In this article we're going to review of brief history of one of the largest manufacturers of chocolate in the world, Hershey. The Hershey company itself started with a decision that its founder, Milton Hershey, made in 1894 to produce sweet chocolate as a coating for his caramels, Milton's first business. He set up his new shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and called the company the Hershey Chocolate Company.
By 1900, only six years after its chocolate covered caramels first hit the scene, Hershey was producing milk chocolate in bars, wafers and other shapes. Because of the Industrial Revolution and mass producing methods, Hershey was able to lower the cost of his products and thus make what was once an item only for the rich, something that everyone could enjoy. Because of the company's immediate and overwhelming success, Milton decided to greatly increase his production facilities. So he decided to build a new production facility in south-central Pennsylvania, in Derry Township, where he was born. This facility was in an excellent location as it was close to the ports of New York and Philadelphia where he could easily get his supply of sugar and cocoa beans.
It was also surrounded by dairy farms so he was able to get all the milk he needed. Add to that a location where there were plenty of people eager to go to work and everything couldn't be more perfect. By the summer of 1905 the factory was in full production manufacturing their milk chocolate. In 1907, Hershey decided to expand his product line and came out with the ever popular Hershey's Kisses. At first they were individually hand wrapped in foil but in 1921 when the wrapping machine was invented this process was greatly speeded up. This process was also used to add that "plume" at the top of the Kiss that we come to expect.
As a matter of fact, in 1924 the company actually had the Hershey Kiss trademarked. Over the next twenty years a number of other very popular products were introduced such as Mr. Goodbar in 1925, Hershey's Syrup in 1926, chocolate chips in 1928, and the Krackel bar in 1938. In spite of the great depression of the 1930s these new products helped Hershey maintain its profitability and avoid having to lay people off. Hershey helped the war effort during World War II.
For starters, a number of new products were introduced and an old company had been acquired by the name of H.B. Reese of the famed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Hershey ended up making the chocolate coating for those cups and a perfect marriage was made.
In 1963, seven years after Reese's death, the company was sold to Hershey. Over the years since, Hershey has grown considerably. Today, they are the leading manufacturer of chocolate and chocolate products. Their products are exported to over 90 countries. They have over 13,700 employees worldwide and have net sales of more than $4 billion annually. And in all this time they have never deviated from the values established by the man who started it all.
By: Michael Russell