Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hershey's is doing it wrong.

Or: How to lose friends and influence people not to buy your product.

Mars takes a bite out of chocolate giant Hershey

...At the unveiling of its newly expanded Dove factory in late September, Mars Snackfood U.S. president Todd Lachman said — without naming Hershey — that cost-cutting competitors are "tricking" consumers with substitutes and outsourcing American jobs.

"The consumer is our compass, and we will always deliver 100 percent real, authentic chocolate products that have been manufactured here in the United States," Lachman said.

Hershey is closing plants - Mars also has pivoted its PR messages to chide its rival: Its premium brand Dove is "Made in the USA" and Mars can be trusted "to provide pure, rich chocolate..."

Since China and other third world factory owners are putting who-knows-what into their products to increase their profits and get rid of questionable ingredients quietly, we should not longer trust any USDA or Rabbinic certification for Hershey's "chocolates." Clearly, they will be adulterated and contaminated just like the rest of the junk being made in China and elsewhere.

...Meanwhile, Hershey is closing six plants — three in Canada and one each in California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania — in a move to cut costs and compete in faster-growing and cheaper regions. All told, Hershey is cutting about 3,000 U.S. jobs and expanding its operations in Mexico, India, China and Brazil...

Apparently the CEO of Hershey never heard of peak oil or relocalization, and the transportation costs will only decrease the quality of the products, which have already gone quite a bit downhill.

...‘Chocolate’ candy - Hershey would not provide a list of the products in which it uses a substitute. But under the federal government's rules for food standards, Hershey cannot call those products "chocolate," and a keen eye can scan the packaging and ingredients list and figure it out, candy bar by candy bar.

On the packaging, Hershey dances around the term — Whatchamacallit has a "chocolatey coating," Mr. Goodbar is "made with chocolate" and Kissables are "chocolate candy."

And sometimes ingredients speak for themselves: Products with the substitutes don't taste fresh and vibrant, said Cybele May of Los Angeles, who reviews sweets at http://www.candyblog.net.

...Once a daily devotee to Hershey's Kissables, Haring noticed this year that the candies had stopped tasting like, well, chocolate.

"It wasn't creamy, it wasn't sweet, it wasn't milky," said Haring, 47. "It was just nasty."

Haring's husband prowled drugstores and grocery stores near their home in Wilmington, Del., in search of the good Kissables, and came up empty. She even contacted Hershey to tell them something was wrong — and got coupons instead of an explanation.

A few weeks ago, she stumbled onto an online news item about Hershey's use of substitutes — it featured an image of Kissables — but by then she had moved on.

To Dove Promise squares.

As should we. Companies that continue to dump American workers so they can exploit the poor in third world country for sub-living wages in places that have no laws guaranteeing sabbaths, holy days, minimum wages, reasonable hours, prohibitions against child labour or safety and environmental regulations must NOT continue to be rewarded with our hard earned dollars.

So don't buy Hershey's products (I almost said "Hershey's chocolates," but they can't even legally call it chocolate anymore, it's so adulterated. On a related note: Look soon for Hershey's to lobby congress to change the legal definition of "chocolate" so they can pass their diluted junk off as the real thing.).

If you must buy a national brand, buy M&M/Mars/Dove brand candies. Look for a "made in the USA" on the label or check out the websites of the companies you have been buying from to make sure they are primarily employing Americans for living wages. Better yet, buy the locally made specialty candies of your region produced in local shops by local chocolatiers. You can't get more fresh than that!

These are the little choices we can make every day to stop the Robber Barons from continuing to take living-wage jobs out of this country. Indeed, they are the steps we MUST take if we're going to have any economy to salvage. Yes, sustainable products cost a bit more than cheap imported junk diluted with you-don't-even-want-to-know-what.

Imports are cheaper in spite of lengthy transportation because they are using labour practices, manufacturing practices, and ingredients that are dangerous or even repugnant to us. That's why we don't allow those things to go on here! Get it???

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