The Core Four
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.
FARM FRESH MILK
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.
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 one of the largest almond buyers 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.
For 10,000 years, sweet flavors have brought smiles to faces around the world. Our treats continue this tradition, using high-quality sugarto add just the right touch of sweetness toour 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 acidityin foods.