Once upon a time, Russell Stover has no plastic tray and more candy...
I have been buying and eating Russell Stover chocolates for about 40 years if not longer. In fact, when my husband and I were dating, I already had a strong preference for Russell Stover candy for quite a few years. So when he bought me Whitman’s chocolates for Valentine‘s Day, I made it clear that I only eat Russell Stover. The next time Valentine’s day rolled around and he forgot and bought Whitman’s chocolate again. I told him to give them to his mother because I only eat Russell Stover. Eventually he caught on.
A couple of years ago Russell Stover joined the incredibly shrinking products era. They shrunk their one pound box of chocolates to 12 ounces, but the price remained the same. You would be surprised at how a loss of 3 ounces affected the number of chocolates in the box and the variety. It was a big difference! I was annoyed and complained and vented about the change. I would rather they had kept the size the same and raised the price. The size of the box actually remained the same, even with less chocolate because they devised a plastic tray to fit inside for the 12 ounces of candy so that the missing space was filled by the tray. I felt like they were making a fool out of me.
Why am I complaining about this now? Well this Thanksgiving, as my brother does for every holiday, he bought me a box of Russell Stover. My brother knows how much I love their chocolate. So after dinner and doing the dishes, I sat down and picked out my favorite pieces. There were two maple filled chocolates in the box. I ate the first one and thought, something is not quite right. I ate the second one and thought something is definitely not right with the taste. It was inferior to what I remembered the last 40 years. I decided to have one last piece, a coconut candy, how could they ruin coconut? Well they did. The have done something to the recipes. The quality is noticeably inferior to what it has always been. I commented out loud about my feelings. My brothers responds that he thought the taste wasn’t quite right either. Again, the price did not go down, just the quality.
I just got done writing to Russell Stover voicing my complaints about the size of the box and the inferior taste. Now I will add them to my pet peeves and I can say that I will not buy or eat any more Russell Stover. If I want a piece of chocolate, I will have an Almond Joy, a Hershey with almonds, Raisinettes, or some peanut M&Ms. They still have the same taste and quality and satisfy my craving for chocolate quite well.
This is very disappointing to me. Nothing changes for the better, only the worse. Companies are only interested in profits and the hell with customer satisfaction and product quality. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Good bye Russell Stover!