It’s prime cookie exchange season but, according to many lovers of Hershey's Kisses everywhere, batches of peanut butter blossoms aren't looking so pretty.
Home bakers across the country are complaining that the quintessential pointy tip on many pieces of the signature candy is falling flat, with many claiming that the Kisses in new bags have smushed or missing points.
According to the Wedding Cookie Table, a Pittsburgh-based baking group that first brought the issue to the Hershey Company, the broken tips are breaking bakers’ hearts.
“Do this year’s kisses [sic] look like this for you? Or are the tops broken off?” one member asked the group earlier this month, along with a picture of a Hershey’s Kiss. That post launched some very real outcries of anger and disappointment all over the internet.
“I just opened a few bags today for cookies I’m making next week … every single one is missing the tip,” wrote one member in response.
“This is crazy!!! Looks like way more have broken tips than not!! Unacceptable Hershey!!” another sweet-toothed person added.
"I really don’t believe they are snipping the tops off. I think there was a problem at the factory," said one member of the Facebook group. "Call and complain! I haven’t purchased yet because of this but I will this week and see what I get."
The baking club started a chorus of cries that drew large-scale reactions. Many chocolate fans feel genuinely wronged by the imperfect treat:
Even though taste usually matters most, holiday cookie bakers clearly care about presentation, too. Some Twitter users said that they depend on their Hershey’s Kisses as a symbol of consistency. With broken tips, they don’t know who to trust.
“Why are there no tips on Hershey kisses!?!? what is happening?!?!” another Twitter user posted, echoing the same sad sentiment.
TODAY Food reached out to the Hershey Company to see if anyone on the inside was aware of the problem.
Jeff Beckman, Hershey’s Director of Corporate Communications, said, “We love our Kisses as much as our consumers.” However, he added that he does recognize there is a problem, likely somewhere in the production line.
According to Beckman, the candy company makes more than “70 million Kisses a day” all year long, and the broken tip issue may extend beyond the holiday season. Beckman told TODAY Food that the company strives to make every Kiss “look as great as they taste,” despite any frustrating production quirks.
Beckman added that Hershey's has no intention of departing from the candy's “iconic conical shape,” even with the rather unpredictable success rate for a perfectly shaped chocolate drop lately.
“There has always been some variability in that process,” Beckman said. “We are working to improve the appearance because it’s as important to us as it is to our fans.”
There’s no clear timeline for when Hershey’s buyers can expect to score full bags of impeccably-shaped Kisses. But, just like in real life, nothing’s perfect. This holiday season, home bakers and candy lovers may just have to learn how to love that broken little Kiss for the sweetness it offers, despite its shortcomings.