Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, one of America’s favorite snacks, is getting an organic makeover. Organic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the Hershey Company’s latest offering, gives chocolate and peanut butter lovers an alternative that is better for the environment. Available in milk and dark chocolate options, the new candy is certified USDA organic and verified by the Non-GMO Project and the Rainforest Alliance.
“We’re continuing to expand our product line so there is a Reese’s cup for nearly everyone,” said Eric Newton, Brand Manager Reese’s Organic, in a press release. “When consumers go down the candy aisle or shop online, we want everyone to have an option to choose from, and we aren’t settling until everyone can enjoy a Reese’s product.”
While there is a slew of organic chocolate products on the market, Reese’s became the first mass chocolate brand to offer an organic version of an existing product. The Organic Reese’s will be rolling out nationwide beginning this month in 1.4-ounce packs for $1.99 and can already be purchased on Reese’s website.
— REESE’S (@reeses) February 18, 2021
Reece’s new organic offering is the latest in a series of recent launches from the brand, including THiNS, Mallow-Top, Big Cups with Pretzels, Reese’s Crunchers, Dark Cups, Mini Cups, Crispy Crunchy Bar, Nutrageous Bar and Outrageous Bar. Hershey’s is also planning a relaunch of its Zero Sugar line in the coming year in an attempt to make the category more contemporary.
“And while the organic chocolate market is small, it is growing rapidly, and we are excited to bring consumers great tasting organic versions of Reese’s and Hershey’s through this targeted launch,” Michele Gross Buck, chairman, president and CEO of the Hershey Company, told Food Business News.
Perhaps one of Reese’s largest competitors, Justin’s, has been in the organic space since the company was founded in 2004. Justin’s Cups have long been touted as a healthier, organic version of Reese’s Cups, offering variations with other types of nut butters, including almond and cashew. Sold in more than 32,000 stores, including many Whole Foods and Starbucks locations, Justin’s has amassed a loyal customer base that favors nutrition and quality ingredients. Food giant Hormel took notice of the brand’s clean ingredients and initiative, purchasing the company for $286 million in 2016.
Coming in at 230 calories per serving, Reese’s Organic Cups contain just ten more calories per serving than Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Justin’s, however, cost more per 1.4-ounce serving at $2.19, compared to Reese’s $1.99. Interestingly, Reese’s non-organic cups contain 210 calories per serving, less than its organic counterpart. While an organic certification may mean its ingredients are better for the environment, Reese’s organic cups may not actually be any better for the consumer in terms of nutrition.
Hershey and other chocolate brands will likely begin rolling out more organic chocolate options as the market is forecasted to grow by $127.1 million between 2020 and 2024 at a CAGR of almost three percent. The growing demand for organic dark chocolate specifically can be attributed to its perceived health benefits.
Reese’s isn’t the only brand making some big changes. Nestlé recently announced that it will be rolling out a vegan version of its KitKat chocolate bar that will be made from a rice-based milk alternative and 100 percent sustainable cocoa. Reese’s and Nestlé’s new offerings suggest the potential for other companies to introduce organic or vegan versions of their own chocolate and candy products.