The Reason Hershey's Bliss Was Discontinued

Part of childhood is chocolate, but part of adulthood is chocolate, too. Whether you're looking for a dark chocolate bar to enjoy with your afternoon cup of coffee during a long work day, or you need to indulge in a few bite-size pieces of milk chocolate during your latest Netflix marathon, you certainly aren't alone — as a matter of fact, the average American consumes 11 pounds of chocolate each year (via The Chocolate Store).

Hershey's has long cashed in on the choco-craze and it has been a staple for the brand for decades. Without Hershey's, there would be no Reese's, no Kisses, and honestly, no Halloween worth the trick-or-treating. There would also be no Bliss, which was a bag of high-quality chocolates that came in melt-in-your-mouth milk, dark, and white varieties.

But in 2016, Hershey's lovers were left heartbroken (and in need of some chocolate to heal said heartbreak). The brand unexpectedly pulled Bliss off the shelf without so much as an explanation, and it hasn't been seen since.

Hershey's has always had a rocky relationship with its greatest competitor

Ironically, one of Hershey's "biggest customers" at its onset was Mars, the brand that has grown to give us M&Ms and Snickers. According to Meaww, Mars approached Hershey's and asked for a chocolate supply to create the Milky Way bar. The founder of Hershey's happily agreed, but when the Milky Way took off, so did a tense rivalry between the two corporations that has persisted for nearly a century.

In more recent years, Mars introduced Dove Promises. The top-tier quality, individual chocolates took on a whole new demographic beyond just trick-or-treating kids: adults. Dove has become a classic Valentine's Day treat and a pick-me-up for the older demographic.

Hershey's took note, and in 2008, attempted to regain control with the introduction of Bliss. The Los Angeles Times reported that "Hershey's management has acknowledged that it lacks the products to take advantage of demand for premium and dark chocolates," and that Bliss was their hopeful next step to taking on Dove.

Hershey's Bliss couldn't quite shake the second-choice chocolate stereotype

While Bliss didn't quite take on Dove after all, it left a lasting impression on a ton of shoppers. Hershey's Facebook page is the only clue we have into figuring out just exactly why the product drop was so sudden. One customer asked about the status of Bliss chocolates in mid-2016, but only received a message stating that "it's not currently available," and that the team would pass along their interest.

Several other commenters have expressed how much they miss the chocolate, even expressing Hershey's worst fear: "I can't believe Hershey's let Dove take back the smooth chocolate market."

Others, however, were quick to reinforce Dove's position as number one in the premium chocolate market. Most users (68.61 percent) on the forum A Full Cup picked Dove over Bliss at both products' height in 2008 because it was cheaper and tastier. A 2014 Consumer Reports study showed that 55 percent of people preferred Dove milk chocolate to Bliss, likely because of its smoother texture.

The likely conclusion here is that Hershey's just could not pull the same premium chocolate numbers as Mars. And yet, just one year after ditching Bliss, Hershey's overall sales beat all of Mars (including Dove Promises) by a landslide (via Statista).