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The Hershey's Kiss-Off

Is anyone else getting sick of Hershey Foods buying up all of the remaining candy companies out there?

I mean, don't get me wrong… I love Hershey Kisses and I used to trade most of my Halloween candy for those elusive miniature bars of Hershey Special dark… but lately it has been really disturbing me that every American-made candy bar that I see has the Hershey logo printed on its backside.

Hershey owns Reese Candy, creators of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. They own the rights to produce Nestle's KitKat and all Cadbury products in the United States. They bought the recipes for Almond Joy, Milk Duds, Payday and Twizzlers.

Case in point: Saturday night. While Janet and I were grabbing an emergency umbrella at Rite Aid, I noticed a rack of candy bars… wrapped in grey-silver with blue writing. Oh my stars, a Zero Bar!

Zero Bars were my absolute favorite candy bars as a kid.. they were my father's as well. Whenever we should find a cache of them, we would buy as many as we could get our hands on… sometimes buying multiple cases. They were that hard to find, and that good.

If you've never experienced a Zero Bar, let me explain: this is Frank Martoccio's (the creator&#41 finest creation… even better than Payday Candy Bars. It's aerated nougat (think 3 Musketeers&#41 with caramel and chopped almonds covered with white chocolate. This was my first introduction to white chocolate… well before the Nestle's White craze in the mid-eighties (which was a mistake almost as large as the whole Clear Pepsi debacle&#41. It was heavenly.

I remember asking my father why it was so hard to find the delicious confection. It was then that he explained that the candy was made by a company called Leaf Candy (he then showed me the logo on the back of the wrapper&#41, and since it was a small company, it had limited distribution. It was the Zero Bar that taught me the simplest concepts of commerce, supply and production.

So, naturally, when I saw the Zero bars at Rite Aid, I bought four of them… out of fear that I would never see another Zero Bar in San Francisco again. Since I don't eat that much candy (really, I don't&#41, I flipped them over to see what the expiration date was. That's when I saw the logo… Hershey Chocolate USA.

I don't know why it bothers me so… the recipe is the same… the taste is the same… but for some reason the memory is just a little tainted.

Does everything have to change?

Posted in Scowls.

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