Why the Candy Bar Market Exploded After World War I

Chocolate bars may look uniquely American, but they have their origins in World War I rations of chocolate given to European soldiers. The US military followed suit, helping its doughboys develop a sweet tooth that they would take home after the war. Throughout the 1920s, thousands of small regional confectioners emerged to keep up with demand, creating a candy boom bursting with bars with catchy names based on popular phrases, pop culture icons, and even food freaks. dance. (Hello, Charleston Chew.) The goal of the most ambitious new candy makers? To grab a bite to eat at a confectionery company dominated by Hershey, the biggest chocolate maker on the planet.

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