Are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Smaller? An Investigative Journalism Piece
I have long suspected that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have gotten smaller. As a wee-lad, it took as much as three whole bites to finish a cup. Now one bite feels all too natural, and I really have to go out of my way to experience a Reese’s Cup in two bites. To be fair I got bigger and that might account for their getting smaller.
Still I’ve never been suspicious of other popular chocolate brands like Snickers or Hershey’s, only Reese’s. It’s really been a longstanding mystery. One I contemplate every time I finish a pack of peanut butter cups. Somehow I always feel there should be more in there.
Last night, I decided to investigate the matter of the mysteriously shrinking peanut butter cups. Like anyone with a degree in journalism would do, I Googled it. What I found was both horrifying and shocking. In a word … horri-shocking.
Turns out the nefarious Hershey Foods Corporation  has been duping consumers for years. The cup size has changed, yet we’re paying the same price.
The above image is of a Reese’s wrapper purchased in 2003. Note the old Reese’s tagline, “There’s No Wrong Way To Eat A Reese’s.” Also note, utilizing my advanced image manipulation skills, I’ve circled the net weight in ounces and grams.
The above image is of a Reese’s wrapper purchased more recently, featuring the new orange swirl design and the current tagline “Get Lost In A Reese’s.”
If you compare the net weight with the wrapper from 03, you’ll see that there’s a three gram difference. Less carbs, less fat and less protein. 20 calories less.
So now you know, the peanut butter cups are smaller. As if Mini Reese’s and Reese’s Pieces weren’t insulting enough. Soon the same wisecrack that came up with the “fun” size will have the idea of selling powdered Reese’s. But we’re Americans I say. Sell us bigger things, diametrically proportionate to our waistlines.
In case I win a Pulitzer for this groundbreaking investigative piece, I’d like to cover all my ground here and attribute the images. I found the images via Google on the website of a candy enthusiast who, for whatever reason, has scanned in the wrappers of every candy he has eaten in the last ten years. He also has a blog about candy wrappers. Not about candy, exclusively candy wrappers. I wonder where that puts him on the autism spectrum.
1/27/12 Update – It looks like I spoke too soon.
 In recent years, the Hershey Foods Corporation was renamed to The Hershey Company which some clever lawyers and brand marketers deemed less nefarious-sounding. ↩