Update, Dec. 21, 2 p.m.: A spokesperson for Hershey’s tells The Takeout the company makes more than 70 million Kisses a day at its Pennsylvania factory, and “we want each of them looking as great as they taste.” The iconic shape is part of that appeal, so “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.”
Do you have access to a Hershey’s Kiss right now? Go get that little foil-wrapped treat. Unwrap it carefully. Inspect the Kiss. What’s going on with its pointy top? According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a Facebook group of more than 11,000 baking enthusiasts has sounded the alarm that all is not well with Kisses’ tips.
Bakers in The Wedding Cookie Table group say they’ve noticed Kisses’ tips are broken off or missing, which is disappointing when you’re a holiday baker planning to top your cookies with only perfectly formed Kisses.
Theories abound as to why this is happening, though it’s unclear which is true and which is mere chocolate conspiracy. Chiefly, there is the explanation offered by the baking group’s founder, Laura Magone, who tells the Post-Gazette she called Hershey’s about the matter and was told by a customer service representative that “the factory is breaking the Kisses on purpose to avoid having the tips break off in transit, falling to the bottom of the bag and being discarded.”
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Could this really be true? How would the Kiss tips escape their foil confines? Had this never been an issue in the candy’s 100-year-plus history? Color us skeptical.
Hershey’s director of corporate communications told the newspaper in an email that the company appreciates the breakage being brought to its attention, and that Hershey’s “is now looking at the issue.” That doesn’t indicate one way or the other whether the tip-breakage is occurring at the factory or whether it’s a transit issue. The Associated Press reports the candymaker donated baking supplies to members of the Facebook group to thank them for exposing the issue.
This kerfuffle raises the question, for me, of just how pointy we expect Hershey’s Kisses to be in the first place. When I summon the mental image of this candy, I see a softly pointed top, not the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. Images of the product on Hershey’s website appear to show a fairly thin taper. Complicating this question: If Hershey’s can package its baking chocolate chips in a way that preserves their little peaks, why not Kisses?
I currently don’t have any Kisses on hand, which is especially frustrating given that my brain can think of nothing else right now, so if you have a bag, please unwrap a few and share your findings in the comments. Also, share a handful with me?