A History of Candy


Invention of Egyptian Candy

Approx. 2000 BC

Recipe from 1600 BC:


1 cup of fresh dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seed
1/2 cup of fresh ground walnuts
warm honey
fine ground almonds


mix the dates with some water to paste.
mix in cinnamon and kardemon seeds.
kneed in the walnuts.
form balls, spread with honey and cover in the ground almonds.


Approx. 250

The Indians were the first to make sugar candy about 250 A.D.

Medicinal Uses

Approx. 500

As civilization began to develop and when sugar processing was discovered it became a highly traded commodity.

During the middle Ages, sugar candy came at a high price which made it a delicacy available only to wealthy. During the same period sugar was classed as a drug that was regarded as the cure for many ailments and was sold by the apothecaries. intended to have a therapeutic or at least preventative function, as an aid to digestive troubles due to the excessive intake of food which was neither very fresh nor very well balanced.



By the 950 A.D Arabs had invented caramel, which was originally used for hair. They built the first sugar refinery in the world.

Sugar Beet

Approx. 1800

During the early nineteenth century, after the discovery of the ''sugar beet'' and the advancement of the mechanical age sweet-making developed rapidly into an industry and an assortment of flavors began to be introduced into the candy mixture. Since sweets no longer handmade and started to be mass-produced, they were available for the first time to all people. The very first sweets were boiled sweets, marshmallows and Turkish delight. Also at this time, hard candies, such as peppermints and lemon drops became hugely popular in America. England was the first country to manufacture hard candies in large quantities, and at 1851 London Prince Albert's Great Exhibition, a large assortments of boiled sweets, bonbons, chocolate creams, caramels and many others types of candy were represented to European and American confectioners.

Candy becomes acessible to the masses

Approx. 1800

In the seventeenth century, as sugar became a little more available, people in England and in America ate boiled sugar candies mixed with fruit and nuts. Caramels and lollipops were known in the early eighteen century. By the mid-1800s over 380 factories was built in the United States to manufacture candy. Most of them were producing individual hard candies which were then sold loose. First chocolate factory in the United States was established in 1765.

Cocoa & Penny Candy

Approx. 1800

Cocoa powder was made in 1828 but chocolate became mass produced and widely available in the middle of the nineteenth century when it was introduced into the candy industry as both cocoa and sugar production rose to new heights. In the beginning the chocolate was made of a bittersweet chocolate. The first candy bar for the mass market was created by Joseph Fry in 1847. In 1854 the first packaged box of Whitman's chocolates was introduced. Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine's Day box of candy in 1868.

David Peter and Henry Nestle from Switzerland created the first milk chocolate in 1876 which made the American candy bar such a phenomenon of the late nineteenth century.

Today many different sorts of other ingredients are added to the chocolate bar. The popular Halloween candy, Candy Corn, was invented by George Renninger in 1880.

1848 John Curtis produces the first branded chewing gum, made from tree sap, called The State of Maine Spruce Gum

1894 Milton Hershey creates what is known as the first "American" candy bar, although his famous Milk Chocolate Bar won’t be invented for a few more years

"A significant moment in candy history occurred at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, where "French-style" candies with rich cream centers were first displayed. These caught on immediately in America, and within a few years there were more than 380 candy factories in the United States, many turning out candy that cost one cent (called "penny candy"), a price that extended well into the twentieth century. Most of these candies were sold in batches or by the pound and displayed behind glass cases."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 54)

"Penny candies, the first goods children spent their own money on, were also the first confections to reach a mass audience in America. By the late 1830s sugar's increasing availability and decreasing price enabled confectioners to profitabaly produce sugary drops without the medicine typically found in druggists' stocks. Unlike exclusive confections marketed to elite adults, these "penny candies," often sold ten to a dozen for a penny, were aimed at the palates of working-class children, for whom a penny was in reach. By the early 1850s individual candy men could readily obtain the machinery and raw materials necessary to profit from making batches of candy in greater quantities. ..Penny candies introduced nineteeth-century children to the world of consumption by teaching them to how to be good consumers.

Modern Candy

Approx. 1900

Lolly Pop Invented by: George Smith in 1908

1906 Spangler Manufacturing Company, know now as Spangler Candy, is created. The company got its start manufacturing baking soda products, but added candy to their repertoire in 190

1906 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses appear in the iconic silver foil wrapping and a town in Pennsylvania called Derry Church changes its name to Hershey. The original Hershey's Kisses were called Silvertops and sold as individual units

1920 Williamson Candy Co., introduces the Oh Henry! Bar 1921 Chuckles, colorful, sugared jelly candies, hit the scene

1922 H.B. Reese makes the first peanut butter candy coated with Hershey's Milk Chocolate, which we now know as the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

1923 Mars introduces the Milky Way Candy Bar, designed to taste like malted milk. It’s one of the first candies with a nougat center

1930 M&M Mars introduces the Snickers Bar, named after the Mars family’s beloved horse

1949 Junior Mints are introduced

1954 Just Born introduces Marshmallow Peeps in the shape of Easter chicks

1963 SweeTarts hit the market

1970 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups become so popular that the Hershey Food Corporation doubles its production in order to meet worldwide demand

1978 Because of the massive success of Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s introduces Reese's Pieces

1980 Herman Goelitz Company introduces the first American-made gummi bears and gummi worms, which up to now had been imported from Europe

1990 Hershey sends 144,000 heat-resistant candy bars to soldiers in the Gulf War. The formula is identical to what they sent to soldiers in WWII

1991 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups continue to be a worldwide best-seller and the recipe is improved with three times the amount of peanuts