Tuesday, June 22, 2010
On a Scale of One to Ten:
A candy bar composed of caramel, peanut and almond nougat (so far, so good and also so universal), covered with...delicious white fudge. Hmm. Make that "delicious white fudge," you ingredient swapper-outers at Hershey's. How the Zero Bar has surived since 1920 (or 1931, depending on where you find this product history) is a bit of a mystery, though it is probable that when it was first produced by Hollywood Brands of Centralia, Illinois, it really was made with actual delicious white fudge.
Have you tasted one of these? I finally tried one for the first time at the Sweets & Snacks Expo last month. Very groovy graphics aside (and graphics do count for something), the vile chemical fakeness is quite extreme. I've had more delicious spackle. If this were a new product launch instead of a retro line that has been sold down the river repeatedly (Hollywood was sold to Consolidated Foods/Sara Lee, which sold it to the Finnish company H. Oy, owners of Leaf candy brands in the U.S., which was sold to Hershey's in 1996), it would never have survived. Or been developed in the first place.
If they were launching this bar today and trying to come up with a name for it, it would be obvious how they had arrived at the name Zero: focus groups asked to taste it and rate the flavor on a scale of one to ten would have been the inspiration. Alice Ziplinsky, worshipper of Green & Black's White Chocolate, would have had a great deal of scorn for this "delicious white fudge."