Reese's are most famous for their Peanut Butter Cups. Reese's are a brand of candy traditionally filled with peanut butter and coated with chocolate, marketed by The Hershey Company.
Reese's pioneered the way to the generic peanut butter cup. They were created in 1928 by H. B. Reese, a former dairy farmer and shipping foreman for Milton S. Hershey. Reese was inspired by Hershey, so he left the dairy farm to start his own candy business. The H. B. Reese Candy Co. was established in the basement of Reese's house in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and used Hershey chocolate in his confections.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were his most popular candy, and Reese eventually discontinued his other lines. Several years after his death, Reese's company was sold to The Hershey Company, then known as Hershey Foods Corporation, in 1963 for $23.5 million. The H.B. Reese Company is maintained as a subsidiary of Hershey because the Reese plant workforce is not unionized, unlike the main Hershey plant.
Canadian Researcher William Sommers found that variations in Reeses cup size affect the chocolate to peanut butter content ratio. Larger Reeses cups typically contain a larger amount of peanut butter.
Hershey's produces "limited editions" of the candy that have included:
- Miniatures - bite-size versions available year round in bags. These chocolates come in a black paper cup wrapped in gold or colored foil.
- Dark Chocolate - peanut butter filling in a dark chocolate cup
- White Chocolate – peanut butter filling in a white chocolate cup
- Big Cups – an oversized version of the traditional cup (also available in white chocolate, with peanuts, mixed nuts, and with a combination of nuts and caramel)
- Peanut Butter Lovers – a layered cup with top peanut butter layer, thin chocolate layer and peanut butter filling
- Chocolate Lovers – a thicker chocolate cup with a thinner layer of peanut butter
- Inside Out – chocolate filling in a peanut butter cup (a reversal of the traditional version)
- Caramel – the traditional cup with an added layer of caramel filling
- Marshmallow – the traditional cup with an added layer of marshmallow filling
- Peanut Butter & Banana Creme – a layered cup with a top chocolate layer, bottom banana creme layer, and peanut butter filling; released in tribute to Elvis Presley. It was available in standard, Big Cups and Miniatures sizes
- Crunchy Cookie Cup – a layered cup with crushed chocolate cookies and peanut butter filling (discontinued in 1999, but was brought back in 2008 as a limited edition)
- Giant half-pound cup
- Honey Roasted - a traditional cup substituting honey roasted peanut butter
- Fudge - a thicker, darker chocolate cup with peanut butter filling
- Double Chocolate - chocolate fudge filling instead of peanut butter. Limited edition.
- Hazelnut Cream - hazelnut cream instead of the standard peanut butter filling
- Double Crunch - a traditional cup with peanut filling similar to a Snickers bar, released in the fourth-quarter of 2010
- Minis - Unwrapped Mini Cups
- Crunchy - a traditional cup with crunchy peanut butter, as opposed to the smooth peanut butter in the original
- "'World's Largest'" - World's largest cups weighing in at 8oz each.
- Half-Pound Cup - a single cup weighing 226g; released in Canada in 2011
Other candy products of the Reese's division of Hershey include:
- Reese's Bar - a chocolate bar with squares of chocolate with a peanut butter filling
- Reese's Brownies
- Reese's Cookies
- Reese's Cremes
- Reese's Crispy Crunchy Bar, a chocolate bar with 5th Avenue-esque crisp, peanuts and Reese's peanut butter
- Reese's Fast Break
- Reese's NutRageous
- Reese's Peanut Butter Bars (with either chocolate or fudge coating)
- Reese's Peanut Butter Bites
- Reese's Pieces
- Reese's Pieces with Nuts
- Reese's Puffs Cereal
- Reese's No Bake Bars
- Reese's Select Cluster
- Reese's Snack Barz
- Reese's Swoops
- Reese's Whipps
- Sweet 'n' Salty Bar
- Reese's Mini's
- 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Wafer Bars
- Oh Henry! bar with Reese's Peanut Butter
- Chips Ahoy With Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- Selecta Ice Cream With Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (sold in Philippines only)
- Reese's Two Packs made for couples only