Milton Hershey, the man behind Hershey's Chocolate, opened his eyes to this world, on 13th September 1857. He developed the love for candy at a very tender age only and started his career as an apprentice to a candy-maker in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was in 1876, when Milton was only eighteen-years old, that he laid the foundation of his own candy shop, in Philadelphia. However, the shop closed down after six years only, following which he moved to Denver, Colorado, and started learning the art of caramel-making.
Milton moved back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the year 1886 and launched the much-successful Lancaster Caramel Company. The company grew by leaps and bounds. In 1893, Milton attended the Chicago International Exposition and ended up buying German chocolate-making machinery and started producing chocolate-coated caramels. The next year, he started the Hershey Chocolate Company, selling off his caramel business. With this, he started the production of Hershey chocolate caramels, breakfast cocoa, sweet chocolate and baking chocolate. Let us know more about Hershey's Chocolate, through the following lines.
Interesting Information On Background & Origin Of Hershey's Chocolate
Within six years of starting Hershey Chocolate Company i.e. in 1894, Milton began the production of milk chocolate, in the form of bars, wafers and other shapes. As the methods of mass-production became popular, the company was able to lower the per-unit cost of milk chocolate and bring the product within the common man's reach. The chocolate was an immediate success and witnessed heavy demand. To cope up with the rising orders, Milton decided to increase his production facilities.
Soon, Hershey witnessed the opening of a new chocolate factory, amid the gently rolling farmland of south-central Pennsylvania, in Derry Township. The location was close to the ports of New York and Philadelphia, from which the factory sourced its imported sugar and cocoa beans. At the same time, it was surrounded by dairy farms, easily providing the much-needed raw material - milk. Even the supply of honest, hard-working labor came locally. In short, Pennsylvania proved the ideal location for the chocolate factory.
The new factory came into operation by the summer of 1905, when it started producing delicious milk chocolates. With time, Milton started looking forward to expanding the product line of his company. In 1907, Hershey Chocolate Company began producing flat-bottomed, conical milk chocolate candies. Given the name of 'Hershey’s Kisses', they were initially individually wrapped in silver foil. Machine wrapping was introduced in 1921. Sometime later, the plume was added to the chocolates and in 1924, they were trademarked as well.
The early 1900s saw the introduction of a number of products in Hershey Chocolate's offerings. These included Mr. Goodbar (1925), Hershey’s Syrup (1926), Chocolate Chips (1928) and the Krackel Bar (1938). Such was the popularity of Hershey's products and the business acumen of Milton that the company maintained its profitability even during the Great Depression and managed to avoid any worker layoffs. As World War II started, Hershey Chocolate started producing a survival ration bar for military use.
By the time World War II ended, Hershey had supplied more than a billion of the survival ration bars, known as Ration D bars. It had even earned five Army-Navy “E” Production Awards, for its exceptional contributions to the war effort, which included making parts for the Navy’s antiaircraft guns. In 1956, seven years after the death of H.B. “Harry” Reese, H.B. Reese Candy Company was sold to Hershey Chocolate Corp. This was expected, considering the fact that Hershey Chocolate had been supplying the coating for REESE’S “penny cups, since long.
In 1968, Hershey Chocolate was renamed as Hershey Foods Corporation. In the decades that followed, the company witnessed the expansion of its confectionery product lines, acquiring of related companies and diversification into other food products. Today, Hershey is amongst the leading North American manufacturers of chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and grocery products.