Friday, March 26, 2021

Chocolate Alert!!!

For the most part, I'm very good about my diet but occasionally, I slip and have chocolate. Right now, I'm slowly working my way through a box of chocolate I received as a Christmas gift and yes, I'm really enjoying it.  Anyway, I was researching something on the price of chocolate historically when I ran across a couple of articles focused on when certain chocolates hit the marketplace and have since become a part of our 

Let's start with a regular Hershey's chocolate bar which is considered the first mass produced chocolate bar was released in 1900.  Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey's chocolate took local milk, cocoa and created a smooth creamy bar that is still around today and whose recipe is highly guarded.

The 1920's proved to be a great era for the creation and release of several new candy bars.  In the 1920's Conneticuit chocolate maker Vincent Nitido created the timeless Mars bar with a center of sweetened and shredded coconut covered in a rich chocolate.  It originally sold for five cents each but in 1929, the Peter Paul Manufacturing company purchased the product from Nitido and began production and marketing of it. The Mars bar proved to be so popular that the company continued producing it during World War II even with all the shortages.  The Mars bar is now owned by Hershey's.

Then in 1920, The Curtis Candy Company took its Kandy Kake product, redesigned it, renamed it and released it to the public as the Baby Ruth bar.  This was such a popular candy that it set a record as the highest selling 5 cent candy during that decade.  The candy also has some controversy attached to it.  Was it named after the famous baseball player Babe Ruth without his permission or was it named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter Ruth?  No one knows for sure but it is still around today.

Not long afterwards, in 1923, The Curtis Candy Company released the super sweet, super crunchy Butterfinger bar.  The name Butterfinger came from a naming contest held in 1922 and the owner of the company created it to match the name. In addition, the Curtis Candy Company used advertisements to promote this bar countrywide.  If you look closely, you'll find this candy bar in Baby Takes a Bow starring Shirley Temple, one of the first example of product placement and the company also arranged for pilots to drop these candy bars over multiple cities.

Then in 1924, Frank Mars released the chocolate covered caramel centered bar to the country.  This bar proved quite popular bringing in over $800,000 in its first year of release.  The last bar released in the 1920's that is still around today is Reeces chocolate covered peanut butter cup.  This bar, created by former Hershey's employee H.B. Reece, uses Hershey's chocolate and is still quite popular.

The 1930's brought us more of our favorites beginning with the Snickers bar created by the Mars Candy Company.  This wonderfully nutty chocolate bar was named for the Mars family horse Snickers.  The Mars company followed with their 3 Musketeers bar in 1932 and inspired by the story of the same name.  Originally the bar came in three pieces, each piece a different flavor - vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, but due to the shortages of World War II, the company focused only on a chocolate bar with a whipped nougat center.

Then in 1935, Kit Kat made it's appearance but this treat originated in the United Kingdom as Rowentree's Chocolate Crisp bar.  In the United States it was named the Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp, later shortened to simply Kit Kat. And the last bar of the 1930's was the Dove Bar which was actually an chocolate coated ice cream bar. The solid chocolate bar wasn't released till the 1960's.

No new bars hit the market until after World War II when Almond Joy joined the list of chocolate bars.  This one was created in response to a demand by the public so the Peter Paul Manufacturing Company added an almond to their Mounds bar.  Side note, in 1988, Hershey's Chocolate bought out Peter Paul Manufacturing Company making Almond Joy, Mounds, and York Peppermint Patty.

These are the main candy bars most people end up indulging in.  I try not to indulge but I do enjoy a couple on the list.  Let me know what you think and on Monday I'll be back to my normal topics.  Have a great day.

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