonds come from the fertile soil of sunny California where almond growers use state-of-the-art technology to grow and harvest the wholesome nuts that make their way into our chocolate.
We work with the peanut industry to source peanuts from across the U.S. "peanut belt," ranging from Virginia down to Georgia and stretching west to Texas. These peanuts help create the magical, melt-in-your-mouth centers of our Reese's Peanut Butter Cups — not to mention the peanuts that grace our PayDay Peanut Caramel Bars and many other favorites. This generation of peanut farmers has taken peanut-growing to a new level of sophistication, combining innovative new farming techniques with the time-tested wisdom handed down from their parents.
Peanuts are close to our hearts — we are proud to support Project Peanut Butter. The Hershey Company funded the construction of a factory in Ghana that will provide children with peanut-based nutritional supplements. Not only will our partnership with Project Peanut Butter create a high-calorie, nutrient-fortified food to help children focus on their studies rather than their stomachs, but it will also give the local economy a boost by creating jobs for local farmers.
For 10,000 years, sweet flavors have brought smiles to faces around the world. Our treats continue this tradition, using high-quality sugar to add just the right touch of sweetness to our products.
Sugar is a crop that sustains the communities in which it grows. We source cane sugar for many of our products. It might surprise you to know that there are many uses for sugar beyond just sweetness — it's also used to improve texture and color, and can help regulate the acidity in foods.