Nestle vs. Hershey: Chocolatey Goodness

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Difference between Nestle and Hershey

Chocolate is a treat equally appreciated by children and by adults alike. Available in the form of a bar, waffle topping, candies, hot chocolate, chocolate mousse and many other delicious assortments, it is present on the shelves of most pastry shops, department stores, the corner market and at the higher end – at specialized chocolatier shops. Famous chocolate manufacturers from around the world have perfected their recipes and are now able to offer an extended range of chocolate based products in refined combinations. Aside from the usual combinations of chocolate, milk, vanilla and hazelnuts, sometimes chili, mint and other unexpected ingredients are added to create unique tasting chocolates.

Nestle and Hershey are two of the biggest chocolate manufacturers in the world.



Nestle is a huge multinational corporation based in Vevey, Switzerland with 6,000 brands, 278,000 employees and earned $107B CHF revenue in 2009. The company was founded by the merger which took place in 1905 between the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company and Farine Lactée Henri Nestle Company, with both entities established in 1866. The company continued its growth and expanded its portfolio of products and operates today in 86 countries. During the years, several strategic acquisitions Nestle ensured its strong position in the market.

The Hershey Company is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. The company was founded in 1894 and is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Along the way, management has experienced new ways to make chocolate, releasing the popular Hershey’s Kisses and Peanut Butter Cups into the confectionery market. Several mergers transformed Hershey’s into a solid business highly appreciated by consumers.


Popular Nestle products include chocolate coated bean shaped candies Smarties, the Kit Kat chocolate bar, the crispy Crunch chocolate bar or the smooth Butterfinger. The Wonka inspired confectionery products made to promote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie from 2005 are also famous. In Europe, there are many varieties of chocolate which are not offered popularly in the U.S.

Some of the popular Hershey products are: Hershey’s 5th Avenue - a famous chocolate peanut butter bar, Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Hershey’s Nuggets and many others. Hershey also holds the license to manufacture Cadbury products – a UK based chocolate manufacturer - in the United States.


Melamine – a harmful organic base – was found in the milk used in Nestle factories in China.  As a result the company recalled the products made there in 2008. Nestle also uses palm oil to manufacture its products. Many forests disappear as farmers strive to extend the area for palm oil plantations. This action greatly affects the environment in a bad way.

A Hershey production plant in Ontario Canada was closed in 2006 and all products were recalled as they were contaminated with salmonella due to bad soy lecithin. Apparently, none of the contaminated products made it to public distribution.

Similarities and Differences

  • Nestle is a Swiss company established in 1905 with 6,000 brands currently. It produces many chocolate products. Hershey is an American chocolate manufacturer founded in 1894.
  • Top Nestle chocolate products popular in the U.S. are Smarties, Kit Kat, Crunch and Butterfinger. Popular Hershey products include Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, and Mr. Goodbar.
  • Products have been recalled due to contamination with melamine in a Nestle China factory and salmonella in a Hershey’s Canadian production unit.


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