Definitions

Chocolate bar

Chocolate bar

A chocolate bar is a confection in bar form comprising some or all of the following components: cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, milk. The relative presence or absence of these components form the subclasses of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. In addition to these main ingredients, it may contain emulsifiers such as soy lecithin and flavors such as vanilla.

A candy bar (called a chocolate bar in British English, Australian English and Canadian English, where the word candy refers specifically to sugar candy) is a form of confectionery usually packaged in a bar or log form, often coated with chocolate, and sized as a snack for one person. But within that term, a wide variety of products exist, ranging from solid chocolate bars to multiple layerings or mixtures of ingredients such as nuts, fruit, caramel or fondant.

Certain brands of chocolate bars are made for nutritional supplementation purposes. These bars contain protein and various vitamins while still retaining a sweet taste. The PowerBar brand candy bars would fit into this category.

History

Up to and including the 19th century, candy of all sorts was typically sold by weight, loose, in small pieces that would be bagged as bought. The introduction of chocolate as something that could be eaten as is, rather than used to make beverages or desserts, resulted in the earliest bar forms, or tablets. At some point, chocolates came to mean any chocolate-covered candies, whether nuts, creams (fondant), caramels, or others. The candy bar evolved from all of these in the late-19th century as a way of packaging and selling candy more conveniently, for both buyer and seller. This "convenience" did not include price, of course, as the buyer had to pay for the packaging. It was considerably cheaper to buy candy loose, or in bulk.

Although chocolate bars and candy bars had their beginnings in the 19th century, it was in the early-20th century that this confectionery commercial venture grew most rapidly. The first wrapped chocolate bar was sold in 1910 by the Ganong Brothers company in Canada. A number of the bars developed then still exist in relatively unchanged form. In the U.S., most candy bars started out priced at ten cents, down to five cents during the Great Depression, and back to ten after World War II. This price remained stable until the late 1960s.

During the first half of the 20th century in the U.S., there were thousands of different candy bars being manufactured and distributed locally or regionally by small candy companies. Some of these still survive, but a few major manufacturers have taken over the marketplace, buying up smaller companies and reproducing the most popular of their candy bars. Today candy bars are made and consumed all over the world, and manufactured to local tastes and environmental conditions.

Manufacturers

Brands

See also

References

  • Almond, Steve (2004) Candyfreak, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill ISBN 1-56512-421-9
  • Broekel, Ray (1982) The Great American Candy Bar Book, Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0-395-32502-1
  • Richardson, Tim (2002) Sweets: A History of Candy, Bloomsbury ISBN 1-58234-307-1

External links

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