The chocolate candy bar is a form of confectionery usually sized as a snack for one person. Within the term "candy bar", a wide variety of products exists, ranging from solid chocolate bars to multiple layerings or mixtures of ingredients.
Chocolate is America's favorite flavor. Not surprisingly, there are many types of chocolate candy on the market, the number one item being the bar.
A chocolate bar is a confection in bar form comprising some or all of the following components: cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, milk. In addition to these main ingredients, it often contains emulsifiers and flavors such as vanilla.
In 1847, Joseph Fry & Son discovered a way to mix some
of the separated cocoa butter back into "Dutched" chocolate, add sugar,
and create a paste that could be molded. The result was the first
modern chocolate bar.
(For more on this, see The History of Chocolate)
The largest chocolate bar ever manufactured weighed in at an incredible 5,026 lbs. It was exhibited by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies at Eurochocolate in Turin, Italy, during March 2000.
Although chocolate bars and candy bars had their beginnings in the 19th century, it wasn't until the first half of the 20th century that a commercial enterprise of this confection grew, and rapidly. Thousands of different candy bars were manufactured and distributed locally or regionally by small candy companies.
The first wrapped chocolate bar was the Hershey bar, produced by The Hershey Company in 1900. A number of the chocolate bars developed in that era still exist in relatively unchanged form today.
The early chocolate candy bars were made with bittersweet chocolate because milk chocolate wasn't invented until 1875. The original candy bar industry started on the eastern seaboard of the U.S., in cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, and New York.
The business quickly spread to the Midwest, as shipping and raw
materials such as sugar, corn syrup, and milk were easily available.
Chicago became the hot spot of the chocolate candy bar industry and it's
still an important base today.
Attention to the chocolate bar grew when World War 1 began...
The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps commissioned assorted American chocolate manufacturers to provide 20 to 40 pound blocks of chocolate to be shipped to quartermaster bases. The chocolate blocks were then chopped into smaller pieces and distributed to American soldiers in Europe. The army soon tired of chopping up the large blocks and asked the manufacturers to chop the blocks before shipping them.
When the war ended and the soldiers arrived back to America, the
country's chocolate candy bar business was assured to be successful, as
the returning soldiers had grown fond of candy bars and now as
civilians, they wanted more of the same.
As a result of the war and from that time on, and through the 1920s, chocolate bar manufacturers became well established throughout the U.S. and as many as 40,000 different chocolate candy bars appeared on the scene.