They're almost as much a part of Hanukkah as potato pancakes, the foil-wrapped chocolate candies called gelt that usually come in plastic-mesh bags at the checkout stand and taste pretty much like the leftover wax from the candles in the menorah. Embossed with designs, they're meant to represent the coins that once were given to children as an encouragement for their Jewish studies. (As with most Jewish traditions, there are multiple explanations for the tradition.)
In other words, they don't taste very good, and at a time when Hostess cupcakes are headed toward possible extinction, perhaps it makes sense that another low-quality sweet from the nostalgia banks of baby boomers is undergoing an upscale -- and ethical -- makeover.
According to an article in the online Jewish magazine Tablet (and reported over the years elsewhere), 80% of the world’s cacao comes from West African operations where children are commonly used as slave labor. Though this affects, obviously, most of the chocolate we buy, awareness is growing that a treat to celebrate a people's liberation should not be obtained from the enforced labor of innocents. (This would be especially true of Passover, which is the literal celebration of liberation from slavery, but chocolate doesn't figure prominently into that holiday, though questions might arise about whether the gefilte fish came from farmed fish grown sustainably.)