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Old 06-10-2019, 09:06 PM
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Why no generic Hershey bars?


This pertains to the US only, I guess, because as I understand it, there are generic candy bars in Europe.

Anyhoo, I was in the cheap-o grocery store the other day, and there was a display promoting s'mores featuring Ginger Evans (store brand) marshmallows, some other store brand of graham crackers, and Hershey bars. I like to do atypical s'mores, so I bought chocolate-striped shortbread cookies that were clearly a generic version of Keebler Fudge Stripes.

There seem to be generic or store brand equivalents to damned near everything except candy bars.

Why is that?
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:14 PM
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Because Hershey bars ARE generic.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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No, no, no. You can't generic perfection. You can get cheaper chocolate bars. But why would you? Hershey bars are cheapish.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:32 PM
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Try a dollar store. They probably have generic chocolate from Heshey or Himshey or some similar brand.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:42 PM
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I"ve seen many generic chocolate bars in my day. However none taste like a hersheys.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by freckafree View Post
This pertains to the US only, I guess, because as I understand it, there are generic candy bars in Europe.

Anyhoo, I was in the cheap-o grocery store the other day, and there was a display promoting s'mores featuring Ginger Evans (store brand) marshmallows, some other store brand of graham crackers, and Hershey bars. I like to do atypical s'mores, so I bought chocolate-striped shortbread cookies that were clearly a generic version of Keebler Fudge Stripes.

There seem to be generic or store brand equivalents to damned near everything except candy bars.

Why is that?
C'mon, you can say Save-A-Lot here-
I kid of like it better than Aldi because the produce section is more like a regular store's produce section than Aldi's.

Also, I'll go along with others and say Hershey bars are close to lousy. Anyway, Dollar General tried selling a line of knockoff candy bars about ten years ago. The Mounds and Butterfinger types were just fine. It didn't last long. My guess is people don't buy candy bars often enough to want to try to save money on them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:05 PM
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I've seen store brand chocolate bars several places, if that's what you mean. Wegmans comes to mind.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:17 AM
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Interesting question. When I googled generic chocolate, I mostly got name brands - and not just ads.
Then we have a warning against it . (I've see several similar postings.) Basically it said that generic chocolate isn't really chocolate, and it sucks.

I've been to Hershey's Canada several times when you can see the line running, and I've never seen them run non-Hershey labels. That is where generic stuff that is good should come from. The vegetable cannery where my wife worked for a while ran off-label product after the best of the product got used for their label.

Perhaps the price point of Hershey bars is low enough that there isn't room for anyone to get in underneath it. There is plenty of room for more expensive chocolate after all. The Ferry Building in San Francisco has two chocolate shops and a nice chocolate section in the grocery, and there are tons of expensive labels.

So I'd say the reason is not much demand for cheap stuff.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:47 AM
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It's pretty easy to make cookies from scratch. Chocolate, on the other hand, requires special tools and techniques, even for a cheap brand like Hershey's. So there are lots of commercial bakeries that can make generic cookies, but few chocolate makers than can make generic chocolate. That is, there is a higher barrier to entry for a chocolate company than there is for a bakery.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
It's pretty easy to make cookies from scratch. Chocolate, on the other hand, requires special tools and techniques, even for a cheap brand like Hershey's. So there are lots of commercial bakeries that can make generic cookies, but few chocolate makers than can make generic chocolate. That is, there is a higher barrier to entry for a chocolate company than there is for a bakery.
Maybe for mass production, but we went to a chocolate tasting at a company who was very small, and had its own island off the coast of Africa. Given the large number of premium brands I know of (my wife is a chocolate junkie) I can't imagine it is that hard to enter the market at an elevated price point. Lowballing it for a generic, I can see it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
It's pretty easy to make cookies from scratch. Chocolate, on the other hand, requires special tools and techniques, even for a cheap brand like Hershey's. So there are lots of commercial bakeries that can make generic cookies, but few chocolate makers than can make generic chocolate. That is, there is a higher barrier to entry for a chocolate company than there is for a bakery.
that's why generic chocolate is a "chocolate flavored" substance

Go to any department store especially around holidays and find things made by "Palmer" Franklin" and 5 or 6 others sometimes you can find their stuff in the "bulk item" barrels where you buy it by the pound ........ and it's crap tasting

ive even bought "chocolate" flavored baking squares that tasted worse than ass

Its why Nestle and Hershey even mars and other candy bar companies have "made with real cocoa" on the labels
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
It's pretty easy to make cookies from scratch. Chocolate, on the other hand, requires special tools and techniques, even for a cheap brand like Hershey's. So there are lots of commercial bakeries that can make generic cookies, but few chocolate makers than can make generic chocolate. That is, there is a higher barrier to entry for a chocolate company than there is for a bakery.
This makes the most sense to me (although I would love to see some evidence). I see all kinds of high-end chocolate bars (the $3 a bar type) but no generic. (Actually, I have now learned that what I'm talking about is called in the industry "private label.") I'm not looking to buy generic nor to debate the quality of Hershey's. Just curious as to why there are not Great Value or Our Family or Kirkland milk chocolate bars or chocolate-covered wafer bars or whatever.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:55 AM
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Cocoa is a relatively scarce resource that’s expensive to harvest and grows only in a small number of locations. Perhaps there’s no profit in an off-brand chocolate?
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:11 AM
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Since this is about food, let's move it from GQ to CS.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:14 AM
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Around here, the standard school fundraiser is Malley's bars, a local company that makes bars (or other shapes) of just plain chocolate (or just plain chocolate with added nuts, or whatever). They're not exactly high-end, but they're still more expensive than Hershey's (though some of that is undoubtedly the fundraising markup).

And there are plenty of companies that make "chocolate flavored confection", or some such, that's cheaper than Hershey's, using other fats in place of the cocoa butter. But they're not allowed to call that "chocolate".
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:44 PM
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Did some searching on cheap, large chocolate bars on Amazon.

For 16 oz:

Stover's $5.99, $0.37/ounce. (But $8.95 shipping. )
Hershey's $14.49, $0.91/Ounce. Free Prime delivery, comes with cold packs.

But note that Hershey's 4.4 ounce $1.69, $0.38/ounce. So get 4 of those and pay less. OTOH, it's Amazon Prime Fresh. If you go with 3rd parties it's almost $8 each.

Did see anything else in single chocolate bars in this price range. Didn't easily see anything competitive at Walmart with free pickup.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:05 PM
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Because Hershey bars ARE generic.
No. Hershey's is ubiquitous (in the US, at least), but it's not generic. Hershey's has a very distinct flavor and mouthfeel compared to other chocolates. If you're looking for generic, try Dove or Cadbury, which are good quality, but not distinctive.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:41 PM
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In marketing, "generic" means "unbranded." Hershey's is a brand, as are Dove and Cadbury. There are also house brands such as Lucerne and Primo Taglio (for Albertsons stores).

My local Safeway and Lucky stores sell cookies and pastries made in their own bakeries, with little or no branding on the package. They don't sell any unbranded chocolate, nor do they sell any house brand chocolate.

Trader Joe's does sell a lot of house-brand knockoff products. Their Boffo bar is similar to Snickers, and their Candy Coated Chocolate Drops are like M&M's. TJ's is different from many other grocery store chains in that most of the products they carry have Trader Joe's branding. They don't actually make the products themselves - they pay a manufacturer to make them using TJ's packaging. Is that the sort of thing the OP is looking for?
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:41 PM
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No. Hershey's is ubiquitous (in the US, at least), but it's not generic. Hershey's has a very distinct flavor and mouthfeel compared to other chocolates. If you're looking for generic, try Dove or Cadbury, which are good quality, but not distinctive.
Yes, Hersheys has a distinctively disgusting flavor.

Even if you like Hershey, Dove and Cadbury are both positioned at a more premium market position.

Btw, Cadbury chocolate is made by Hershey in the United States.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:00 PM
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FWIW Aldi features Choceur brand chocolate bars which are inexpensive and pretty good.

Re. Hershey, for some reason their chocolate crispy bars which go by the name "Krackel" are only available in bags of mixed miniatures. I wish I could buy full sized Krackel bars.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:09 PM
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I wish I could buy full sized Krackel bars.
Full size was retired in 1997, but then brought back in 2014. Check your supermarket checkout lane impulse-buying section. Or you can order them online, though not through amazon for some reason.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:02 AM
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I'm guessing it must be a margin or a marketing thing; house-brand baking chocolate products are definitely a thing- for example, you can get kroger-brand chocolate chips, cocoa, syrup, etc... just not chocolate bars. Well, actually you can, but only in the branded "Simple Truth" organic line.

And FWIW, both Aldi and Trader Joe's are subsidiaries of the Aldi chains in Germany, so their house-brand chocolate presence may be an outgrowth of that.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:04 AM
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And FWIW, both Aldi and Trader Joe's are subsidiaries of the Aldi chains in Germany, so their house-brand chocolate presence may be an outgrowth of that.
After all, they are from the land of chocolate.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:02 PM
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Hershey's is the best. If you disagree, you are wrong.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
It's pretty easy to make cookies from scratch. Chocolate, on the other hand, requires special tools and techniques, even for a cheap brand like Hershey's. So there are lots of commercial bakeries that can make generic cookies, but few chocolate makers than can make generic chocolate. That is, there is a higher barrier to entry for a chocolate company than there is for a bakery.
The chocolate industry is a generic market. You buy, you add value, you sell.
Some very small number of chocolate bars are manufactured by growers. Some large amount of chocaolate is retailed by processers. Some large amount of chocolate, including prime, mid-market, and cheap, is bought from processors, blended, made up, packaged and sold.

If you want to sell soft-centres, you buy block chocalate. Even the big companies like Cadburys don't necessarly do their own processing in all markets.

In Aus, we can get Mars, Cadbury, Nestle, and some of the other big brands, They all have some approximately matching candy bar brands, That is, they'll have a chocolate caramel bar, a chocolate peanut bar, etc, all approximately interchangable.

Nothing else is like Hershey. Nobody else that I know of uses a recipe like that.

I don't think there is anything really wrong with Hershey. Yes, it has a 'cheesy" note. Like Cheesecake. Where's the hate for cheesecake? Yes, it is made with some kind of fermented milk. Where's the hate for yogurt?

As I noted recently around here, you can really only make s'mores with Hersheys. S'mores aren't particularly attractive when made with Cadbury choclate. That's because the cheesecake note contrasts nicely with the chocolate and the marshmallow, otherwise rather sickly sweet. And lots of choclates are made with contrasting notes for that reason. I'm particularly partial to fermented cherries with my top-class chocklate: (cherry liquors).

Last edited by Melbourne; 06-14-2019 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:22 AM
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During holiday shopping season, I have many a time bought a Macy's Department Store brand chocolate bar, sold at the registers. There's no food anywhere else, except for boxes of brand holiday candy.

Also, what about the awful $6 chocolate bars our bosses force us to buy from them for Little League or something? Taste like they forgot cocoa or sugar. Generic as hell.

Last edited by Locrian; 06-14-2019 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:21 AM
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Yes, Hershey’s has a distinctively disgusting flavor.
It's from the presence of butyric acid. Only their milk chocolate has this distinctive flavor (that some have described as "vomit-like," and I have picked up on that flavor, even though I enjoy Hershey's milk chocolate.) The process is a Hershey's trade secret, but they acidify some portion of the milk, and this process creates butyric acid which gives it that distinctive Hershey's tang.

I honestly never noticed the flavor until returning home after spending five-and-a-half years abroad. I guess I must not have had any Hershey's milk chocolate all that time, but after I ate one some time upon returning, I noticed this weird aftertaste in my mouth, as if I had just vomited. Not a strong taste, but definitely a distinct vomit taste. So I googled it, wondering if I was crazy or if something was wrong with my chocolate, and found reams and reams of information and people talking about this flavor, and what causes it (the butyric acid.) Now I understood why non-USAns can have such strong negative opinions of Hershey's milk chocolate. As for me, I got back used to it and it's hard for me now to pinpoint that vomitty taste. I don't notice it. Similarly, when I first had cilantro, it tasted like dish soap, but after acclimating to it, I don't notice it at all. I mean, I can pick out that soapiness, but it doesn't register as "dish soap" anymore.

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Old 06-14-2019, 07:44 AM
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For me the flavor is far worse with Hersheys chocolate syrup. The chocolate bars are my least favorite chocolate, but I find the syrup to be vile.

I got a plain chocolate ice cream at a local ice cream shop and I immediately tasted that vile Hersheys syrup flavor and only then did I notice a sign proudly declaring that the chocolate ice cream was made with Hersheys chocolate.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:53 AM
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$6 Little League chocolate bars!? The fundraiser Malley's bars around here are only a buck each.

And your Little League bars are probably World's Finest Chocolate, too. Which is the absolute worst chocolate ever (Europeans who complain about Hershey's have obviously never tried WFC).
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:44 AM
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For me the flavor is far worse with Hersheys chocolate syrup. The chocolate bars are my least favorite chocolate, but I find the syrup to be vile.
Then I think maybe you're reacting to a different flavor. I have some Hershey's milk chocolate syrup here, and I don't taste that vomit flavor -- now, like I said, I'm not as keyed into since I've reacclimatized myself to Hershey's chocolate, but I don't see anything in the ingredients that would contribute that flavor, as the syrup doesn't use milk, and it's soured/acidified milk that gives it that taste. Now, I suppose it could be added under "artificial flavors."
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:46 AM
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$6 Little League chocolate bars!? The fundraiser Malley's bars around here are only a buck each.

And your Little League bars are probably World's Finest Chocolate, too. Which is the absolute worst chocolate ever (Europeans who complain about Hershey's have obviously never tried WFC).
Hey, mister, ain't no-one gonna be dissing my World's Finest Chocolate!!! (I grew up and still live within smelling distance of the factory.) I actually do find a lot of their chocolates decent and buy them from time to time at the wholesale outlet they have. I mean, they're by no means high-end chocolate, but I would suspect the Hershey's hater would definitely prefer it to Hershey's, as they don't have that sour milk taste.

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-14-2019 at 09:47 AM.
  #32  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:51 AM
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I mean, look at some of these Amazon reviews:

Quote:
These are amazing! [...] These are seriously like the BEST candy bars.
Quote:
These are my 'private stash' of chocolate.
Quote:
ried one of the bars right away to make sure they were fresh ... and it was very tasty. These are going to be favors for my HS reunion.
Clearly, a good number of people (myself included) like them just fine. They are nowhere near bottom-of-the-barrel chocolate, unless you're getting one that has been sitting around in a storeroom for years.
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