The candy bar is as American as apple pie and baseball. If you ask any red-blooded American what there favorite things to eat were growing up, you’re likely to hear candy bars in their reminiscing.
The candy bar has been around forever and each decade scores of new ones are added to the vast variety. So, it comes as no surprise that the candy business is a $5 billion dollar a year business. Amazing considering that when companies first began to mass market their nougat, caramel, chocolate, peanut creations in the 1950s the average candy bar was a…nickel!
I’m not sure you can even buy anything in America for a nickel anymore. If a penny candy store exists anywhere, maybe a single piece would cost a nickel. I don’t like the sound of a “nickel candy store.”
The candy bar has been around since the 1840s England believe it or not. A man named Joseph Fry put sugar and cocoa and formed it into the common shape we see so often today. A few years later a Quaker businessman who had been selling tea, coffee, and hot cocoa since the 1820s came along and jumped into the candy bar market. You might have heard of this guy…John Cadbury.
Both Cadbury and Fry would soon join forces and mass produce a few types of sweet concoctions, Cadbury launched his business into the stratosphere with the introduction of the Cadbury egg in 1875. By 1905 Cadbury had a production facility, the first of its kind in the burgeoning industry with names like Hershey, Nestle, Necco, Mars and Luden throwing their hats in the ring.
Every since then America’s has had a deep-seated love affair with the candy bar. Who doesn’t like to grab one for a quick snack, at a movie theater, or just to treat yourself?
Here are 5 Candy Bars from the 1970s and 1980s that have come and gone:
1. Marathon Bar
This large candy bar was promoted as “Nobody eats a Marathon fast!” because of its size, which is where it got its name. The candy bar was so large for the time that the wrapper had a ruler on the inside. If the size didn’t grab your attention, the bright red wrapper did.
If only the Mars company knew what was coming for America – super sizes, Double Gulps, and upsizing would become such an American way of life that car manufacturers would have to double their cup holders.
What stood out to me growing up was not just the size of the candy bar, but its “Swiss cheese” look. It was a wavy bar of milk chocolate drizzled in caramel and had lots of holes in it. A sneaky way to save money?
Sadly the bar would lose its popularity and be discontinued in 1981.