M&Ms are probably the best example of bite-sized colorful chocolate candies. Still, the for iconic 1980s movie E.T., another chocolate candy made the cut. Here’s what we know about this extraterrestrial’s favorite snack that he often enjoys throughout Steven Speilberg’s film. 

E.T. eats Reese’s Pieces during the iconic movie

This Academy Award-winning movie features one lovable extraterrestrial with a love for his friend, Elliot and a need for going back home. That is, the 1982 release, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which introduced fans to these two unlikely friends.

When Elliot tries to lure his newfound friend out into the backyard, he uses some candy that he has on hand — the Hersey’s candy, Reese’s Pieces. He places pieces of the brown, orange, and yellow chocolate for E.T. to munch on. 

This wouldn’t be the only food that E.T. enjoys throughout the movie. When Elliot goes to school, E.T. explores the house (and the fridge) on his own and ends up drinking quite a few beers. This doesn’t turn out well for the duo, but in the end, their friendship keeps them connected.

What E.T. looked like had to be a secret for a number of Hersey employees

So, with M&Ms out of the picture, Universal contacted Hersey regarding Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film. In the Hershey Archives, Jack Dowd, then Director, New Products Development, remembers discussions prior to the release of E.T. 

“So I came home and informed Earl Spangler [Hershey Chocolate president] and the staff that we were going to spend a million dollars on a movie that I couldn’t show them the script for, that was going to employ a little green creature from outer space, and I couldn’t show them – at that point it was still confidential – I couldn’t show them a picture of that either,” Dowd said.

“Earl said, ‘Are you sure this is going to work?’ And I said, ‘Oh, sure.’ Because what else could I say? If I said, ‘Oh, no,’ then we’d have to cancel it and I’d already signed up for it,” he continued.

There was a special screening of ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ for Hersey employees

According to the same interview, some employees of Hersey, at the time, were invited to see their candy in action with this heartwarming film. Their reaction matched that of many audiences at the time.

“There was a special screening of the movie in the Hershey Lodge theater shortly after it premiered in New York City. The theater was filled with employees and their families,” Dowd said. “At the end, the screen went black and there was total silence. Nobody seemed to want to get off the mountain; they wanted to stay up there. And then there was enormous applause.”

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is available for streaming on Peacock.

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