Chocolate Bars: The History of the Treat We Take for Granted

Although it is easy to purchase chocolate nowadays, there was a time when the enjoyment of chocolate was limited to the wealthy.

The history of chocolate dates back as 1000 BC, although chocolate would be used in different ways, including medicinal and ritualistic.

After being introduced to Europe in the 1500s, chocolate would be enjoyed in various forms, but would often be in beverage form.

The chocolate would be sweetened using cinnamon or sugar, and would be associated with power and wealth, a tradition that would remain until the late 1800s.

Innovation Allows Everyone to Enjoy the Taste of Chocolate

Despite the association established between chocolate and wealth, an innovation made by Joseph Fry in 1847 meant the way chocolate was experienced was changed forever.

Fry has found an innovative way of mixing cocoa powder, sugar and cocoa that formed a solid bar of chocolate. It was not long before mass-produced chocolate bars could be enjoyed by all, and various different iterations would be released over the following years.

Fry’s would also release the Fry’s Chocolate Crème Sticks in 1853, which was the first inception of filled chocolate bars, and would eventually lead to the creation of the iconic Fry’s Chocolate Crème Bar, a chocolate bar that remains just as popular today.

Another historic innovation led by Fry’s was the introduction of the first Easter Egg in 1873, and Fry’s Turkish Delight in 1914.

However, it was not only J S Fry & Sons enjoying the new popularity of chocolate bars, and other confectioners would make further innovations in the industry.

Switzerland Puts Its Own Spin on Chocolate Bars

Although there had been significant innovation offered by J S Fry & Sons, the creation of milk chocolate would also be another method that remained integral to creating delicious bars of chocolate. Milk chocolate was created by the Swizz entrepreneur and chocolatier, Daniel Peter.

The concept itself had been produced by Henri Nestle, a name that would become synonymous in the world of chocolate.

Another Swizz chocolatier improved the process further with the invention of the conchae. Rodolphe Lindt is another name that chocolate fans will recognise, and the advancements made by the chocolatier can still be enjoyed today.

Daniel Peter would also unveil his own iteration of milk chocolate after spending several years refining the original process, and would call his brand ‘Gala Peter, an amalgamation of Daniel’s name and the Swizz ‘gala’ meaning milk.

With so many Swizz chocolatiers creating innovations in the way chocolate is processed, it should come as no surprise that Switzerland was a dominant force in the world of chocolate.

Chocolate Is Introduced to the UK Following the Success of Swiss Chocolate

The name Cadbury’s is recognised as one of the leading brands in chocolate manufacturing, but their first chocolate bar released in 1897 was often regarded as an inferior version of what was available in Switzerland.

In 1905 Cadbury’s introduced the Dairy Milk, an improved bar of chocolate that took advantage of the advancements made in Switzerland. By 1920. The Dairy Milk was the bestselling chocolate in the United Kingdom.

Other Countries Follow Suit and Cater to the Demand for Quality Chocolate

The success of Switzerland in the creation of delicious chocolate spurred many other countries to enjoy chocolate in a new and affordable way.

Although Cadbury’s was the dominating confectionary company in the United Kingdom, it was Milton Hershey that introduced milk chocolate stateside, in the form of the Hershey Bar. The iconic chocolate bar was first developed in 1900 in Pennsylvania but was sold across the United States by 1906.

In 1910, Canada would make its entry into the world of confectionery with chocolate made using milk acquired from Jersey cows, whereas Brussels would see the creation of chocolate rise dramatically between the 1870s and 1920s, leading it to become just as popular as Switzerland regarding chocolate.

The Success of Milk Chocolate Presents Confectionary in New and Exciting Ways

The dominance of chocolate during the early stages of the 20th century could not be denied, but as the 1960s drew in, many found companies were offering chocolate in new guises. For example, in the 1960s, Cadbury’s would introduce the Crème Egg and Chocolate Buttons.

This is a trend that continues through to the modern day, but there are times when people are keen to find chocolate no longer available in the high street, as well as experience chocolate from other parts of the world.

In the past, this could have been an expensive and time-consuming endeavour, but this is no longer the case thanks to the birth of the Internet.

Rather than visiting the high street and hoping for the best, chocoholics can now visit a store including SoSweet and choose from a wide section of treats that remind you of the past, as well as offering options from all over the world for those who want to try something new. 


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