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a nickel…two dimes…

…two quarters…great! I have some candy money. Needed some sugar this afternoon. I walk on down to the vending machine.

Hmm…no Snickers. Damn. Now what? Twix? I always get Twix. Milky Way? No. Not today. Hey! A Hershey’s bar. Haven’t had one of those in years! Let’s try that.

Money in…spring thingy spins…candy falls…trap door opens…I now have candy! Back to the cubicle…

But wait! This isn’t the Hershey’s bar I rememeber. What’s this? 3-D metalic type? Ok. That’s interesting…but (gasp! shock! horror!) where’s my foil wrapper!? Crap. No more shiny foil wrapper snuggly wrapped in an elegant paper sleeve. *sigh* Now it’s just the same-old plastic wrapper that the rest of the candy gang is wearing. S’mores will never be the same…

(Rumour has it that our own Debbie Millman had something to do with this. ;o)

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ARCHIVE ID 1639 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Oct.27.2003 BY darrel
Michael B.’s comment is:

I'm sure it's less expensive to produce. I'm sure it tested well in focus groups. I'm sure it protects the candy bar better. I'm even pretty sure it results in less waste and harm to the environment.

But I just want my old Hershey bar wrapper back.


On Oct.27.2003 at 03:18 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Picture, please!

On Oct.27.2003 at 03:32 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I found these...



A quick google search turned those up, and, interestingly, a bunch of web sites that highlight an industry I was unaware of: custom Hershey Bar Wrapper providers. This new wrapper seems to be throwing this niche industry for a loop.

On Oct.27.2003 at 03:55 PM
marian’s comment is:

That wrapper -- is it plasticky and silvery on the inside? If it's plastic, why, Michael, do you think it results in less waste and harm to the environment? The same thing has happened to my beloved KitKat. At least the paper half of the wrapper used to go in my recycling bin, now the whole thing goes in the garbage. I've actually been meaning to write to Nestle about this (and about their cheap shitass new chocolate which they didn't think I'd notice but I do).

On Oct.27.2003 at 04:01 PM
big steve’s comment is:

You know what i miss?

Big League Chew.

On Oct.27.2003 at 04:10 PM
marian’s comment is:

re: the design: I overheard Debbie talking about this on the weekend, and catching the tail end of it, I didn't realize exactly what the context was, but I believe she was saying that it's very different to discuss a design as a design or to discuss it as an Icon.

The question is, is there such a thing as an American Design Icon, that has been around for so long, and become so part of the American experience that it should not be touched? I can hear the howls already, but can you imagine assigning historical status to a piece of graphic design the way it is done with architecture? Is the Hershey's bar such a piece?

On Oct.27.2003 at 04:24 PM
ps’s comment is:

the product itself is sooo bad. sorry to say but hershey's chocolate should not even be produced. but thats just a side note... the whole act of "unwrapping" of course gets lost with the new wrapper which is too bad, but that will be forgotten in a few month time. and maybe in return victorias secret will sell more product. the new wrapper probably reflects more cleanliness, properly protected food that can't be tampered with without noticing. plus i'm sure there is tons of less waste. now, if i couldn't go to a diner and get heinz in the glass bottle, now, then we would have a problem.

On Oct.27.2003 at 05:00 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

I thought part of the value of the foil wrapper was so you could open the bar, have a few 'squares' of chocolate, then wrap it back up all nice and tidy. Or maybe most people just chowed down the whole bar at once.

I don't mind the type change. The extrusion alludes to the 'squares'. But the plastic does feel cheap.

On Oct.27.2003 at 05:08 PM
felix’s comment is:

Big League Chew.

Actually , its still around.

And still have the same package.

What I'd like to get a hold, or

pinch of, is Big Man's Chew, which

was modeled after Red Man.

Classic 70s machismo.

On Oct.27.2003 at 05:08 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Less wrapper = less litter. But I do miss the foil, more because of the nostalgia rather than any packaging design cues. I love Ding-Dongs because they're still individually foil-wrapped.

I don't hate the new packaging, and it won't affect whether or not I continue to buy the bar. So it's a non-issue to me. It's an update in packaging form, like glass Coke bottles becoming plastic. It was just something that was bound to happen.

Get over it, I say.

On Oct.27.2003 at 05:52 PM
Sarah B.’s comment is:

the font change doesnt bother me at all - but the lack of paper does. There is something about food wrapped in paper... be it deli meat, coffee in a nice paper bag or the good ole' hershey bar - its the touch. And it also reminds me of buying fresh stuff from the corner market - nostalgic and tangible!!

On Oct.27.2003 at 06:58 PM
Priya’s comment is:

i am saddened by this change. i always felt like charlie opening a willy wonka bar looking for a golden ticket with those old hershey bars.

the new design is nice though... makes sense from a corporate standpoint and will decrease the instances of chocolate tampering (does this happen a lot?).

will my gold wrapped bars of joy (known to most as Hershey's Symphony) go this way too?

On Oct.27.2003 at 07:54 PM
Cheshire’s comment is:

I believe you can still have the foil action in the king-size Hershey bars (which are a better choice, in my opinion, for both the with- and without-almonds varieties). As for the new packaging, I kind of like it. The new typography is more elegant than the old, and I think it melds contemporary typography with a style reminiscent of 100 years ago.

On Oct.27.2003 at 08:49 PM
big steve’s comment is:

yeah - i actually just bought big league chew - it's like snuff for kids... yummy yummy!

I think jonsel hit it square - the old wrapper was conducive to rationing, eating a lil' bit here and there, savoring the treat. These days

A. we're much fatter as a country (see gluttonous) and are probably much likelier as a demographic smash whole chunks of garbage into our faces

2. Hershey probably loves this - instead of saving one candy bar for a day or a few days and wrapping it in it's package, every time we want some more choco-goodness we have to buy a new bar.

D. Though they hardly care about the enviornmental soundess of thir product, it seems (to my lay eyes) as a much more efficient way of packaging --> One package material, one step to seal the candy in it, as opposed to having to wrap the candy in foil then send it to have a piece of paper glued around it.

sideline: speaking of Willy Wonka - 50 Cent is having his own lil' one in a million contest. In an effort to get people to buy his CD instead of downloading it, four lucky lil' Gs will each find a golden ticket in the CD package that is good for a $12,500 diamond studded G-Unit medallion... fifty is such a sweetheart!

On Oct.28.2003 at 05:09 AM
Zlatko Kreso’s comment is:

Who buys the most chocolate/candy? Children do.

Do children care about nostalgia? Do they want something that reminds them of their parents?

I'm suprised they didn't paint it blue and 3/4 of it "foil" colour and replace the text with "spiky" and "wild" text.

On Oct.28.2003 at 07:32 AM
Old School’s comment is:

How is heavily-messed-with-Photoshop-emboss deboss-up-in-all-that-mess-typography suddenly considered more 'elegant' than the previous example?


On Oct.28.2003 at 08:50 AM
Michael B.’s comment is:

In these troubled times, it's simply good to know that we in the graphic design profession are making progress toward our goal to make sure every logo on earth is subjected to enough Photoshop tricks to choke a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.

I have no doubt the new package tested really well with kids.


On Oct.28.2003 at 09:04 AM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Michael B. wrote:

it's simply good to know that we in the graphic design profession are making progress toward our goal to make sure every logo on earth is subjected to enough Photoshop tricks to choke a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.

Hey, when in doubt, let someone else do the work.

Someone like the Adobe Photoshop development team.


On Oct.28.2003 at 10:54 AM
David E’s comment is:

>>the product itself is sooo bad. sorry to say but hershey's chocolate should not even be produced

i couldnt disagree with you more...now if you were saying that about nestles i could see it.

when i saw the new wrapper my heart sank a little bit. sliding the foil wrapped bar out of the sleeve and unwrapping it was definetely a big part of the hershey bar experience for me...its amazing how you take things like that for granted.

the wrigleys gum redesign was just as sad for me, if not worse. the 3 different wrigleys packages and wrappers, each different but all belonging to the same family, was one of my earliest graphic design connections as a little kid. unwrapping the stick of gum was, like with the hershey bar, a very enjoyable part of experience — kind of a little ritual — and of course it gave you something to stick the chewed up piece of gum in.

On Oct.28.2003 at 12:21 PM
David E’s comment is:

>>>Who buys the most chocolate/candy? Children do.

Do children care about nostalgia? Do they want something that reminds them of their parents?

I really wouldn't think that the hershey bar sells more to kids than to adults. Anyhow, its not about nostalgia...the hershey bar wrapper was classic.

On Oct.28.2003 at 12:26 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Just for the record, yes, Sterling Group did the redesign of the Hershey packaging. Also, pick up a copy of the latest Print and Steve Heller has a small critique of the packaging.

This is a few of the instances in which I really didn't care what happened to the hershey packaging. The tinfoil was a very nice touch and had something very rewarding about it. I don't favor (nor encourage) the new type treatment with the highlights and shadows, but at least they kept the essence of it, more than I can say for fellow photoshoped victim UPS.

Also, if you look closely at the provided image of the new envelope you will see that only the R and S's have highlights... printer screw-up. Not that that would make the package better or worse but it's a flaw that distracts the attention.

Perhaps we are entering a new era in graphic design where flatnessisnotgod anymore. And beveling is making its way out of internet buttons and into consumer culture... not sure if that's what I want, but it's happening, and if I'm craving a Hershey bar I'll buy it regardless the packaging.

On Oct.28.2003 at 01:31 PM
Cheshire’s comment is:

I should have emphasized that what I was commenting on was the "Milk Chocolate" part, which I do think is far more elegant than the old. In a time where everyone wants everything to pop, it's nice to see a little restraint.

On Oct.28.2003 at 03:43 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Everyone should just jump into the vat of their local chocolatier (or Godiva, Bernard Callebaut, for more mainstream ones etc) and have a field day.

They have nicer packaging anyway. ;-)

On Oct.28.2003 at 05:13 PM
ps’s comment is:

i couldnt disagree with you more...now if you were saying that about nestles i could see it.

where the hell do you come fron :-)

On Oct.28.2003 at 07:15 PM
ps’s comment is:

fron = from

On Oct.28.2003 at 07:16 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

First and foremost, as Armin mentioned, please let me tell you that the packages that are currently on the market for both Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s with Almonds were printed incorrectly. If you look carefully at the HERSHEY’S letters, you will see some white shadows along the curves of the R and S’s. That white shadowing should have been on all the letterforms, but somehow Hershey’s printer or separator missed this from our mechanicals. So we are very sad and dismayed at what is on the market and have let Hershey know this. Hopefully they will make the changes.

Steve Heller did write a good review in the current issue of Print, and I’ll paraphrase some of what I told him about the redesign.

This was a challenging assignment. Changing such extraordinary brand assets and equities requires a lot of skill...and courage. Successful crown jewel brands like Hershey have built deep and complex connections with their consumers—that is one of the reason’s why they are successful. I believe that true icon brands have grace, elegance and familiarity that makes any type of redesign a complicated and treacherous endeavor. Interestingly, most of the feedback I have gotten about the redesign is about actually doing so little to the design—most people feel that it is too evolutionary. From my point of view, the incremental change was one that was recommended by Hershey’s audience (people we would call brand zealots—sorry Michael B!). Consumers that are deeply passionate about the Hershey’s brand. We did do a deep design exploratory—with a huge range of work. We even looked at removing the last S off of Hershey’s, as people call the bar a “Hershey bar” not a “Hershey’s bar” and the company is in Hershey, PA not Hershey’s. We looked at different colors for the background (did you know that the Hershey bar is really not brown, but actually maroon?) We looked at the Hershey’s type in white, in gold and so on and so on. But ultimately consumers, the audience, the people--wouldn’t accept it.

I think that really good package design is a delicate balance of design, marketing, cultural anthropology and psychology. That is why I love it and design “purists” tend to despise it (I think). Hershey’s seems to have a body and soul that resonates with consumers in such a profound way that any other change actually made them angry. I was surprised (shocked, really) that these same consumers actually accepted the bar losing its lovely silver foil lining, but they seemed to want this and felt that this would make the bar “tamper free” and more hygienic.

Also, Hershey is very, very concerned about waste, and removing the foil removed about half the paper that is thrown away. As far as “saving the bar for a few days”—Ha! NO ONE seemed to ever save any of it. They would think they would, and would intend to, and re-wrap several pieces, but unwrap them minutes later and wolf. We did fun ritualistic studies and the overall habits of people were revealed and uncovered, and it seemed better to save the environment than pretend to be saving a chocolate bar that no one actually saved.

As far as the shiny sheen—it was done to give the bar more life, excitement and modernity. And we did not do this in Photoshop, much to everyone’s disbelief!!! We created the beveled type to reflect the personality of each individual “pip” of chocolate in the actual bar. If you look at the category now, this is primarily what you see and as a result, the original Hershey bar ended up looking (sadly) old-fashioned. It needed to compete in a category that is very “in your face,” very geared to kids and a bit of sensory overload. (See the newish sour Skittles) So ultimately, we developed what I think is a bit of a subtle restoration of the brand—pumping up the volume, so to speak, of what was already there and trying to appeal to a whole new generation of potential Hershey’s bar consumers, without alienating the zealots.

There’s seems to be a lot of conjecture as to the merits of the redesign—here on SU and beyond (and that is why I am so distressed the mis-print is in the market). But ultimately, we tried to respectfully, stylishly update a classic brand in a way that maintained the integrity of the brand and keep consumers intrigued with a design that was modern, a bit sleek and still genuine.

And to quote Ms. Paula Scher, “thanks for noticing.”

On Oct.29.2003 at 11:41 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

but they seemed to want this and felt that this would make the bar “tamper free” and more hygienic

I think this may have been one of those 'what people want isn't necessarily what they say' things.

I can certainly expect everyone to say that, but, in reality, I think most of us buy food without worrying about that.

But if they're saving the environment with the new packaging...well...OK...I'll give them that... ;o)

On Oct.29.2003 at 12:08 PM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Darrel wrote:

But if they're saving the environment with the new packaging...well...

...and saving $ in packaging costs.

One wonders if that was the true motivation in the "rebranding"?

On Oct.29.2003 at 04:04 PM
Michael B.’s comment is:

And it wasn't even done in Photoshop!


On Oct.29.2003 at 05:07 PM
Ginny ’s comment is:

Are the minatures changing as well? I had a couple today and although the foil and paper are one it's still reminiscent of the old packaging.

Sorry Debbie, I too am a fan of the old packaging and miss it dearly. It's interesting, funny, wonderful, and curious how much the Hershey's bar and the old packaging remind me of my youth and my grandfather who always had one stashed away for me somewhere. (sigh)

I guess it's time to make new memories.

On Oct.29.2003 at 05:23 PM
marian’s comment is:

So ... the wrapping is paper? (I suppose I could just go out and find one, but then i'd have to buy it in order to rip it open and test for paper-ness, and then I'd have to eat it, and I'm with ps ... I hate Hershey's chocolate. It's a cultural thing.) Because the new wrapping on the KitKat is not paper--it looks like it wouldn't biodegrade in a million years.

On Oct.29.2003 at 11:49 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

No...the wrapping is now plastic like the rest of the candy crew in the vending machine.

On Oct.30.2003 at 10:09 AM
Amber’s comment is:

At what point do we as the public say that enough is enough. Is it really all that cost effective if you deprive the masses of the nostalgia of a product when the product itself has not even changed? The Hershey’s bar has been produced the same way for decades, why change it now? If people did not eat a Hershey’s bar before they are not going to eat it now.

On Nov.04.2003 at 08:58 AM
Joe Pemberton’s comment is:

Funny thing how the only reason I could enjoy a Hershey's bar - knowing what I now know about American chocolate - is that nostalgia factor. Now, thanks to repackaging, I can move on and forget Hershey's altogether. It never held the flavor and now it holds no nostalgia. I'm free!

Get Cadbury's kids.

On Nov.06.2003 at 03:02 AM
Joe Pemberton’s comment is:

This thread makes me wonder if the ol' Converse Chuck Taylors will be even subtly different now that Nike owns the brand.

(Not that I could ever really go back to Chuck Taylors - knowing what I now know about shoes - but it's nice to think I could.)

On Nov.06.2003 at 03:04 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> knowing what I now know

Joe, sounds like you didn't know a lot of stuff then.

On Nov.06.2003 at 08:22 AM
Brady’s comment is:

I know this discussion has probably run its course, but I can no longer reserve comment.

The new wrap for the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar is a travesty for this simple reason: the soul has been taken from a beloved brand.

The old wrap was special; it added to the experience, it made you feel as though you were holding more than a simple, mass-produced chocolate bar.

The new wrap is a veneer; it encourages you to consume rather than enjoy, it feels hollow and unnatural and mass-produced.

There has been a recent spate of authenticity killing "re-brands" perpetrated by "branding" firms that have chosen not to show the "courage" to do what's right and leave well-enough alone. It's distressing that I have to use a word like courage to describe the act of doing what's in the client's and their brands' best interests. It takes courage to be a smokejumper. But, maybe this is what has become of "branding" and design in general; maybe it takes courage to turn down a six-figure job. Instead, as an industry, we see fit to throw the baby out with the bath water.

According to UPS's reasoning for getting rid of the "bow" we should be seeing a redesign of the IBM trademark soon.

I digress.

With the redesign of the Hershey's wrap; what will the website look like now? How will the new ads open - and close? When will we see plastic wrapped Kisses and say goodbye to the plume?

I'm not going to point out what I see are flaws in Debbie Millman's defense of the redesign here. But, I remembered reading Sterling Brands' "brandsight™ 2003" where it stated "many brands with real authenticity fail to communicate it... so the lesson is 'be true of your roots'".

Then I read this in her post.

"But ultimately, we tried to respectfully, stylishly update a classic brand in a way that maintained the integrity of the brand and keep consumers intrigued with a design that was modern, a bit sleek and still genuine."

Then, I find a whole box of these at a friendly neighborhood quickie mart.

On Nov.18.2003 at 12:40 PM
Dave Grager’s comment is:

I'm a design student at Syracuse and my thesis topic is candy bar packaging. Some really great comments on the Hershey subject here. I wrote a ten page paper on the new Hershey wrapper - If anyone is interested, I'll post it. If there is anyone here close to this subject (Debbie Millman), I would love to talk with you (!). Great site! Also, I may try to use you folks in the future.

On Dec.19.2003 at 09:10 AM
eric’s comment is:


Debbie's email is both in her author's bio and also available by clicking on her name in any thread or link header. In any case, i've forwarded your request.

it may be too much to post a ten page report here but if you would like to send us a link to the report in pdf or on your personal site i'm sure that many here would love to take a look.

On Dec.19.2003 at 09:25 AM