Wonder Contributors

A big Wonderopolis “Thanks!” goes out to Jennifer from Oklahoma for suggesting we revisit today’s sweet Wonder of the Day!

Do you like to go trick-or-treating at Halloween? Of course! Who doesn’t? It’s so much fun to dress up as a clown, a superhero, a ghoul, or a tiger and parade around the neighborhood, begging for sweet treats from your friends and neighbors.

When you get home, you probably head straight to the kitchen to dump your bag of goodies on the table to inspect your haul. Amongst the apples, pencils, and pennies, a wide variety of sweet treats in colorful packages capture your attention. Your eyes quickly scan for those sweetest of treats craved more than any other. What are we talking about? Candy bars!

Candy bars have been a favorite snack of people around the world for over a century. If you’ve ever stood in line at the grocery store waiting to check out, you’re well aware of the wide variety of candy bars available today. Combining chocolate with a host of other tasty ingredients, there seems to be a candy bar for every taste.

Who first came up with the fantastic idea of forming chocolate into an easy-to-eat bar? Historians believe the candy bar dates all the way back to 1847. It was in that year in Great Britain when Joseph Fry and his son first pressed a paste made up of cocoa powder and sugar into a bar shape.

Before that time, chocolate had mainly been used to make sweet drinks. Fry’s bar-shaped chocolate treat was so handy and portable that people soon began to think of chocolate as a food rather than a drink.

Two years later, John Cadbury developed his own unique brand of chocolate bar. Fry and Cadbury eventually joined forces to become famous candy bar confectioners. Their earliest bars probably didn’t taste like the ones you’re familiar with.

The earliest chocolate candy bars were mainly made with bittersweet chocolate that wasn’t nearly as sweet as today’s candy bars. Smoother, creamier, and sweeter milk chocolate bars were first created when Henry Nestle and Daniel Peter began adding milk to the traditional chocolate mixture in 1875.

In the United States, chocolate candy bars became especially popular during and after World War I. During the war, the U.S. government bought large quantities of chocolate to produce candy bars for troops fighting overseas.

Upon their return, soldiers who had become fond of candy bars helped to introduce them to their family and friends back home. The popularity of candy bars took off. It wasn’t long before a wide variety of candy bars was available with all sorts of added ingredients, such as cherries, nuts, marshmallows, caramel, nougat, and toffee.

Some experts believe that there have been tens of thousands of different kinds of candy bars developed over the last century. Some of the most popular candy bars over history include the traditional chocolate Hershey bar, Snickers, Kit Kat, Butterfinger, Milky Way, and Baby Ruth.

Today, candy bars remain a very popular sweet treat for kids and adults of all ages. In addition to a standalone snack, many candy bars have also become popular ingredients in other desserts. Have you ever added candy bar pieces to your ice cream creations?

Candy bars are undeniably delicious, but they’re not necessarily the healthiest snack. Doctors and dentists will tell you they hold very little nutritional value and are high in both fat and calories. While you might want to treat yourself to a candy bar every once in a while, it’s probably best not to make them a regular part of your diet!

38 Join the Discussion

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    • Hi, Raymond! We’re so happy that you enjoy Wonderopolis! We’re also happy to have you as a Wonder Friend! :-)

    • We understand what you are saying about too much chocolate not being a good thing, Jenny! A little bit once in a while is ok, though! We think Mr. Wonka would agree! :-)

    • He’s quite the chef, isn’t he, Kaley? Thank you for visiting so many Wonders today and leaving us such great messages! :-)

    • We’re not sure, Charlotte, but he’s a very good chef! Maybe he just really likes making recipes and asked his parents to videotape him creating those yummy muffins so he could share his recipe with others. Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today! :-)

  1. Sorry for commenting so much but WE LOVE CANDY!!!!! Gabbie loves cheesecake, I love paydays, and Tatums LOVES pixysticks. If you have an article on any of those can you tell us? Thanks!
    Gabbie, Haley, and Tatum

  2. I thought that this wonder was spectacular. I have a personal sugar craving and this wonder got my sweet tooth going. My dream candy bar would have whipped chocolate with vanilla bits and strawberry chunks in it. I think that Wonder 913 will be about generics.

    • HOORAY, Colin! We’re so glad you’re visiting us here at Wonderopolis today! Welcome back! :)

      We are glad to hear your sweet tooth has been doing the talking today– your imagination and your taste buds are connected! :) Our mouths are watering at that thought of your vanilla-strawberry-chocolate candy bar! Y-U-M!

      Thank you for sharing your awesome prediction for tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day®! :)

    • We are so thrilled that you love this video, Olivia! What would your perfect candy bar taste like? Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

    • Hi, Emily! Everyone has different beliefs and we appreciate you sharing this with our WONDER friends. Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

    • Hi, Will! It would be fun to make your own candy bar. We WONDER if you have ever tried to do make one. Thanks for visiting WONDERopolis! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Who invented the candy bar?
  • How long have candy bars been around?
  • When did candy bars become popular in the United States?

Wonder Gallery

shutterstock_60709186.cxVimeo Video

Try It Out

Did today’s Wonder of the Day make you hungry? If so, take a bite out of the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • Today’s activities require some imagination and creativity. But before diving into the other activities, it will help you to have a better understanding of what already exists in the world of candy bars. So take a field trip with an adult friend or family member to a grocery store or a specialty candy store. Browse the aisles, looking at all the different kinds of candy bars available today. How many different kinds do you see? Which ones have you tried in the past? If you can, purchase a few bars to sample on the ride home!
  • Do you have the imagination and creativity it takes to create a new candy bar? Forget all you know about the basic candy bar — we want you to create an edible work of art! The first step is to craft your recipe. Turn to the web if you need inspiration for creating your own chocolate bar. This website lets you browse all sorts of mix-ins to add a little flair to your candy bar. The mix-ins range from common goodies such as nuts and cookie bits to the extraordinarily strange — including bacon! So what will it be? A dark chocolate bar with dried strawberries and candied rose petals? Or a white chocolate bar sprinkled with sesame seeds and pretzels? The world is your candy store! Let your imagination and taste buds be your guide.
  • Up for a challenge? Once you have developed your new candy bar recipe, it’s time to design an advertisement for your creation. Using crayons, markers, colored pencils, or even your computer, give your new product its own special look. What will you name your product? What colors, shapes, and images represent your candy bar? Think about what kind of packaging catches your eye at the grocery store. Don’t forget to include a list of the ingredients! Be sure to share your advertisement with your friends and family members. What do they think? Would they buy your candy bar?

Still Wondering

Check out Science NetLinks’ A Question of Temperature activity, which shows children how temperature plays an important role in melting and cooling chocolate.

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