HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Sept. 13 is Milton Hershey’s birthday and is considered National Chocolate Day.
Hershey’s is known for their famous Hershey bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and the famous Hershey Kiss. But how did those little Kisses get their start?
Hershey’s Kisses came to be in 1907. The candy was mass-produced on machines that could currently place chocolate at the precise temperature and amount, and then be able to cool it.
When it comes to the name of the candy, the Hershey Archives say that no one really knows for sure who came up with the name. Some say that could have been coined from the sound the chocolate machine made when the chocolate came out of it. Others say that the word ‘kiss’ was a common confectionary term at the time to refer to a small piece of candy. Milton Hershey filed a trademark for Hershey’s Kisses back in 1921.
During the early days of their production, the confection was hand-wrapped in foil, and inside was a small piece of paper that identified it as a Hershey product. This was changed when competitors started duplicating the product.
Hershey Community Archives says that to combat this, the Hershey Company created a wrapping machine that could insert a visual product marker into the wrapper around 1921. This was when the little ‘plume’ on each Kiss was born. The company then got a registered trademark that would protect the wrapper.
Production of the candy was stopped due to foil rations due to World War II. But in 1949, production of Kisses resumed. The first seasonal packaging made its debut in 1923 for the Christmas season. This was followed by Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day packaging, which the latter debuted in the 1950s.
It was not until 1962 that the Kisses foil began to change their color. This began with red, green, and silver for christmas in 1962, pastels for Easter in 1968, pink and silver for Valentine’s Day in 1986, and gold, orange, and brown in 1991.
Beyond the chocolate, The Hershey’s Kiss has made an impact on the surrounding area. The street lights in Downtown Hershey were made to look like Hershey’s Kisses. Then in 1975, the famous Kissing Tower in Hersheypark made its debut. The attraction features windows in the shape of the iconic candy.
Kisses have been around for 116 years and have played a large role in the candy world. And surely these delicious treats will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.