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It is officially known as the Hershey Foods Corporation and often referred to as Hershey's. It is the largest manufacturer of chocolate in North America. Hershey's company's corporate headquarters is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey. It is one of the oldest chocolate manufacturing companies in the United States. Chocolate products from the company are sold in more than sixty countries around the world. The Hershey's chocolate bar is considered by many people to be an American icon. The company also created Chocolate World for people to learn about the chocolate making process and more. There are Chocolate World locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, Niagara Falls, Canada, Shanghai, China, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Milton S. Hershey (1857 - 1945)
The Hershey family were members of the Pennsylvania Mennonite community. While growing up, Hershey spoke Pennsylvania Dutch and worked on his family's farm. Because of having a father who was prone to leave his family, Hershey did not have any education beyond the 4th grade. He was apprenticed to a local printer in 1871. Hershey was very unhappy with this type of work. His mother then had Hershey apprenticed a Lancaster County confectioner who was named Joseph Royer. Hershey was 14 years old at the time. The young Hershey worked very hard to learn everything about the craft of making confections. Philadelphia is where he moved to in 1876. Hershey's goal was to have a confectionery business ready for the 1876 Centennial Exposition. With financing provided by his family, he was able to open the business. It lasted for six years before it went into bankruptcy in 1882. He then traveled around working at confectioners and learned how to make camels. Hershey then started another confectionery business that operated for three years and had to close in 1886. He was able to see chocolate-making machines in 1900, and that gave him an idea. Hershey decided to focus his business aspirations on chocolate manufacturing. The construction of the first Hershey's chocolate plant was constructed in 1903 in Derry Church, Pennsylvania. The town would eventually change its name to Hershey, Pennsylvania. The “Hershey's Kiss” was introduced in 1907. They were initially wrapped by hand until a machine did the job starting in 1921. The small paper ribbon at the top was proof it was an authentic Hershey product. Today, the Hershey chocolate operation creates millions of chocolate candies each day. Their products include the Hershey's Kiss, Hershey chocolate bar, Mr Goodbar, Hershey's Syrup, chocolate chips, the Krackel bar and more.
Harry Burnett Reese (1879 - 1956)
Reese began working at the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1917. He was a dairyman at Hershey Farms. Reese began working at the chocolate factory in 1921. He started selling candies to department stores in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Reese built his own candy factory in 1926. When World War II occurred, there was rationing of sugar. At this time, Reese began to put production resources toward his own candy invention called the peanut butter cup. It required less sugar to manufacture. In time, the candy came to be known as the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The Hershey Chocolate Corporation obtained the Reese's Company in 1963. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the fourth highest purchase candy around the world. The H.B. Reese Candy Company also manufactures the Kit Kat candy bar. Annual sales of this candy bar alone are over $940 million annually.
Chocolate Manufacturing Plants
The first Hershey chocolate manufacturing plant outside Pennsylvania opened in 1963 in Ontario, Canada. Two additional plants opened in the country and by 1965 there were three Hershey chocolate manufacturing plants in Canada. A plant was opened in 2002 in Sao Roque, Brazil. There is also a plant in Guadalajara, Mexico. Hershey chocolate manufacturing plants are also located in Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois.
When people who love chocolate want to see where it is manufactured, they may want to visit Hershey's Chocolate World. The original one is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is an entertainment complex that includes the Hershey Museum, Hersheypark Stadium, Hersheypark and more. Hershey's Chocolate World was created as a way to replace the former tour of the Hershey chocolate plant. The tour was very popular and could no longer provide a good experience for the huge number of visitors going to the chocolate plant every year.
Singing Animatronic Cows
One of the tours starts with people being met by three singing animatronic cows known as Olympia, Gabby, and Harmony. A simulation is used to show people the process used to make chocolate. When the tour is finished, people are offered a free sample of a Hershey chocolate product. A photo of those on the ride is available for purchase at the tour's conclusion.
Creation Of A Personal Candy Bar
This tour provides people of any age with a special chocolate factory experience. Individuals on this tour are able to wear an apron and hair-net when they go into an area that appears to be a chocolate manufacturing line. People are able to decide on a variety of ingredients to be included in their personal chocolate bar. Once the candy bar is created, it will travel down an assembly line. Individuals will have the opportunity to design and personalize the package that will contain their candy bar creation.
This old-fashioned trolley is fern green and can be seen going down the streets of Hershey. This feature of Hersheypark began in 1988. It has conductors who sing and provide a fun trip around Hershey. Historical and cultural places are pointed out during the tour. This is a paid tour that leaves from Chocolate World regularly during the day.
Chocolate Tasting Group Experience
During this tour, people learn the art of tasting chocolate. Tour guides are known as Chocolatier guides. There is an interactive discussion about various aspects of chocolate. People have an opportunity to try a number of different types of chocolate. Samples will range from robust dark to creamy milk chocolate and more. Everyone who goes on this tour will receive a gift.
Great Chocolate Factory
This is a show at Hershey and is the result of collaborative efforts between Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the Hershey Company, and the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio..The Great Chocolate Factory show provides attendees with an interactive experience that involves Hershey product characters. There are different versions of the story people can see during various performances.
Shops And Restaurants At Hershey Chocolate World
Visitors are able to visit a number of different shops selling Hershey chocolate and souvenirs. There are a number of places people can get meals. The main candy store in Chocolate World is one of the largest in the world. People who visit here are able to purchase unique chocolate items, not in wide distribution. There are also a number of products from premium chocolate brands offered for sale.
Visitor Contact Information
251 Park Blvd
Hershey, PA 17033
Location Of Chocolate World
Readmikenow (author) on September 03, 2015:
Blond Logic I'm glad you liked it. I have also been eating their chocolate all my life.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on September 02, 2015:
I have been eating their products all my life and I think this is the first time I have seen a photo of Hershey and Reese! It is a fascinating history of the chocolate.
I live in Brazil and have only recently started seeing Reeses peanut butter cups appear in the shops here. Perhaps they are more popular in the Southern states of Brazil.
When I moved to the UK, many years ago, Hershey and Reeses weren't widely available like they are now. When I had visitors from the US, they would fill their suitcases with chocolate for me.
Thanks for an interesting hub about an iconic American company.