All About a Classic Sweet: The Candy Bar

POSTED ON JANUARY 18, 2022   |   BY JOSH ROTHSTEIN

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The candy bar is a popular treat for people of all ages. Going all the way back to your childhood, many of your fondest memories probably include some memory of enjoying a sweet snack here and there. While candy is most prominently marketed towards a younger audience, adults can still enjoy a sweet treat from time to time.

While many of our food preferences are shaped during our infancy, early memories of candy are typically all positive ones. This is mostly true, unless you maybe had an older sibling trick you into eating a canned dog food-flavored jelly bean when you were little.

Many of our childhood food preferences will carry on into our adulthood. While we may develop more sophisticated taste buds later in life, we guarantee with utmost certainty that candy is perhaps the one type of food that remains preferrable, well into old age.

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The history of the chocolate bar

As we’ve covered in some of our recent articles, chocolate has a long, sweet history. While ancient civilizations like the Maya and Aztecs cultivated cacao for thousands of years, it wasn’t until 1847 when the very first chocolate bar was created in Britain by Joseph Fry. This chocolate bar was created by pressing a paste made out of cocoa powder and sugar into a bar shape. This was the first piece of chocolate to be created in a single bar form, but chocolate candy bars still had a long way to go.

Improving upon this design, in 1876 Daniel Peter began working with Henry Nestle. They discovered that adding powdered milk to chocolate made it less bitter.

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It also made the chocolate have a creamier, smoother texture. Thus, the milk chocolate bar was invented. This was a major milestone in the candy industry, but it was about to be followed-up by an even bigger one.

Caramel maker, Milton S. Hershey attended the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, which showcased some new chocolate making machinery. Seeing the potential for mass-producing chocolate bars, the Hershey Company bought the machines, and in 1900 they introduced the Hershey’s Bar to the American public. And the rest is history.

Chocolate and the first World War

Chocolate rations were a popular treat for European troops during WW1. The American military saw the value in this, offering something sweet for their soldiers on the frontlines to enjoy. As the troops returned home, they brought their sweet tooths with them and an American explosion of candy ingenuity took place.

It is estimated that nearly 40,000 different candy bars were created by the end of the roaring 20’s. These products were served to meet the growing demands of a newly chocolate hungry public. Out of these early candy bars, many continue to sell well today in the nostalgia candy market.

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Reese’s Candy and the introduction of peanut butter chocolate

One of the landmark products to come out of this era were Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. One employee of the Hershey Company, a dairy farmer named Harry Reese started making his own candy in the basement of his home in the early 1920’s. In 1928, one of his creations used Hershey’s milk chocolate to coat a disc of peanut butter with chocolatey goodness and one of the most iconic American chocolate products was born.

Hershey’s continued supplying Reese with the chocolate for his peanut butter cups, while they maintained a close working relationship for decades. Ultimately, the Hershey Company bought Reese’s outright in 1963 for $23.5 million. This was a worthwhile investment, as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are now the second best-selling candy product in the world, coming in just behind another American classic: M&Ms.

Did you know? - The history of the Snickers Bar:

When the Snickers bar was first released in 1930, the combination of nougat, roasted peanuts, caramel and milk chocolate was originally going to be named the Marathon bar. Just months before the release of the now iconic candy, the Mars family’s favorite horse, “Snickers” passed away. The Mars family decided to change the name, in honor of their favorite equine companion.

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In Great Britain and Ireland the candy was still sold under the name Marathon all the way up until 1990. Mars had created another candy bar for the U.S. in the 1970’s named Marathon that was sold in the US market until 1981. This generated some confusion among consumers so, they changed the name to Snickers in the UK.

The Marathon bar was most likely remembered for their action-packed, old west-themed commercials.

We still get requests for the Marathon bar all the time, even though it hasn’t been available for decades. Though you can no longer order the Marathon Bar, it will always live on through our memories!

The amazing world of today’s candy bars

Many of our favorite candy bars have been around for generations, but there are some new and very exciting products for candy bar lovers coming out all the time!

Cadbury is coming out with 2 new chocolate bar flavors in 2022. “Black Forest Cake” and “Rock the Road” will be available for purchase in the United States in mid to late March of 2022.

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Their Rock the Road bar has milk chocolate with roasted almonds and marshmallow flavored fudge. The Royal Dark Black Forest Cake bar features dark chocolate with cherry-flavored fudge and cookie pieces. We are really looking forward to these new additions to the lineup as they sound like they’ll be amazing - as Cadbury products typically are!

Hershey’s is also releasing some new products for the sugar-free crowd the spring of 2022. The company has added almonds to its popular sugar-free chocolate lineup to make their Zero Sugar Chocolate Miniatures with Almonds. These should also be available for order in mid to late March of 2022!

Here at Redstone Foods, we proudly offer a wide variety of popular and hard-to-find candy bars from around the world. Our immense catalog offering includes a wide variety of bulk candy, snack products and a giant selection of glass bottle specialty craft sodas.

We have a team of dedicated sales representatives that are available to help you with your order. If you ever have any questions or concerns, we are available to help you in a timely fashion. So, create an account with us online, or give us a call today!

1-800-444-3520