Hershey chocolate is known as one of the world’s most popular chocolate brands. For 118 years, the Hershey brand remains a favorite chocolate treat in over 90 different countries. Beginning only manufacturing milk chocolate, the company today manufacturers over 100 different varieties of candy. Many people are familiar with the traditional Hershey milk chocolate bar, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and bite sized Hershey kisses. The process behind producing these famed treats is a fascinating process. By evaluating the company’s manufacturing process and business dynamics, consumers can gain a better perspective of the science behind the candy the enjoy most.
From the standpoint of the original Hershey milk chocolate bar, Milton Hershey is the original creator of developing an efficient chocolate manufacturing process during the late 1800s. Milton Hershey developed a method to produce chocolate that tasted delicious, could be created in bulk, and sold to consumers at competitively affordable price. This process begins with obtaining ingredients used to create a chocolate base. Though Hershey’s main factory is in Pennsylvania, the cacao bean is the main ingredient used that needs to be imported outside of the United States. The cacao beans from cacao trees only thrive in tropical climates. These trees grow in tropical rain forests of Brazil and Indonesia. Once the trees produce a significant amount of cacao beans, Hershey hires farmers to pick the cacao beans off of trees. When finished, the farmers remove the pods that encase the cacao bean itself. These shelled cacao beans are left to sit for a week to undergo the fermentation process. The fermentation is one of the most important processes of converting cacao beans to a finished chocolate product. The principal effects of fermentation are to eliminate or drastically reduce astringency and to develop the full cacao flavor (Fermentation). Soon after, the fermented cacao beans are ready to ship to the main factory in Pennsylvania. There, they are ready to be manufactured into numerous chocolate products.
Other than cacao beans, additional ingredients are important key components to make chocolate. These additional key ingredients include whole milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and sugar (Making Chocolate). Using whole milk gives the chocolate its thick and creamy consistency. Due to the substantial amount of whole milk needed to create chocolate, Hershey has contracts with local Pennsylvania dairy farmers. Approximately 250,000 gallons of milk per day are mixed in with all the other ingredients (Chocolate Dreams). At this stage of the manufacturing process, excluding cocoa butter, these ingredients do not make the actual chocolate bar people consume. The purpose of combining these ingredients are to transform cacao beans into a fine cocoa powder.
Cocoa butter is the last main ingredient added to the fine cacao powder to form a thick chocolate paste. This paste passes through a series of...