Candy experts and historians agree that there are some candy bars that have had a bigger impact on the chocolate bar industry than others. Take a look at the most influential candy bars of all time, compiled by Time.com.
12. Wonka Bar
After the success of the iconic1964 Roald Dahl novel, the Quaker Oats Company decided to make the Wonka Bar a reality. This marked the first time a fictional candy bar had come to life.
11. Milky Way
This was the first to take inspiration from an actual dessert: the milky way malted milkshake. Decades later, that same gimmick would spawn products like PowerBar’s Dulce de Leche-flavored snack and Kit Kat’s Strawberry Cheesecake bar in Japan.
10. Baby Ruth
Launched in 1921, its makers claimed it was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter Ruth (who had died 17 years earlier at the age of 12). But at that time, the more obvious association was with new Yankees star Babe Ruth, making this the first candy bar to profit from the success of a public figure.
9. Nestle Crunch
Prior to this bar’s introduction in 1937, candy-bar fillings were somewhat rich: nuts, caramel, etc. By using dirt-cheap puffed rice, however, Nestle helped mainstream the notion that candy could be almost anything you put into chocolate.
8. Cadbury Milk Chocolate
The Cadbury family’s legendary factory village in Birmingham, England—where these bars were created in 1897—helped inspire Milton S. Hershey’s own facility in Pennsylvania.
7. Scharffen Berger
The world’s first widely distributed “artisanal” chocolate bar was acquired by Hershey in 2005 and set the stage for the artisanal chocolate bar movement.
6. Grenada Chocolate
Grenada Chocolate, founded in 1999, is unique because its cocoa beans are grown and processed into bars entirely within its home country, helping boost the economy and providing employment for locals.
5. Chicken Dinner
Making it's debut in 1923, Chicken Dinner was the first chocolate bar to be marketed as nutritious; advertisements touted the nut-packed treats as “candy made good.” Its success helped pave the way for the power bar industry.
More than 80 years after its launch in 1930, this Mars bar is world’s best-selling international candy bar. Its star-studded ad campaign “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” helped sales hit around $3.5 billion in 2012, outpacing M&Ms, Reeses and Kit Kat.
The iconic triangular prism of chocolate, nougat, almonds and honey, which debuted in 1908, was the first flagship bar to debut with a filling, upending the traditional model.
2. Hershey's Milk Chocolate
Nestlé may have invented milk chocolate, but Hershey’s made it mainstream.
1. Kit Kat
The first candy bar to be marketed around sharing, which helped turn chocolate into a social snack, Kit Kat was also the first to gain a global following. The wafer-filled Kit Kats launched in both Europe and the U.S. before entering Australia, Asia and Africa—paving the way for other blockbuster bars like Snickers and Butterfinger.
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