Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Have they ever heard of Lindt?

Evidently, a spokesman for Hershey (now threatened for market share by M&M Mars) has made the claim that "Hershey is chocolate," Saville said. "We've made the world's best chocolate for more than 100 years."

With all due respect, I suggest to Mr. Saville that he might do well to visit Europe and learn what real chocolate tastes like, or perhaps to even visit Hershey's own Scharffen-Berger division and learn what chocolate tastes like when it has more than 14% cacao.

9 comments:

Macey said...

mmmm... flavonoids. dark chocolate kills. I agree , it's good though.

pentamom said...

LOL @ Macey.

But seriously, Bert, haven't you ever heard of Cacao Reserve?

And don't be bustin' on Hershey in front of a Pennsylvanian. Since chocolate is originally a New World product, I'm baffled as to why the Europeans get to define what's "real" and not about it.

Bike Bubba said...

Of course I've heard of Cacao Reserve. Tried it once, and it's good, German chocolate. Look at the label; the guys making it aren't worried about Joe Paterno's health, if you catch my drift.

That said, "Cacao Reserve" and "Scharffen-Berger" don't overcome the fact that Hershey's main products are awful compared to offerings from most European manufacturers, or for that matter a number of American manufacturers like Ghirardelli and Dagoba. If they claim they make the best, they've got to get rid of 14% cacao products, never mind the new Mr. Goodbar formula.

Sorry. If it's any consolation, Hershey is far better than a chocolate bar I bought in East Berlin in 1989, and also far better than M&Ms from Thailand (about 5% cacao or less...yuck!).

Gino said...

its how you define 'best'.
chocolate was an expensive treat that most could not afford 100 yrs ago.

milton hershey brought chocolate, decent good blue collar everyday chocolate to the common man.

if you've had hershey, you've had chocolate. other lesser brands still cant say that.

you can say dussenberg was a better car.
but it was ford's model T that made america move, that did the heavy,unglamouraous work dussy could not.
hershey is the same.

pentamom said...

What Gino said.

"If you've driven a Ford, you've driven a car." Does that mean you've driven the equivalent of a Ferrari? No, but you've driven something that (at least historically) represents the essence of "good car" pretty well.

Bike Bubba said...

True that Hershey brought chocolate to U.S. masses (and many around the world), but that's simply not the claim the PR guy made. He claimed Hershey made the world's best, and anyone who's tried Lindt, Ghirardelli, and a host of other manufacturers knows that's demonstrably false.

Put another way, I've got nothing against the Ford PR guy saying "we bring affordable cars to the masses." When he suggests there's no reason anyone would want to go to a Mercedes, I would justifiably say he's out of his mind.

pentamom said...

"He claimed Hershey made the world's best, and anyone who's tried Lindt, Ghirardelli, and a host of other manufacturers knows that's demonstrably false."

You can argue that there are measurable variations in quality, but I'm not sure how you can establish that something that is purely a matter of taste is "demonstrably false."

FWIW, I don't dispute that Ghirardelli is better than Hershey, except in one respect: I can't afford to buy Ghirardelli every time I want to make cookies, so Hershey is better for the purpose. But "demonstrably" seems to be pushing what can be said of an argument over which chocolate tastes better.

Bike Bubba said...

Well, far be it from me to quibble with sentiments that a PR guy might be engaging in meaningless rhetoric. :^)

But that said, it's easy to demonstrate how Hershey's main products are inferior to better brands. Cocoa butter and solids are less, the product is visibly grainier, and the balance of cacao isn't there. (Special Dark is especially disappointing in these regards....)

To use the car analogy, just because I cannot afford a Mercedes doesn't make my Chevy as good or better a car as Mercedes. It means I cannot afford the better product.

Partly because the payments I would have made to Mercedes are instead going to Lindt, Scharffen-Berger, Guittard, Ghirardelli, Omanhenge..... :^)

pentamom said...

"To use the car analogy, just because I cannot afford a Mercedes doesn't make my Chevy as good or better a car as Mercedes. It means I cannot afford the better product."

We could go on and on with this, but this is sort of an interesting tangent.

You are assuming there is one absolute way to define the "better" of two comparable items. But I am not so sure that is the case.

You have decided that texture and cacao balance define "better." But I have decided "I like the taste" and "I actually get to eat it" define "better."

Similarly with the cars, a Mercedes can't possibly be a better car in my view, because the function of a car is not to sit there and have a nice engine, it is to be driven to get places. Since I can't drive a Mercedes to get anywhere because I can't afford it, it's WAY worse than my Chrysler. It is from my perspective, a useless hunk of metal, since it is not usable.

My point is that you can only definitely show that one thing is better than another comparable thing under two circumstances: one, you can define what makes something better in such a way that other attributes don't matter (which I contend you cannot do among chocolate brands, starting from the baseline of semi-decent brands), or two, one of them is so obviously worthless for any purpose that the better choice is obvious (which you could do, if we were talking about Palmer chocolate vs. anything else.)

And of course the guy was hyping with little regard for the objective truth of his words, and of course you're free to disagree. I just don't think you can make this as objective as you want to.