The candy industry provides over 55,000 jobs in more than 1,000 across the U.S. It’s estimated that this industry has a direct economic impact of $35 billion. So, let’s take a minute to learn some candy facts.
#10 – Snickers Was Named After A Horse
The candy bar originated in 1930. The candy bar was initially called Marathon in the U.K., but Mars decided to scrap the British brand. One of Frank Mars’ favorite horses was named Snickers. The candy bar was renamed in 1990. Snickers is the best selling chocolate bar of all time.
#9 – Opal Fruits Had The Same Fate As Marathon
Opal Fruits were managed by Mars in the U.K. in 1960. They were introduced in the U.S. under the name of Starburst in 1967. The manufacturer, Mars, again rebranded the name in the U.K. to Starburst. However, many people in the U.K. fought against the name change. Eventually, the Starburst name was accepted.
#8- 3 Musketeers Used To Have 3 Pieces
This candy was first introduced in 1932. At that time, it contained 3 pieces of different flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. World War II war restrictions and rising costs phased out the vanilla and strawberry.
#7 – The 1920’s Saw The Creation Of A Lot Of Candy Bars
Unfortunately, only a handful of them survived…
Chicken Dinner (actually survived until the 1960’s)
Kandy Kate (rebranded as Baby Ruth)*
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
*The original recipes for these 2 candies were lost. When Standard Brands Company (who owned Curtiss Candy Company) was bought out by Nabisco in 1981, the original recipes could not be found. No one remembered how to make them so Nabisco had to create new recipes that consumers would not recognize as different from the original recipe.
#6 – More Candy Came In The 1930’s
A lot of delicious candy was invented in the 1930’s.
3 Musketeers Bar
Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll
5th Avenue Candy Bar
#5 – M&M’s May Owe Its Origin To World War II
The candy was named after its founders: Forrest Mars and Bruce Murries. M&M’s were created as an energy snack for World War II soldiers. Remember the tagline: “M&M’s melt in your mouth, not in your hand.” That was perfect for soldiers in the field.
At one point, red M&M’s were discontinued. The FDA banned Red Dye #2. Even though this dye was NEVER used in making the candy, the manufacturer did not make red M&M’s between 1976-1985. Consumers complained, and the beloved red-colored pieces were introduced gradually during the Christmas season of 1985. (By the way, M&M’s use Red Dye #3 and #40.) They remain the best-selling candy in the U.S.
#4 – Germans Eat More Candy As Americans
Germans consume about twice as much candy as Americans. They eat 2,361,809 pounds of candy per year. The most popular candy bar is the Milka chocolate bar. Germans spend more than $730 million a year on this candy. Manufacturer Lindt is second making only $230 million.
#3 – The Danish Love Gummi Bears
Denmark is one of the few countries that prefer gummies over chocolate. Each citizen eats an average of 18 pounds of candy per year. (That is actually twice the amount of the average European.)
#2- Kit Kats Rule In Japan And Canada
Kit Kat bars are the most popular single chocolate treat in Japan. (Meiji is Japan’s best-selling chocolate brand.) But, these candy bars are entirely different than what you would find in the U.S. In Japan, Kit Kat sells more than 80 different flavors, that includes: strawberry cheesecake, purple sweet potato, sake, and wasabi-flavored Kit Kats. In Canada, 700 Kit Kat fingers are eaten EVERY SECOND according to Nestle. Kit Kat bars are one of over 100 countries where these candy bars are sold.
#1- Cotton Candy Was Created By A Dentist
This machine-spun melt-in-your-mouth treat was invented in 1897 by the dentist, William Morrison and candymaker John C. Wharton. It was first introduced in the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss.” They sold 68,655 boxes at 25 cents per box! Cotton candy is made up entirely of sugar with small amounts of flavor and food coloring. The sugar is heated and liquefied. Then it is spun out through tiny holes where it resolidifies. Although the treat existed in previous forms before 1897, Morrison and Wharton created the first machine-spun candy.