Candy bar

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This article is about confectionery in bar form. For other uses, see Candy bar (disambiguation).
A Planters peanut candy bar

A candy bar is a type of sugar confectionery that is in the shape of a bar. Many varieties of candy bars exist,[1][2] and many are mass-produced.[3][4]

It frequently, though not necessarily always, includes chocolate. A combination candy bar is one that contains chocolate plus other ingredients, such as nuts or nougat. The Goo Goo Cluster was the first mass-produced combination bar.[5]

Between World War I and the middle of the 20th century, approximately 40,000 brands of candy bars were introduced.[6][7][8]


The earliest candy bars were Fry's Chocolate Cream Bar, which was sold by Joseph Fry of England in 1866 and a similar bar by John Cadbury, which was created in 1849. The original chocolate bars contained only bittersweet chocolate made from cocoa powder and sugar. Milk chocolate was introduced in the later part of the 19th century by Nestlé. In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt began adding cocoa butter back to the chocolate which produced a bar that would hold its hardened shape and would melt upon the tongue. At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, chocolate making machinery made in Germany, was displayed. Milton S. Hershey installed the chocolate machinery in his Lancaster factory and produced the first American-made milk chocolate bar in 1894.[9]

The candy bar became popular during World War I, when the U.S. Army commissioned a number of American chocolate makers to produce 20 to 40 pounds blocks of chocolate, which would then be shipped to Army quartermaster bases, chopped up into smaller pieces and distributed to the troops stationed throughout Europe. The manufacturers began producing smaller pieces, and by the end of the war, as the soldiers returned home, the future of the candy bar was assured and a new industry was born.[6]

George Williamson of Williamson Candy Co. named the Oh Henry! — the most popular candy bar sold in the region in the late Teens — after an electrician who frequented his store and flirted with the female candymakers. But mostly forgotten now — and yet famous in his time — was Otto Schnering, owner of the Curtiss Candy Co. and producer of the Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bars. Schnering developed the Baby Ruth to compete with the Oh Henry! bar, which sold for 10 cents. Schnering decided to sell a similar bar for 5 cents, hiring legendary Chicago ad man Eddy S. Brandt to market the Baby Ruth under the slogan “Everything you want for a nickel.” The catchy slogan, cheaper price and other innovative marketing tactics like sponsoring circuses, hot air balloons, and even airplane barnstorming shows with the Baby Ruth moniker rocketed the bar to the top sales spot in Chicago.

Curtiss Candy became a major player in the emerging national candy-brand biz, launching other bars, like the peanut-butter crunch Butterfinger, along with now-vanished confections like the Dip (a chocolate-covered soft nougat bar, similar to today's Three Musketeers), the Buy Jiminy (a peanut bar similar to today's PayDay) and the Jolly Jack (yet another peanut-and-chocolate bar).[10]

Chocolate bar[edit]

Main article: Chocolate bar

A chocolate bar is a candy bar that has chocolate liquor and cocoa butter as the main ingredients. Milk chocolate is made by adding milk in the form of milk powder, milk solids or condensed milk and at least 10 percent concentration of chocolate liquor while dark chocolate has minimum 35 chocolate liquor concentration and high cocoa percentages ranging from 70% to 99% with little to no milk added.[11] Dark is synonymous with semisweet, and extra dark with bittersweet. White chocolate replaces cocoa with cocoa butter. In addition to these main ingredients, it may contain emulsifiers such as soy lecithin and flavors such as vanilla.

Non-chocolate bars[edit]

Candy bars containing no chocolate include:

Further reading[edit]

  • Mazze, Edward M. and Michman, Ronald D., The Food Industry Wars: Marketing Triumphs and Blunders (Praeger, 1998)
  • Cadbury, Deborah, Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers (PublicAffairs, 2011)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hand-Crafted Candy Bars - Susie Norris, Susan Heeger. p. 13.
  2. ^ Nutrition - Paul Insel, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, Melissa Bernstein
  3. ^ Kiplinger's Personal Finance. p. 20.
  4. ^ Business Builders In Sweets and Treats - Nathan Aaseng. p. 28.
  5. ^ Kawash, Samira (2013). Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. Faber and Faber. pp. 152–153, 156–157, 163. ISBN 9780374711108. 
  6. ^ a b "History of Candy". Candy History. 
  7. ^ Hand-Crafted Candy Bars - Susie Norris, Susan Heeger. p. 13.
  8. ^ Insel, Paul; Ross, Don; McMahon, Kimberley; Bernstein, Melissa (2010-04-07). Nutrition. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. ISBN 9780763793760. 
  9. ^ "Candy Bar History". Candy history. 
  10. ^ Jill Elaine Hughes (October 20, 2013). "When Candy Was Dandy". Chicago Tribune. 
  11. ^ "Title 21 — Food and Drugs, Chapter I, Sub chapter B — Food for Human Consumption, Part 163 — Cocoa Products". Title 21 — Food and Drugs. Food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 

External links[edit]