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History of Hershey Candy

Hershey’s is a chocolate brand that is known and loved by people all over the world. It is hard to imagine a world without Hershey’s chocolate, but it all started with a man named Milton Hershey. Born in 1857 in Pennsylvania, Milton Hershey had a passion for candy-making from a young age.

After several failed attempts at starting a candy business, Milton Hershey founded the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1886, which quickly became a success. He eventually sold the company for a large sum of money and used the funds to start the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894. The company’s first product was a sweet chocolate coating for caramels, but it wasn’t until 1900 that Hershey’s first milk chocolate bar was introduced to the world.

Today, Hershey’s is one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, with a wide range of products that include chocolate bars, candies, and baking products. The company’s portfolio of brands has expanded beyond the iconic Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar to include Reese’s, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, and many more. Despite its success, Hershey’s remains committed to its roots and continues to be headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where visitors can learn about the company’s history at the Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction.

The Founding of Hershey

Milton Hershey

Milton Hershey was born in 1857 in Pennsylvania to a Mennonite family. He started his candy-making career at the age of 18, but it wasn’t until he was 30 that he found his true calling in chocolate. Hershey traveled to Europe to learn the art of chocolate-making and returned to the United States with a new vision. He wanted to create affordable chocolate for the masses.

First Factory

In 1894, Hershey founded the Hershey Chocolate Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The first factory was small and only produced chocolate coatings for caramels. However, Hershey’s vision was much bigger than that. He wanted to create a chocolate that was affordable and delicious. In 1900, Hershey sold his caramel company for $1,000,000 and concentrated on chocolate. He built a new factory in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, and began producing milk chocolate bars.

Hershey’s milk chocolate was an instant success. It was affordable, delicious, and made with fresh milk. Hershey’s factory grew rapidly, and he built an entire town around it to house his workers and their families. The town, called Hershey, Pennsylvania, became a model for company towns across the country.

Today, Hershey’s chocolate is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The company produces a wide variety of chocolate products, including Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Kit Kat bars. Despite its success, Hershey’s commitment to affordable and delicious chocolate remains unchanged.

Invention of Milk Chocolate

Recipe Development

Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey’s Chocolate Company, began experimenting with milk chocolate in the late 1800s. He traveled to Europe to learn more about the process and brought back new ideas to improve his recipe. He eventually developed a recipe that used fresh milk instead of powdered milk, which made the chocolate smoother and creamier.

Production Process

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate was first introduced in 1900. The production process involved blending cocoa beans, sugar, and fresh milk, and then heating and mixing the ingredients until they formed a smooth, creamy mixture. The mixture was then poured into molds and cooled until it solidified into chocolate bars.

To ensure the quality of the chocolate, Hershey’s built his own dairy farm and milk processing plant. This allowed him to control the quality of the milk used in the chocolate and ensure that it was always fresh.

Thanks to the success of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Milton Hershey became one of the wealthiest men in America. His invention revolutionized the chocolate industry and made chocolate a more affordable treat for everyone to enjoy.

Expansion and Growth

Worldwide Reach

The Hershey Company’s success in the United States led to an expansion of the brand’s reach worldwide. In 1963, Hershey’s opened its first international factory in Ontario, Canada, followed by another in Smiths Falls, Ontario in 1966. Today, Hershey’s products are sold in over 60 countries, with factories in Mexico, Brazil, India, and China.

Hershey’s global expansion has been driven by a combination of acquisitions and joint ventures. In 2014, Hershey’s acquired Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Co., Ltd., a leading confectionery company in China. This acquisition has allowed Hershey’s to expand its presence in China, which is the world’s largest market for chocolate.

Product Diversification

Hershey’s has expanded its product line beyond chocolate bars to include a wide variety of confectionery products. In 1927, Hershey’s introduced the Hershey’s Kisses, which quickly became one of the company’s most popular products.

In recent years, Hershey’s has continued to diversify its product line through acquisitions and partnerships. In 2020, Hershey’s acquired ONE Brands, LLC, a company that produces low-sugar protein bars. This acquisition has allowed Hershey’s to expand its offerings in the growing health and wellness market.

Hershey’s has also partnered with other brands to create new products. In 2019, Hershey’s partnered with Reese’s to create a new candy bar called the Reese’s Take 5, which includes chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, pretzels, and peanuts.

Overall, Hershey’s expansion and growth has been driven by its ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and expand its product line to meet the needs of consumers around the world.

Impact on Society

Economic Influence

The Hershey Company has been a significant contributor to the economy of the United States since its inception in 1894. The company has created thousands of jobs and has been a major source of income for many families. According to The Hershey Company’s website, the company’s annual revenue was approximately $8.1 billion in 2022. The company’s success has also led to the creation of other businesses in the Hershey, Pennsylvania area, which has further boosted the local economy.

Cultural Influence

Hershey’s candy has become an iconic part of American culture. The Hershey Company’s flagship product, the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, has been a staple of American households for over a century. The company’s other products, such as Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, have also become household names. Hershey’s chocolate has been featured in movies, television shows, and books, which has helped to further cement its place in American culture.

In addition to its impact on American culture, The Hershey Company has also made significant contributions to society through its philanthropic efforts. The company’s founder, Milton Hershey, established the Milton Hershey School in 1909, which provides free education and housing to underprivileged children. The Hershey Company has also donated millions of dollars to various charitable organizations over the years, including the Children’s Miracle Network and the United Way.

Overall, The Hershey Company’s impact on society has been significant, both economically and culturally. The company’s success has created jobs and boosted the local economy, while its products have become an integral part of American culture. Additionally, the company’s philanthropic efforts have helped to make a positive impact on the lives of many people.

Challenges and Controversies

Labor Issues

Hershey’s chocolate empire is not without its labor issues. In 1937, the company violently suppressed a strike by chocolate workers [1]. The strike felt “more like a family squabble than an angry revolution,” and each employee’s personal acquaintance with Hershey may have contributed to this [1]. Hershey has also been accused of not upholding sustainability efforts in West African cocoa communities [3]. The company has developed several initiatives to improve the lives of West African cocoa workers and supports a number of philanthropic, social, and environmental programs [4].

Health Concerns

Hershey’s products have also been subject to health concerns. The company’s founder, Milton S. Hershey, had a history of experimenting with new products, which led to many failures [2]. Hershey’s products contain sugar, which can lead to health problems like obesity and diabetes if consumed in excess. However, the company has taken steps to address these concerns by offering sugar-free and reduced-sugar options, as well as smaller portion sizes. Hershey also provides nutritional information for its products on its website.