Fact Check

Is Reese's Terminating Relationship With Hershey's Chocolate Due To ‘Wokeness’?

A piece of satire got shared without the disclaimer.

Published Apr 18, 2023

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Reese's peanut butter cup confectioner was terminating its relationship with Hershey's in spring 2023 due to the chocolate maker's "wokeness."

In March 2023, an article on patriotpartypress.com claimed that Reese's, the peanut butter cup manufacturer, had terminated its relationship with Hershey's chocolate over alleged "wokeness":

In 1926, H.L. Reese covered a piece of peanut butter candy with chocolate from the factory near his home in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Before long, he developed the world's first peanut butter cup and opened his own factory, purchasing Hershey chocolate through a close partnership with the company.

Nearly a century later, his great-grandson, Bill Reese, made the decision to end that relationship, citing Hershey's newfound "wokeness" as the reason.

"It looks like there will be two kinds of candy in America," said Bill, "woke and regular. We want our candy to be regular, so we're switching to Nestle chocolate."

This website is part of a network of "satire" websites operating under the moniker America's Last Line of Defense. A disclaimer on patriotpartypress.com states that "everything on this website is fiction." Still, clickbait websites and social media accounts shared or reposted this story as if it were an actual news item. 

The story is an apparent nod to a controversy generated from a March 2023 International Women's Day post by Hershey's that featured a trans woman, and the satire story played into a false narrative that such "woke" ads negatively affect company bottom lines. It bears mentioning that Reese's has been a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company since 1963

Because these claims originated from an America's Last Line of Defense website, we rate this claim "Originated as Satire."

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


"About Us." PATRIOT PARTY PRESS, http://box5884.temp.domains/~dunning2/patriotpartypress/29-2/. Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

Conservatives Are Mad Hershey's Featured a Trans Woman in an Ad. https://www.out.com/news/boycott-hershey. Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

"Hershey Chocolate Buying Reese Candy For 666,316 Shares; Colber Corporation South Penn Oil Co. COMPANIES PLAN SALES, MERGERS Genesco, Inc. General American Transportation Chas. Pfizer & Co. Gamble-Skogmo Anderson, Clayton & Co." The New York Times, 3 July 1963. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/1963/07/03/archives/hershey-chocolate-buying-reese-candy-for-666316-shares-colber.html.

Klee, Miles. "Companies That Get 'Woke' Aren't Going Broke -- They're More Profitable Than Ever." Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2023, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/woke-companies-broke-profits-1234710724/.

Patriot, Flagg Eagleton-. "Reeses Switches To Nestle Chocolate for Its Products: 'We Can't Keep Working With Hershey.'" PATRIOT PARTY PRESS, 4 Mar. 2023, https://patriotpartypress.com/reeses-switches-to-nestle-chocolate-for-its-products-we-cant-keep-working-with-hershey/.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.