The Dark Side of The Great American Chocolate Bar

By Roxanne Griffin

What do you think of when you think of The Hershey Company? Is it Kisses, S’mores by the campfire, family fun at the Hershey’s Amusement Park, Halloween parties with friends and kiddos? All wholesome activities the Hershey’s company has spent millions of dollars in promoting their message of bringing people together. Sadly, there is a darker side to their chocolate sweets and snack treats they would rather you not know. Not so sadly, that darker side is bringing people together in shedding light on and letting Hersheys know we’re not blinded by their attempts in ‘greenwashing’ the public.

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Wouldn’t it be great if Hersheys was as transparent about their profits as they are about their efforts in stewardship of our planet? Or for that matter, put as much effort into sustainable packaging of their products as they do in the marketing of their products!

Hershey’s 2020 Sustainability report indicated that 77% of their packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable. Yet the packaging used for most of their candy bars and treats falls short in meeting a sustainable criterion. Rather The Hersheys Company has the dubious honor of receiving a failing grade of ‘F’ from a study published in 2020 by the non-profit ‘As You Sow.’ The study took into account factors like packaging design and reusability, packaging content and data transparency, producer responsibility and support for recycling. You can learn about additional reports on Hersheys by clicking here. (Letter to Hershey March 2022.docx (

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‘As You Sow’ is the nation’s non-profit leader in shareholders advocacy.