Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are getting the vegan treatment.
The Hershey Co. said Tuesday that Reese’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups, which go on sale this month, will likely be its first vegan chocolates sold nationally. A second plant-based offering, Hershey’s Plant Based Extra Creamy with Almonds and Sea Salt, will follow in April.
The chocolates are made with oats as a substitute of milk, Hershey said.
Hershey has experimented with vegan chocolate before. It sold an oat-based chocolate bar called Oat Made in some test markets starting in 2021. But the brand new products will likely be the primary sold throughout the U.S. under the “Plant Based” label.
Hershey said consumers want selection and are on the lookout for products they consider healthier or with fewer ingredients, including reduced sugar and plant-based options. Hershey also introduced an organic version of Reese’s Cups in February 2021.
Younger consumers, specifically, want to reduce consumption of animal-based products, says Euromonitor, a market research firm. In a 2021 survey, Euromonitor found that 54% of Generation Z consumers were restricting animal-based products from their diets, in comparison with 34% of Baby Boomers.
Nestle has sold its KitKat V, a vegan KitKat bar, in Europe since 2021, while Cadbury sells a vegan chocolate bar in the UK. But thus far, U.S. vegan chocolate options have generally been limited to premium brands, like Lindt, or organic chocolatiers like Hu Kitchen.
Hershey said it developed plant-based versions of Reese’s Cups and Hershey bars __ a few of its hottest products __ because there’s a dearth of mainstream plant-based chocolates within the U.S. market.
The plant-based versions will cost more. Hershey wouldn’t share details since it said retailers set final prices. But Rite Aid lists a 1.4-ounce package of two plant-based Reese’s Cups at $2.49; that’s about $1 greater than consumers would pay for a daily package. Hershey charges an analogous premium for organic versions of its Reese Cups, which went on sale in 2021.
And ditching the dairy won’t cut calories. While Hershey didn’t release the entire dietary facts, the 1.4-ounce package of plant-based Reese’s Cups have 210 calories; that’s the identical variety of calories as a 1.5-ounce package of traditional Reese’s Cups.