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PayDay was first introduced in 1932 by Frank Martoccio. Martoccio founded the F.A. Martoccio Macaroni Company, and also later served as head of the Hollywood Candy Company. Hollywood also produced the ZERO bar. In 1938, Hollywood moved to Centralia, Illinois. In 1967, the Martoccio family sold Hollywood Brands to Consolidated Foods, which later became Sara Lee. Fire destroyed the Centralia plant in 1980. Production of the PayDay bar continued with help from the L.S. Heath and Sons Company until a new facility could be constructed. In 1988, Hollywood Brands was acquired by the Leaf Candy Company, then later became part of The Hershey Company in 1996
There have been several variations on the PayDay bar. They include the Honey-Roasted limited edition in 2003, the PAYDAY PRO, a high protein energy bar in 2005, and the PayDay Chocolatey Avalanche, a chocolate-covered version, in 2007. For a promotion in 1989, PayDays each contained an individually wrapped nickel.