How Long Do Hershey’s Kisses Last?

So you impulsively bought a bunch of Hershey’s Kisses, only to forget about them and re-discover them after months in your pantry. Now you may be wondering: 

If the package doesn’t indicate that the Hershey’s kisses have expired yet, can you still eat it? And how long do Hershey’s Kisses last?

Hershey’s kisses will last up to a year in optimal conditions — potentially longer if the bag or jar is unopened. However, ingredients such as nuts will shorten the shelf life of Hershey’s kisses. Hershey’s chocolate may also lose flavor loss or change texture when kept beyond the expiry date. Plus, other elements can run the chocolate before its best-by date. 

Today’s article explores the elements that can cause Hershey’s Kisses to go bad. Understanding what spoils Hershey’s kisses will help you better understand how long they can last.

Hershey’s Kiss Ingredients – What Are Your Favorite Candies Made Of?

Hershey’s Kisses are one of the most iconic chocolate treats out there. These drop-shaped hard candies are simple and only made with a few ingredients, such as sugar, milk powder, milk fat, chocolate, cocoa butter, and lecithin.

However, they also contain less popular ingredients such as preservatives, flavorings, stabilizers, and colorings. These artificial additives give Hershey’s kisses a longer shelf life. 

Nuts in Hershey’s Kisses – Do they Last Long?

Everybody deserves the classic, creamy milk Hershey’s Kisses with crunchy nuts in the middle! But how long do these treats last? Nuts in Hershey’s Kisses can shorten the shelf life. However, while almonds in Hershey’s became an instant success in the US, these extra treats can spoil the chocolate from the inside. 

Does Dairy Shorten the Shelf Life of A Hershey’s Chocolate?

 You may think that because Hershey’s kisses contain dairy, the kisses will only last a few weeks before going bad. After all, dairy spoils quickly, and even a small amount could speed up the expiration date, right? That would be the case if Hershey Kisses didn’t contain powerful preservatives to keep the kisses stable and prevent the dairy from ruining them from the inside.

But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t store the kisses correctly or leave them on the counter. On the contrary, the preservative protects the kisses from spoiling if stored correctly.

The Shelf Life of Hershey’s Kisses

Now, chocolate has quite a long shelf life — especially those chocolate products that contain a bunch of stabilizers and preservatives.

You will see a best-by, use-by, or expiry date on each Hershey’s kisses bag. These dates can mean different things, so it’s important to understand them.

Best-By Date

This indicates when the chocolate is at its best. Chocolate is edible approximately six months after production, but that doesn’t mean it will still be good to eat.

The older Hershey’s chocolate gets, the less tasty its flavor and texture will be. Therefore, Hershey’s kisses manufacturers print a best-by date on the product. This date is by no means an indicator of the expiry date of the chocolate (when it has become inedible).

Because so many factors can cause chocolate to expire, it’s often very hard for producers to pinpoint a date.

Use-By Date

 The use-by date is another way for Hershey’s kisses manufacturers to give a general idea of when the chocolate will still be good. 

This date doesn’t indicate when the Hershey’s kisses will be at its best — it only gives you an idea of when the chocolate will most likely be edible.

The use-by date is also not a true indicator of the expiry date.

Expiry Date

Very few corporations use expiry dates because laws have become strict regarding liability. This means if manufacturers put a date on the bar and someone gets sick before that, they could be sued.

The expiry date shows when chocolate isn’t good to eat anymore. It’s a ballpark date, but you can’t tell when chocolate has gone bad. So, even the expiry date might not be perfectly accurate.

But just know that when you reach this date, the chocolate will not be tasty, even if it is still edible.

How Long Do Hershey’s Kisses Last?

Hershey’s Kisses will still be good for up to a year, but only if the chocolate has been stored under optimal conditions.

After a year, Hershey’s kisses will likely still be edible, but they may not be appealing to eat. However, you can still utilize the chocolate differently.

If your bag is unopened after the expiry date, your Hershey’s Kisses will likely be perfectly fine for another few months.

It’s also important to note that Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark or Dark Chocolate will have a better taste after one year than sweeter alternatives.

Regular (Milk Chocolate) Hershey’s Kisses will have a much worse flavor after one year. This is usually because the additives in sweeter chocolates are also expiring.

Dark chocolate products have fewer additives and thus retain a better taste.

What Affects The Quality Of Hershey’s Kisses?

The main thing that affects the quality of these chocolaty kisses is temperature. In addition, temperature fluctuations cause other changes to occur, ultimately affecting the quality and reducing the shelf life.

There are two ways the quality of Hershey’s chocolate is lowered considerably. The first is the fat bloom, and the second is the sugar bloom.

Sugar bloom occurs when Hershey’s chocolate is stored in a damp area, like the fridge.

Moisture starts collecting on Hershey’s kisses and extracts the sugar from the chocolate. Once the moisture evaporates, the sugar crystals remain on the surface of the chocolate.

Fat bloom occurs when Hershey’s kisses heat up too much.

When overheated, the butter separates from the rest of the ingredients. Once it comes to the surface, it solidifies again, leaving fatty streaks on the surface of Hershey’s kisses.

Is It Dangerous to Eat Hershey’s Kisses After Their Expiration Date?

Hershey’s Kisses are most likely still safe to eat after the printed expiry date. However, they definitely will not taste as good as they do.

Therefore, it is best to check whether or not the chocolate drops have spoiled before using them after their expiry date.

But frankly, it’s always good to check your chocolate’s quality before using it — even if it hasn’t reached its expiration date.

Signs Hershey’s Kisses Have Gone Bad

There are a couple of signs that will let you know when you should rather toss your chocolate.

First, you can look at the physical appearance of the chocolate. If the chocolate is powdery or has cracks in it, it has dried out. That likely also affected the shelf life.

And naturally, if you notice any mold growth on the chocolate, it should be discarded immediately.

When you see fatty streaks or a white surface, you can also check for other signs of spoiled chocolate. These Kisses may be usable in baking, but their texture won’t be good when eaten straight from the bag.

Then, you can also smell the chocolate kisses. Because they contain dairy and fat, they will start smelling bad when they expire.

And finally, if you end up eating the kisses and they taste funky, they’ve gone bad. If you have had bad chocolate before, you will know when Hershey’s kisses taste off! Trust your gut feeling.

Hershey’s Kisses Storage Tips

Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry place. That doesn’t mean the fridge, and it also doesn’t include your pantry.

Ideally, chocolate remains at its absolute best when stored between 65-68ºF (18-20ºC). Room temperature is around 68-72ºF (20-22ºC) at the lowest.

Anything higher than the optimal temperature and you put your chocolate at risk of fat bloom.

And, if you store it in a humid area or cold area, it can quickly create a sugar bloom.

Your Hershey’s kisses should always be stored in an airtight container or wrapping. That will help protect them from foreign elements and will also prevent the chocolate from adsorbing any odors.

Freezing Hershey’s Kisses

Honestly, we don’t recommend freezing Hershey’s kisses. While it will help preserve and extend its shelf life, it simultaneously alters the flavor and texture for the worse. And there’s no way around it.

Storing chocolate in the freezer causes sugar to bloom. So, once your chocolate is thawed, it can only be used for baking.

It won’t have a nice texture; it will be crumbly and dry. It also will not have a creamy melt-in-your-mouth feel like Hershey’s Kisses should. Plus, the flavor of the chocolate will be substandard.

So let’s be real — the shelf life of Hershey’s kisses is already so long that it’s unlikely the chocolate will ruin before you use it.

But if you decide to store Hershey’s Kisses inside the freezer, here is the best way to do it.

First, place Hershey’s Kisses inside an airtight container. Then, wrap the container with aluminum foil.

The foil will help protect the kisses from freezer burn, which ultimately will cause your chocolate to dry out and lose flavor.

When you store the Hershey’s kisses in the freezer, always keep them away from any aromatic ingredients. Do not freeze them for longer than six months.

Final Thoughts

Hershey’s Kisses typically have a shelf life of about nine to twelve months. However, the exact shelf life can vary depending on a number of factors, including how the chocolates are stored and the specific type of Kisses you have. To ensure the best quality and flavor, it’s important to store your Kisses in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and strong odors. If you keep them in the refrigerator, be sure to let them come to room temperature before enjoying, as the flavor and texture can be affected by sudden temperature changes. Overall, it’s best to enjoy your Kisses as soon as possible for the best flavor and texture.

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