Niggly Wiggly or Plumes – What is the little paper in a Hershey’s kiss called?

If you’re wondering whether the paper that sticks out of a Hershey’s kiss is called a niggly-wiggly or a plume, you’ve come to the right place. This blog is all about quirky, interesting Hershey’s Kisses facts. 

When we reached out to Hershey Company reps, they quickly fact-checked the rumor about the incorrect name of the plume. The term ‘niggly-wiggly’ was never part of the vocabulary of this beloved candy.

Many sources, including and Alexa answers, claim otherwise. But despite the claims of countless social media sources, the tiny piece of paper sticking to a Hershey’s Kiss is called a “plume.” 

The company reps also said they knew the misnomer but didn’t know where it began. It would seem that the little piece of paper has picked up a quirky name that you will never hear used by The Hershey Company.  Plus, the company holds the trademark to the iconic design, and the same trademark identifies the small strip inside a Hershey’s kiss by the name “plume.”

What is the little paper in a Hershey’s kiss called?

When you bite into a Hershey’s kiss, you’ll notice that it has two distinct layers. The first one is chocolate-y and delicious, while the second is white—and it’s also quite bland. That’s because there’s actually another ingredient hidden inside this little candy: paper!

This tiny paper in a Hershey’s Kiss is called a “plume”.

A Plume Of Mystery

The plume is for picking the chocolate out of your teeth. It’s a way to make sure that every bite tastes as delicious as it can be.

The plume is also for making noise when you eat it, too. If you’re eating a Hershey’s Kiss and want to make sure everyone knows how much candy you’re enjoying, simply chew on one of those little feathers!

And finally—and this is pretty random—the plume is also decorative: We’ve heard that some people like leaving theirs on their desk or in their purse so they can imagine what it would look like if they were wearing them (which isn’t exactly accurate).

 A Brief History of Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate

Milton S. Hershey was an innovative candy man and businessman. He developed the chocolates and the business plans that made The Hershey Company one of the most popular candy manufacturers in the world. With principal manufacturing plants in four different countries, The Hershey Company sells over $1 billion of candy on average every year.

Not only was Hershey a successful businessman, but he was also a philanthropist. He invested a fortune in projects to improve the lives of children and his employees. He believed helping fellow men is the only way to succeed in modern business.

This principle carries through to the core values of The Hershey Company to this day. It was evident in the helpful response to our inquiry about paper plumes.

Why Is Hershey’s Candy Known as “Kisses”?

Perhaps Mr. Hershey had an epiphany one day about what scientists would discover a century later – that chocolate similarly raises the brain’s endorphins as kissing. But for the most part, how Hershey’s candy came to be known as kisses remains a mystery. 

Some believe Hershey’s candy was named Kisses because of the sound and motion made by a machine while wrapping the chocolate. Initially, Kisses were wrapped by hand in aluminum foil. Machines have improved the process, wrapping as many as 1,300 Hershey’s Kisses per minute.

The plume (Not Niggly-Wiggly!) was incorporated into the wrapping in 1921 to distinguish the product as an official Hershey’s candy. Before that, small squares of tissue paper were included within the wrapper. These papers identified the candy as “Hershey’s Milk Made Kisses.”

Unfortunately, nothing outside the wrapper let anyone know whether he or she was about to open a Hershey’s product or something from a competitor. The plume solved that problem. It acted as a flag to identify the company of origin. It also created a unique appearance and brand identity worthy of trademark protection.

Hershey is behind some of the world’s most popular candy brands. Reese’s, Whoppers, Kit Kat, Jolly Ranchers, Milk Duds, and Rolo are just a few of the amazing treats produced by the company. None, however, have achieved the popularity and reputation of the iconic Hershey’s Kisses. That’s all the more reason to encourage people to stop using the misnomer of the plume.

Final Thoughts

The next time someone tells you the wrong name for the plume, remind them not to believe everything they see on the internet.

On second thought, you might try to persuade them by offering them a kiss — the chocolate kind, of course.

To learn more about The Hershey Company, its history, and its products, visit its website.

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