No-Mess Candy Drops Are No Winners

Hershey's Drops

Hershey's Drops

I Paid: $3.19 per 8-ounce bag (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 2 stars

Marketing: 1 stars

You've got to give Hershey's Drops credit for coming up with what might be the most confusing tag line of any new candy product in the past decade: "No candy shell—no mess."

Insert record-scratching sound effect here.

The candy shells that surround M&M's were inspired by candy-coated chocolates eaten by soldiers during the Spanish Civil War: The shells kept the chocolate from melting, which was helpful under combat conditions. So you might say that "Candy shell—no mess" makes a hell of a lot more sense as a way to sell your new chocolate product.

Rather than a hard candy shell, Hershey's Drops have a Milk Duds–like waxy exterior layer that does, in fact, limit the mess factor ... much like a candy shell might. It doesn't really melt in your hand, but it doesn't really melt in your mouth particularly well either. The Milk Chocolate Drops are par for the course for Hershey's: low grade and sugary. And while the Cookies'n'Creme flavor has a bit more going for it with the crunchy cookie texture, it's still pretty weak compared to many other comparably priced candy and cookie desserts on the market. (That the first two ingredients of Cookies'n'Creme are sugar and vegetable oil doesn't inspire a ton of confidence either.)

Not every product rollout can be a hit, and Drops certainly aren't. Hopefully they'll fade into the candy graveyard before too long and Hershey's will take another—more serious—shot at the target.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.