Hershey May Do Away With High-fructose Corn Syrup

Do you know what chocolate bars taste like with just sugar? Well, if you’re an American born after 1982 then it’s unlikely that you’ve tasted these delicious, yummy bars with just plan old sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup.

Hershey is now considering removing corn syrup and replacing it with actual sugar. Speaking in an interview with the Associated Press, Will Papa, chief research and development officer at Hershey, explained that the company currently uses a mixture of both corn syrup and sugar, but now it is mulling over transitioning to primarily sugar.

Papa noted that it has been listening to consumers and they prefer sugar instead of corn syrup.

If Hershey does in fact move ahead with this move then it would represent an enormous shift in the food industry of replacing corn syrup with sugar. Critics of it have long argued that the ingredient has contributed to massive weight gain and the prevalence of diabetes.


According to the Chicago Tribune, the per capita consumption of corn syrup has declined because of diminishing demand for soft drinks. Furthermore, corn refiners slashed prices last year to compete with falling sugar prices. Also, Hershey warned this past summer that its finances could take a dive as cocoa prices have dramatically increased.

We reported last month that chocolate is becoming more expensive because supplies are dwindling.

Economists blame the replacement of sugar with corn syrup on the Reagan administration. It has been documented that when corn syrup was patented in 1971 the creators were interested in having manufacturers incorporate it into their products, but it met some resistance because handling the ingredient wasn’t worth the cost since sugar prices were very low.

The solution came about in the early 1980s when Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), an agribusiness behemoth, intensified their lobbying efforts to insert limits on cane sugar, citing supposed protections for domestic sugar producers. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to impose sugar import limits, which then led to a substantial increase in sales of high-fructose corn syrup.

Here is what the Cato Institute has written about ADM:

“The Archer Daniels Midland Corporation (ADM) has been the most prominent recipient of corporate welfare in recent U.S. history. ADM and its chairman Dwayne Andreas have lavishly fertilized both political parties with millions of dollars in handouts and in return have reaped billion-dollar windfalls from taxpayers and consumers. Thanks to federal protection of the domestic sugar industry, ethanol subsidies, subsidized grain exports, and various other programs, ADM has cost the American economy billions of dollars since 1980 and has indirectly cost Americans tens of billions of dollars in higher prices and higher taxes over that same period. At least 43 percent of ADM‘s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM‘s corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.”