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We are all guilty of buying some chocolate to snack on and then shoving it to the back of the cupboard in the hope that it won’t continue to tempt us each night as we get peckish.

One of the most famous brands of chocolate in the US is Hershey’s kisses. With over 70 million kisses produced every single day, we cannot help but love these flat-bottomed, tear-shaped, bites of goodness.

If you are anything like me, you love to enjoy a bag of Hershey’s kisses in the evening as a little treat at the end of the day. However, I often forget about them and come across them again a few weeks later and they still appear absolutely fine and good to go.

Not only do I open them and forget to finish them, I also usually stock up on them when there is any kind of deal in the store, meaning that I have bags of unopened Hershey’s kisses just sitting there, waiting to ruin my diet!

It is no secret that fresh chocolate products are dairy-based, so understanding why chocolate takes so long to go bad, and particularly Hershey’s kisses, can be really confusing.

Well, look no further because today I plan to explain why your Hershey’s kisses stay good longer than normal chocolate and why you can continue to enjoy those long lost bags sitting at the back of the pantry, waiting for a rainy day!

What are Hershey’s Kisses?

As mentioned, Hershey’s kisses are little tear-shaped, hard candy. They are chocolate nibbles that can be enjoyed as a snack or used in baking.

Hershey’s is one of the biggest chocolate brands in the United States, and Hershey’s kisses are their most popular product.

You can find Hershey’s kisses in just about any grocery store. They are affordable, delicious, and an all round winner when it comes to American candy.

How Long Do Hershey’s Kisses Last?

Whilst most milk chocolate can last a few months, and a few weeks once opened, Hershey’s kisses last noticeably longer.

An unopened bag of Hershey’s kisses can last for around a year, even if beyond their expiration date or stated shelf life.

If you have opened the bag, don’t worry! Simply use a zip lock bag or an airtight container and this will preserve the shelf life and they will continue to be good for up to a year if you keep them in the refrigerator.

You can also store them in your pantry or any dark, cool place that keeps them out of direct sunlight, but the shelf life may not last as long in this case. If they are open and you have any form of bug problem then it is best to keep in the refrigerator.

Why Do Hershey’s Kisses Last So Long?

Well, if Hershey’s kisses are a chocolate candy, then one of their primary ingredients has to be milk or dairy based? Because dairy is a key component, and dairy goes bad quickly, it would seem that like any chocolate, it would go out of date reasonably quickly.

It is common knowledge that the sugar quantities in chocolate help to preserve the dairy aspect, however the sugar is not enough to keep the chocolate fresh for a long period of time or beyond the expiry date.

This would all be very true was it not the case that Hershey’s kisses contain four different types of preservatives. This helps to keep the chocolate candy stable, but also prevents the candy from rotting from the inside so that people do not bite into them unknowing of how bad they have gone.

Although these preservatives help to keep the chocolate treats fresh, it does not mean that they will not go bad eventually and so it is important to store them correctly and still use them up within the appropriate time frames.

How to know if Hershey’s Kisses have gone bad

Whether or not you store your chocolate correctly, it is still very useful to recognise if it has gone bad so that you can avoid eating anything out of date. I

If you have stored them in an alternative tupperware or bag, they may no longer have any dates on them and so you may not know how many months past the expiration date they are. Below or some key indications that your Hershey’s kisses are no longer good for consumption.

White Spots

If you notice any little white spots on your Hershey’s kisses then this is a sign that they are going bad. Any white stuff may be an indication of mold.

Expired chocolate often turns slightly grey on the outer surface, or it has a lack of color, but if you have had them stored in a cool place, this may just be a reaction to the surface of the chocolate.

If you are unsure, you can cut the chocolate open and check inside. If it is also turning white inside then your Hershey’s kisses have become expired candy and they are ready for the bin.

Flavor Loss

If your chocolate has an unfading flavor, this is the first sign of it becoming expired candy. Hershey’s kisses are popular because of their rich, dark, chocolate flavor. People love them because they taste good, but as soon as this starts to disappear they no longer have that ‘best flavor’ we know them so well for.

A fading flavor means they are beyond their peak freshness and as soon as you notice the taste disappearing then it is best to pop them in the trash.

You can taste test this by popping a couple on your tongue and seeing if you can taste the flavor without chewing and swallowing them. If you can, then feel free to go ahead and enjoy them, if not then it is likely you have a bag of expired candy.

Smell Loss

Along with their uniquely rich flavor, Hershey’s chocolate also has a very distinct smell. It smells extremely rich, sweet scent to it, a lot stronger than regular chocolate.

To test this, simply open up the bag and smell inside. If it is lacking in smell then it is likely it is old chocolate. You do not need to taste the chocolate in order to test this, a lack of smell is enough in itself to let you know whether or not it is still safe to eat.

Can You Freeze Hershey’s Kisses?

Although storing Hershey’s kisses correctly – in an airtight container, stored at room temperature if unopened and in the refrigerator if opened – you can also freeze them if desired.

It does not seem crucial to freeze them, simply because they last so long anyway. However, like most confectionery products, you can pop them in a heavy-duty zipper bag and store them in the freezer, just make sure to check they don’t develop freezer burn. 

Final Thoughts

Hershey’s kisses last a lot longer than regular chocolate, or other dairy-based goods, because they contain a lot more preservatives.

There are ways in which you can store your Hershey’s kisses to help preserve their shelf life. Keeping unopened kisses at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, can help them to last up to a year. If opened, you can do the same by storing them in the refrigerator.

If you notice any white spots, or a lack of taste or smell in the chocolate, these are clear indications that you should not eat the chocolate because it has gone bad.

You can also freeze your Hershey’s kisses, although this does not seem entirely necessary due to how long it lasts regardless of being frozen.

So, next time you are debating whether or not to dig out that old bag of Hershey’s kisses, go ahead and do it! Keep an eye out of any sign of expired chocolate, but in most cases you are probably good to go!

How long do Hershey’s kisses stay fresh?

Hershey’s kisses can stay fresh for up to a year if stored correctly.

How do you know if Hershey’s is expired?

You should look out for white spots. A lack of smell or taste in the chocolate is also a good indication that it has expired.