Writer Hailey Gates expresses her love for the annual Reece’s pumpkin and argues that they should be sold year round.
Chocolate and peanut butter are a deadly combination.
As a proud inheritor of my mother’s sweet tooth, anything ooey, gooey and fudgy with a slight sprinkle of salt has always been my kryptonite. My love of chocolate knows no bounds — I have snacked on Snickers bars, indulged in Almond Joys and munched on M&M’s for as long as I can remember.
But there’s one candy in my heart of hearts that has always reigned supreme — the Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkin.
Unfortunately for me, they’re only available for purchase a few months out of the year. But they’re so incredibly scrumptious, so immaculately crafted and idyllic in their ratio of chocolate to peanut butter, I would eat them every day if I could.
It’s a travesty they aren’t sold year-round.
I suppose I should clarify it isn’t solely the Reese’s pumpkins that so completely captivates both my stomach and my heart — I’m a proud lover of every seasonal Reese’s product, including the Christmas trees, the Valentine’s Day hearts and the coveted Easter eggs.
Reese’s seasonal products of every variety are only available for purchase during what Hershey deems to be the “Easter and Holiday Seasons,” according to a release by Jan Grinstead, Hershey’s senior brand manager in charge of seasons.
The article describes the importance of timing seasonal products, explaining how consumer sentiment and demand regarding the months associated with certain seasons are essential for debuting themed candies. This is consequential for Hershey as a company, which has approximately 40% market share in the Easter and holiday seasons, according to Grinstead.
While I understand the logic behind bolstering certain products in conjunction with relevant events, my love of the Reese’s pumpkins and other seasonal items isn’t rooted in any kind of logic.
Frankly, I don’t care about Hershey’s merchandising strategy or market share. I want Reese’s pumpkins year round.
Let me be clear — I’m a lover of all Reese’s products and have been since infancy. My Christmas stockings and Easter baskets have contained a disproportionate amount of Reese’s for as long as I can remember.
When I was 12, my family and I visited Hershey’s Chocolate World in Las Vegas. I had to be effectively dragged out of the Reese’s-themed second floor — a chocolate, peanut butter heaven. It is, to this day, the highlight of my Las Vegas experience.
My love of Reese’s peanut butter cups runs so deep, one year for my birthday my parents gave me a pack of two half-pound Reese’s cups. I hoarded them, prohibiting any other family member from indulging in my colossal treat, going so far as to label them with a sticky note.
They were devoured within a week.
And yet, despite my universal love for all Reese’s products, none of them come close to the absolute splendor of Reese’s seasonal items.
They’re the perfect size, the perfect texture, the perfect innovation of a classic flavor. The structure is unmatched, as the solid chocolate coating allows the candy to maintain its celebrational shape but is soft enough so your teeth delicately sink into the sweetness when taking a bite. This means the consumption experience is not interrupted by a pervasive exterior shell, like the one characteristic of the classic Reese’s cup.
The enlarged shape of the seasonal Reese’s product compared to the peanut butter cup allows the peanut butter to really shine through, furthering the delectable flavor dichotomy that makes Reese’s products so well-loved.
In addition to these material variations, there is a certain “je nais se quois” to Reese’s pumpkins, trees, hearts and eggs which sets them above the rest of Reese’s assorted stock.
I’m not the only one who recognizes the inexplicable yet unmistakable superiority of seasonal Reese’s products. One quick Google search amalgamates a slew of articles, blog posts and Reddit forums dedicated to solving the phenomenon of seasonal Reese’s supremacy.
And yet, despite this obvious consensus amongst the public, Reese’s still refuses to gratify our love and satiate our stomachs for the remaining four months of the year.
The all-around love for Reese’s seasonal products constitutes a year-round shelf life. Hershey should listen to the voice of the people and make Reese’s seasonal products for every season — not just the “Easter and Holiday” ones.
Until then, I’ll continue to spend my summers dreaming — pumpkinless, eggless and living off the remnants of my broken chocolate peanut butter heart.
Feature image by Holden Green / The Phoenix