36 packs:

8:37 AM 3/3/2013
Reese's Pieces

Reese's Pieces
A surprising number of people, when asked if there is chocolate in Reese's Pieces will say that there is. Some act indignant as if it was a stupid question. "Of course there's chocolate in Reese's Pieces!"

Yet, when we look at the front of the package it simply says "Peanut Butter candy in a crunchy shell", no mention of chocolate, and if we look at the back of the package:

Back of Reese's pieces

There is no mention of chocolate there either! Doesn't it seem odd that one of the two main ingredients is not mentioned anywhere on the package? Well there is actually a good reason for that:
There is no chocolate in Reese's Pieces!
Let's take a closer look at the ingredients list:

Reese's Pieces ingredients

You'll note that there is no mention of chocolate, cocoa, cocoa power, etc. I should point out that I am referring to the orignal Reese's Pieces which came out in 1978, not more recent candies such as York Peppermint Pattie Pieces, Hershey's Special Dark Pieces, and Almond Joy Pieces. So why would people ASSume that there is chocolate in Reese's Pieces?

Well, there are any number of possible answers to this, it may be because of their resemblance to M&Ms, which do have chocolate. In fact, when they were featured prominently in the movie ET many people thought they were M&Ms. Despite this, that product placement did wonders for the popularity of Reeses Pieces and they still use slogans about them being enjoyed across the universe.

Probably the main reason is the association of Reese's with Peanut Butter Cups, a candy famous for its combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Indeed, members of my generation, and some a bit younger, have vivid memories of commercials where someone with chocolate collided with someone carrying a jar of peanut butter and then one saying "Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!" and the other responding "you got peanut butter on my chocolate!" So they just ASSume that Reeses Pieces also have both peanut butter and chocolate, but never bothered to check see if they actually do.

Some, out of desperation, seeing that the inside looks like pale peanut butter, claim there is a thin layer of chocolate inside the candy shell. That's actually kind of odd when you think about it for a while and anyone who has taken a close look will see that that is clearly *not* the case:

Reese's Pieces anatomy

As you can clearly see, there is no chocolate lining inside the candy shell. In fact, the only thing inside the shell other than the peanut butter filling is a thin layer of wax, the purpose of which is to keep oils from the filling from soaking through and softening the crunchy candy shell.

Does it matter?
I consider that a fair question, and I think any reasonable person would agree this isn't a mater of Earth shaking importance, but does it really seem like a good idea to go around making claims that can be quickly and completely disproven by anyone with a bag of Reeses Pieces and decent vision?

On the other hand, if you're in the business of selling a product, which many are, then it might be a good idea to make sure that a product you list as containing chocolate really does! Such false advertisement can be found on eBay and even in at least one listing on Amazon. One listing actually goes so far as to call them "Reeses Chocolate Pieces" yet displays the ingredients list clearly showing there is no chocolate!

I must say that this peanut butter flavored filling is actually pretty good, but all this talk about chocolate has me wishing it really was in there, maybe I should mix these with M&Ms ...

partial cross section of Reese's Pieces
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