Is Hershey’s Real Chocolate?

Most people love Hershey’s chocolate. But while they’re enjoying the chocolate melting on their tongue, they might ponder – Is Hershey’s “real” chocolate? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. 

In reality, only some Hershey’s chocolate can be defined as “real.” That’s because some Hershey chocolate products contain over 10% cocoa, which according to FDA standards, would render it “real.” However, those that contain less than 10% are not considered “real chocolate.”

Hello, everyone! I’m Michelle, and, like you, I’m a big Hershey’s chocolate fan! My favorite candy bar is Cookies N Cream, while my mom loves the Hershey bar with almonds. It got me thinking whether or not these were “real” chocolate, and I’m here to share my findings.

Let’s discuss whether or not Hershey’s is real chocolate.

Why Hershey’s Can Be “Real” Chocolate

Some – but not all – Hershey products can be labeled as “real” chocolate.

How do we come to that conclusion? Well, it all comes down to the FDA regulations regarding what is considered “real chocolate.” According to the FDA, as long as a product contains over 10% cocoa, it can be rendered as real.

With that in mind, we can confidently say that some Hershey’s products are “real” chocolate. That’s because plenty of the products come with 30% cocoa, making it a really real chocolate treat. 

Is Hershey’s Actually Chocolate?

As mentioned previously, not all Hershey’s chocolate is created equal. Some of the Hershey products – such as my beloved Cookies N Cream candy bar and miniature-sized bars – have less than 10%, meaning they are not “real chocolate.”

How Can You Tell if Hershey’s is “Real” or Not?

The easiest way to know whether or not the Hershey product you’re eating is “real” or just tastes “real” is to check the packaging.

If the Hershey product is not considered “real chocolate,” it will have a label such as made with chocolate, chocolatey, chocolate bar, or chocolate candy. These terms signify that, while the product looks and tastes like chocolate, it doesn’t meet the FDA standards of “real chocolate.”

If your Hershey product simply says “chocolate” or doesn’t have any reference to chocolate at all, it’s safe to say that it is real. 

You can also check the ingredient list. Remember – if the product has over 10% cocoa, it can be labeled as “real.” Enjoy!


There you have it! The answer to the great debate regarding whether or not Hershey’s is “real chocolate.” Want to learn more? I don’t blame you. That’s why I’ve included these fun FAQs. Let’s check them out!

Are Hershey’s kisses real chocolate?

Recently, some confusion stemmed from Hershey’s, as their “Kisses” was labeled as chocolate candy rather than milk chocolate. The good news is that Hershey’s fixed their mistake (whether accidental or on purpose). That said, yes, the “Kisses” are real.

Is Hershey’s syrup real chocolate?

While Hershey’s chocolate contains cocoa, it is labeled as “chocolate flavored” rather than strictly chocolate. By these standards, we can assume that the product is likely not considered “real chocolate.”

Is Hershey’s chocolate pure?

If you’re an avid Hershey’s fan, you will be happy to know that the cocoa they use is 100% pure. However, the special dark chocolate is processed with alkali. This produces a darker appearance and more bitter flavor that dark chocolate fans adore.

Final Words

Some Hershey products can be labeled as “real chocolate” if they contain more than 10% cocoa. That said, not all Hershey products fall under the umbrella of “realness.” You can discover if the product is real or not by looking for words like made with chocolate or chocolate candy.

What do you think about the great Hershey debate?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Deron

    Chocolate Connoisseurs believe no matter what the FDA says, Hersey’s chocolate is not chocolate, but a pale imitation of what comes out of Europe. I know for a fact this to be true, because a friend from Scotland and I had a trade off of off the shelf chocolate candies, and for sure the European Chocolates were superior. Even US Cadbury vs. European Cadbury is different. But all of this doesn’t matter, because it tastes good and we Americans are fond of the chocolate and the story behind it. So when we are eating a Hersey’s bar with almonds or Cookies and Cream, it doesn’t matter because the bar we have in our hands at the moment is the best, it won out so to criticize whether or not if it is “real” chocolate or not is simply mute. Incidentally, I am a Reese’s man, which uses Hersey’s chocolate, on the cups. Harry Reese also use to work for Milton Hersey in the 1920’s.