Interesting Facts about the Candy Industry

Almost everyone in the world loves a sweet treat, and the booming candy industry is a testament to this. The candy industry in the United States is currently leading in the volume of sugar, chocolate, and gum consumed. With holidays like Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day, the consumption and purchase of candy surges to new levels.  The candy industry certainly is fueled by sugar.

Interesting Facts about the Candy Industry

Germans actually consume twice the amount of candy that American do every year. Other countries aren’t far behind either, so it’s evident that the candy industry is worth learning about. below are some interesting facts to spark your interest.

The Name of Snickers

Every product name has some sort of story behind it, but the well-loved candy bar has a particularly interesting one. The bar is a product of the candy company Mars, headed by Frank Mars. The latter also invented the bar filled with caramel, nougat, and peanuts. His favorite horse was named Snickers, so he also named his creation after it. Even after the horse died, the Snickers bar carries on its legacy.

The name and slogan for Snickers may have been effective in the marketing campaign, but the combination of the bar was probably what made it a hit. It was launched back in 1930 but remains one of the best-selling chocolate bars in the world.

The Hershey’s Kisses Flag

Ever Hershey’s Kiss has a tiny flag on top with the items’ name on it. This is actually called a plume, though others call it a “Niggly Wiggly”. The purpose of these flags is to do away with copies or knockoffs of the original product. Hershey’s actually has a registered trademark for the plume since 1924, so no one can actually copy that part.

Plus, the plume serves as an easy way to unwrap each piece of chocolate. The paper goes underneath the foil, so you simply have to pull in order to unwrap the whole thing. Another interesting point here is that these chocolates were actually wrapped by hand for the first 14 years of production. This would have been quite a time-consuming task. Fortunately, they came up with a way to automatically wrap the kisses in 1921.

Candy Corn

Candy corn is quite a popular candy in the United States, although many people also actively dislike it. The appearance is much like real corn kernels and has a large demand among farmers because of this. The ingredients are simply sugar, fondant, vanilla, marshmallow, and corn syrup.

This kind of candy is actually quite old, having been invented in the 1880s. It’s usually purchased and consumed around Halloween because of the colors. There’s a large yellow end, an orange center, and the pointed tip is white. When candy corn first came out, the colors were quite innovative and hence a great hit.

Every year, millions of candy corn pieces are manufactured by the Jelly Belly Candy Company, previously known as the Goelitz Candy Company. Three-quarters of these are for the Halloween season alone. In fact, October 30 is also dubbed National Candy Corn Day.

How M&Ms Came to Be

There have been several inventions, innovations, and other contributions to civilization thanks to the wars. The candy industry has its share of these, as do the tech, transport, medicine, and communication industries.

The creator of M&Ms was actually inspired for the idea by seeing soldiers eat chocolate buttons in a hard shell during the Civil War. Forrest E. Mars Sr. hence started work on a candy shell with a chocolate center that was designed to melt in the mouth, not the hand. At first, M&Ms only cam in plain chocolate with red, brown, orange, yellow, and violet colors.

During the Second World War, all candy was reserved mostly for the similarity. The coating of the M&Ms was instrumental in keeping them intact even when the climate was warm. Hence, they were in great dead as rations for soldiers. Around 200,000 pounds of the candy was produced each week. The advertising for M&Ms at the time has a slogan that said the candy was “100% at war”.

Jelly Beans and the President

In 1966, Ronald Reagan tried some Mini Jelly Beans. He was then the governor of California and had just started to use candy as an alternative to smoking. When Reagan became President of the United States in 1981, the Jelly Belly Company shipped around 3.5 tons o the candy to the White House. Soon, the company was asked to make a special jellybean jar with the presidential seal on it. These were given the diplomats, heads of state, and other guests of importance.

Reagan actually loved jelly beans so much that he made them a staple in many places. These included the Oval Office and Air Force One. Some were even sent to outer space to surprise the astronauts. The blueberry flavor was a special invention for him, though he liked licorice best of all.

The Tootsie Roll During the War

Tootsie Rolls were another rationed candy for American soldiers in the Second World War. Again, it was rationed due to its resilience in harsh weather. Leo Hirschfield was its creator, who was an Austrian immigrant. While he didn’t have his own company, he invented the candy as an employee in the Manhattan-based company Stern & Staalberg. The name was actually his own daughter’s nickname.

The Candy Bar Named “Chicken Dinner”

The ”Chicken Dinner” bar was a move by the candy industry to push their customers into eating candy for their meals. For instance, Hershey’s advertised the milk chocolate bar as being ‘more sustaining than meat’. Sometime after that, a bar with chocolate and peanut butter was called “Klein’s Lunch Bar”. Candy bars also appeared with ‘sandwich’ in their names. There wasn’t any bread, meat, or cheese inside them, just like there was no chicken in the “Chicken Dinner”.

This was actually the first time that a chocolate bar was advertised as being ‘nutritious’. In 1923, the Chicken Dinner was released by the Sperry Candy Company. Even the package had a picture of a roasted chicken. The bar inside had nuts, coated with chocolate. While it remained steady for four decades, the bar was eventually discontinued. Still, it blazed the trail for other ‘nutritious’ bars that were marketed as meal replacements. These include the Luna Bar, the Clif bar, and the Power Bar.

The Influence of Kit Kat

Kit Kat bars are probably one of the most popular confectionary items available today. Its marketing campaign centered around sharing, making chocolate more of a social snack. This advertising technique was the unique and helped Kit Kat gain a massive following.

In Japan, Kit Kat bars come in hundreds of flavors, proving the candy’s success in that country, these flavors include green tea, banana, ginger ale, strawberry, purple sweet potato, and many, many more. Kit Kat has even overtaken the famous Meiji chocolate, which was previously the most popular one in Japan.

The demand of Kit Kat in Japan might be due to its name sounding a lot like “kitto Katsu”. In Japanese, this means, “I’ll do my best to make sure I succeed”, a popular student mantra during exam time. Hence, the bars were looked upon as good luck charms just before any exams of tests. The success of the different flavors was probably due to the omiyage tradition, where travelers would pack local specialties to take back home as gifts.


Candy has a market in most places, whether it’s a grocery store, a cinema, a park, or any kind of holiday. Adults and kids are likely to consume and crave it on a daily basis. While this may not be the healthiest habit, it does generate a lot of profit. The facts above help us understand this industry better, especially when it comes to realizing what would work and what won’t. If anyone’s thinking of going into a business, a candy venture would likely be quite profitable.