Bakers have had sharp words for the Hershey Co. this month after buying bags of Hershey's Kisses, a popular adornment on holiday cookies, only to discover that the tip was missing on each piece of chocolate.
Instead of sloping into a rounded, conical peak, the chocolates were topped with a jagged edge.
A spokesman for Hershey said in a statement last week that the company was "taking this very seriously." It was not clear how many Kisses were affected.
"We make more than 70 million Kisses a day here in Hershey, Pa., and we want each of them looking as great as they taste," spokesman Jeff Beckman said. An operations team at the company was "working to improve the appearance because it's as important to us as it is to our fans," he added.
The problem was noted by Debbie Sheetz of Greensburg, Pa., in a Dec. 3 post in a Facebook group. Sheetz shared a picture of her peanut butter blossoms, each featuring a tipless Hershey's Kiss in the middle.
"They baked OK but not with the nice pointy tip that I'm used to or expect from Hershey," she wrote, later adding, "I'm still steaming!!"
Other bakers began to respond. They, too, had bought bags of Kisses with missing tips.
On Facebook, Hershey responded to individual complaints from bakers in several states, saying that the company was looking into it. On Wednesday, Hershey used the broken tips to deliver a message about diversity. The social media post showed Kisses of different varieties alongside ones with missing tips and said: "Warm hearts this holiday season and take the time to celebrate our differences."
The message did not satisfy the buyers of tipless Kisses.
"American bakers want to have REAL answers: What happened, why it happened, what exactly they are going to do about it, and when we may expect a resolution to the problem," Tamsen DiBlasio, a home baker in Baltimore, wrote in a Facebook post Thursday.
She was making peanut butter blossoms this month for a holiday gathering when she noticed all of the tips of the Hershey's Kisses were gone -- the remnants nowhere to be found.
In an interview Saturday, DiBlasio said she and other bakers would like an apology "for being sold defective products at top dollar."
About 2 percent of inquiries the company has received this month have been about the broken tips, Beckman said Saturday. Hershey receives about 8,000 calls a month.
Only solid chocolate Kisses were affected, not the filled kisses, which are made by a different production process, he said. All of the solid Kisses distributed in the United States are made in Hershey, he added.
Beckman did not indicate what might have caused the problem but said that "there are many variables" in the production process.
A Section on 12/23/2018
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