Dear H.B. Reese, What the Hell Happened to Your Peanut Butter Cups?

Posted on November 7, 2014


Has anyone else out there noticed that Reese’s Cups – formerly one of the most perfect foods ever to grace the planet – have gone somewhat downhill over the past couple of years? Specifically, I have my doubts on just how much “peanut” is in these things lately. Peanut butter, in its purest form, is just ground-up peanuts.   That’s it. 100% peanuts. For candy-making purposes, I know we will have added sugar and probably some ingredients designed to make the peanut butter the right sort of consistency to maintain its shape and hold up to shipping. Oh, and preservatives… always preservatives.  But still. The main ingredient, by far, should always be peanuts.

Well, you tell me. I keep running across entire bags of these “Reese’s Cups” filled not with peanut butter, but with this nearly white, chalky, crumbly, sweet and faintly peanut-flavored… I don’t know… it’s not pasty, it’s more like… compressed dust.

Check it out.  The cup on the right is more or less what I expect.  The pale and anemic one on the left is… not.  Peanut content is, I suspect, a bit lacking.  It may have had a peanut waved at it during production.


Next, check out what often happens upon breaking open or biting into these dust-cups.  Does this look normal to you?  It crumbles with the consistency of store-bought brown sugar.   But for the lack of a molasses aroma, one might actually think that’s what this is.   But it’s not.  It’s… a mystery, and not a pleasant one.


What the hell is going on, H.B. Reese? Are these peanut-flavored dust cups counterfeit? Is one of your factories miscalibrated, or are they embezzling your peanuts and replacing them with plain sugar in the hopes no one notices? Whatever. Please tell me this is not intentional, and you thought no one would notice.  And please put the peanuts back.

Okay, I admit it. I am a peanut-and-chocolate addict, and I probably am personally responsible for a pretty good chunk of your sales in the state of Virginia. But keep going the way you’re going, and I may just flee in the direction of Nestle’s Butterfinger, GMOs and all. First you made my beloved Crispy Crunchy Bars really hard to find. Now I can’t count on any kind of consistency in your flagship, the Reese’s Cup. I’m buying them in northern Virginia. I’m buying them in southern Virginia. It makes no difference. I’ll get lucky with one bag of those delectable, oily, peanutty cups, the ones that sometimes even have a little sheen of peanut oil on the chocolate when you open them up – mmmm… – and then the next two or three bags will be those chalky, anemic, crumbly dust-cups with scarcely a whiff of peanut to be found.

Not cool, H.B. Reese! Because once I’ve opened up one individually wrapped “fun size” cup that turns out to be no fun, I know I am stuck with a WHOLE BAG of these un-fun things. And if I was dumb enough to buy two bags (did I mention my addiction?), then I’m even more ticked off.

You know, H.B. Reese, I am not helpless in the kitchen. Keep it up, and I will be hauling out my favorite old recipe for homemade peanut butter balls, and then I will know that yes indeed, they are filled with real peanut butter because I PUT IT THERE.  Kind of like I expect you to do.

And if I get really lazy, I’ll just buy a bunch of Hershey bars and a jar of real peanut butter, and re-enact your old 1970s commercials. A little messy, perhaps, but it would be worth it to get that rich, oily peanut butter… and to avoid the experience of biting into yet another dry, crumbly chocolate covered dust-cup of dubious content.