Candy has existed in one form or another for thousands of years. Ancient peoples enjoyed honey right out of the hive and later combined it with nuts and fruits to create tasty confectionary treats. Sweets were typically served at the end of a meal for dessert or were eaten as a snack. For most of its history, candy made from sugar was too expensive for commoners. It was a delicacy only the rich could afford.
After the Spanish rediscovered cacao, from which chocolate is made, in Mexico in 1519, the price of candy fell precipitously. By the 17th century, hard candy was wildly popular in North America and chocolate was all the rage in Europe. Large factories were suddenly springing up on both sides of the Atlantic. Though the chocolate bar was invented in England in 1847, it was popularized by an American company at the dawn of the twentieth century.
The Hersey Company introduced the first wrapped chocolate bar in 1900. Its success encouraged countless candy makers to develop their own candy bars. The Hershey Bar has been one of the best-selling candies on earth for most of its history. However, it is not the company’s most popular product. Miniature chocolate droplets called “Kisses” were introduced in 1907. The Hershey Company ships about sixty million of them each day! Their diminutive chocolate bars, Hershey’s Miniatures, are also extremely popular with chocolate lovers everywhere.
Chocolate bars have never been particularly popular during the holiday season. As you might expect, the nearly ubiquitous candy cane is the most common holiday treat. According to reliable estimates, about 1.76 billion of them are made each year! But chocolate bars and candies have gained a loyal following of late.
As we mentioned, Hershey’s Kisses are one of the most popular products in the history of chocolate. Tens of billions of them are shipped and sold each year. Though annual sales peak just before Halloween, they also spike during the holiday season. They are so popular, in fact, that Hershey’s produces a special holiday edition of its famous candies wrapped in festive red, silver and green foil. With 7 ounces of milk chocolate, the Giant Hershey’s Kiss has also become a trendy stocking stuffer and holiday gift.
Hershey’s Holiday Miniatures
Modeled after their original chocolate bar, Hershey’s Miniatures are a common holiday gift. Whether deposited into stockings or left out in bowl, miniatures make for a tasty treat when the weather gets cold. Just like their more famous cousins (the Kisses), Hershey’s Miniatures are wrapped in festive foils for the holiday season. They are sold in variety packs at most major supermarkets and department stores.
The holidays are a hectic time of year for any parent. Crowded stores, annoying in-laws, and boring office parties make the season a chore for most. Of course, most parents forget all about those minor frustrations when their kids open their presents. An easy and affordable way to prolong the air of magic and mystery that surrounds the holiday season is to give your little angel an advent calendar.
The standard advent calendar contains twenty-four doors, and behind each one is a tasty milk chocolate treat. Most calendars also include information about the holiday, so that your child can learn the story and meaning of Christmas as the big day approaches.
As popular as candy canes are, they are rarely eaten. Sure, the kids might have one or two of them. But if you decorate your tree with dozens of cane-shaped candy treats, most of them will probably end up in the trash. We’re not saying that candy canes have fallen out of fashion, but a little variety never hurt anyone. Chocolate ornaments wrapped in festive foils are an attractive and tasty accessory for any tree. And don’t worry, they will not melt!
A dreidel is a popular toy Jewish children play with during the holiday of Hanukkah. The four-sided spinning top is used in a gambling game where contestants bet raisins, chocolate, pennies or candies. Chocolate dreidels may not spin like their wooden brethren, but they are far tastier!