American Candy History

American Candy History: 10 Facts You Didn't Know About

American candies are famous for their wide selection of options, ranging from rich chocolate bars to tangy jelly treats. Because of all these choices, it's hard to pick just one favorite and trust me, we face the same problem every day.  

And we're quite lucky to live in a time when these sweet treats are already available worldwide. So whenever you feel like you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can easily grab your favorite candy bar and your cravings will be satisfied. 

If you're an American candy enthusiast like we are, you might also be curious about its history and how your favorite treats came to be. Well, we're one step ahead of you. 

We did some digging to share with you 10 facts you didn't know about American candy history. 

1. Most of today’s American candies have been around for over 60 years. 

Candy historians claim that around 65% of today's total American candies have been around since the 1950s or earlier. Over the years, our favorite candy bars and treats were modified to perfection, and that's how they remain a favorite through the years. 

2. The Tootsie Roll is one of the oldest candies to still exist today.

The popular chocolate taffy candy came into existence in 1896, when New York-based confectioner Leo Hirshfield perfected the taffy-making technique. While the Tootsie Roll wasn’t the first candy he produced, it was one of the most popular - owing to its unique flavor and texture. 

Another trivia about this American candy is that it was named after Hirshfield's daughter, Clara, whom the family fondly calls "Tootsie". 

3.Peanut brittle was made by accident.

Peanut brittle is among the tastiest and healthiest snack bars anyone can munch on. But did you know that this all-American favorite never would have come into existence if it weren't for a mistake?

A popular legend from 1890 claims that peanut brittle was made because someone making taffy accidentally added the wrong ingredient to the mixture. The result was the crunchy peanut-y goodness. 

Fortunately, they decided to sell and continue to make peanut brittle for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, the name of the lady who made the accidental discovery is unknown. She would have been recognized in the candy hall of fame by now.

4. Cotton Candy was discovered in 1897.

Cotton candy, today's popular theme park staple, has been around before 1897. However, it wasn't as popular then because it was difficult to produce.  With the perfection of the electric cotton candy machine, cotton candy became a huge hit. 

Over the years, the machine has been modified to make cotton candy easier to make - and more accessible to everyone.

5.The Hershey's chocolate milk bar is over a century-year-old! 

The Hershey's Chocolate Milk Bar is a household name - it's impossible to meet someone who hasn't heard of this popular candy bar.

Milton Hershey was a true confectionery genius. He started with the Lancaster Caramel Company in the 1890s, which became a great success. He sold it after he became interested in chocolate and used the proceeds to establish the Hershey Chocolate Company. 

After experimenting on different chocolate milk formulas in 1900, he eventually created the rich and flavorful milk chocolate that he used for the Hershey's Chocolate Milk Bar. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

By 1907, Hershey also introduced the Kisses variation of its milk chocolate candy. It already came in its iconic shape and wrapping but was initially introduced as the Silvertops. According to candy historians, Silvertops became Hershey's Kisses since the machine made kissing sounds to produce this popular treat. And we couldn't imagine any other name for it.

6. Conversation Hearts History

Did you know that the popular Valentine's Conversation Hearts was introduced in 1902? 

The New England Confectionery Company or NECCO first introduced these adorable heart-shaped candies in 1902. Because of its sweet flavor and cute messages, it instantly became a hit. Until today, Conversation Hearts are a mainstay during Valentine's Day - or when you simply want to confess your feelings to your significant other.

7. The Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were introduced in 1928. 

Like the Hershey's Chocolate Milk Bar, the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is also a household name today. It's one of the best-selling candy bars of all time, and that's a testament to how popular it is. 

These candy cups were initially introduced to the market in 1928, and the company continued to improve the formula to ensure the best taste. That's how Reese's Peanut Butter Cups deliver the perfect balance between the sweet chocolate exterior and the salty peanut butter interior. 

8. M&M's Plain Chocolate candies was a result of depressed chocolate sales.

Since chocolate melts, chocolate bars aren't as popular during the summer months. So in response to the depressed chocolate sales in 1941, M&M's introduced the candy-coated M&M's chocolate candies. 

It originally served as a treat for American soldiers. They especially loved it because of how it only melts in their mouths - not in their hands. And that's the popular tagline the candy has carried throughout the years. 

If you're curious about how the name came to be, it's named after its creators - Forrest Mars and Bruce Murries. 

9. The Chupa Chups label is designed by Salvador Dali himself. 

The Chupa Chups label is undoubtedly iconic. But what's more interesting is that it was designed by none other than surrealist artist Salvador Dali in 1969. That's why we can all agree that Chupa Chups Lollipops are a work of art. 

Additionally, Dali also insisted that the label should always be at the top of the candy. And we couldn't agree more, since this lollipop is especially known for its iconic aesthetics. 

Another trivia that we want to share about Chupa Chups is that it remains to be one of the biggest lollipop producers all over the world. As of writing, Chupa Chups is known to produce around 4 billion lollipops every year, which are distributed to over 170 countries. That's pretty impressive.

10. The Hershey Chocolate Company successfully produced heat-resistant candy bars in 1990. 

Hershey produced the Desert Bar in 1990, a heat-resistant candy variant that was sent to soldiers during the Gulf War. The flavor is similar to the candy treats produced for soldiers during the Second World War but is a lot long-lasting to prevent it from melting in the hot desert. 

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