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Chocolate Fun Facts and Trivia

Now how about some other fun facts and trivia about chocolate….

Ghirardelli (mentioned previously) was founded in San Francisco in 1852 and was the oldest family owned chocolate company in the United States.  Dominbro Ghirardelli came to California as part of the Gold Rush and decided the sure way to gold was to sell chocolate to the other miners. Ghirardelli Square is now a great place to visit while in San Francisco.  In the Ghirardelli ice cream store, they have some of the old chocolate equipment in the back.

Picture of Ghirardelli Square

In 1896, the recipe for Chocolate Brownies first appeared in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

The “Baby Ruth” candy bar was named for Ruth Cleveland – daughter of President Grover Cleveland by the Curtiss Candy Company of Philadelphia.

In the 1930’s, the original Three Musketeers Bar had three parts – Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry.  It was changed to all chocolate in the 1940’s and the formula hasn’t changed since.

The “I Love Lucy” famous chocolate scene was filmed at the See’s Candy Factory in Pasadena, CA.


One of the most famous product placements was Reese’s Pieces in the film ET in 1981.  Did you know that the Mars company originally agreed for M&M’s to be used in the film.  However, someone high up in the company looked at this project from a then unknown director (Steven Spielberg) about a friendly alien and the association with Mars and backed out.  Hershey’s was happy to jump in with Reese’s Pieces.  The movie was wildly successful and Hershey’s saw sales of Reese’s Pieces quadruple in 4 weeks.

Keebler and Procter and Gamble (Duncan Hines) fought an all out chocolate chip cookie battle.  Seems that Duncan Hines had filed a patent on a chewy chocolate chip cookie.  When all was said and done, Keebler paid P&G $129 Million and had to take their product off the market until the patent ran out.

Joseph Fry of England first added cocoa butter to the cocoa powder and sugar and ended up “inventing” the first solid chocolate.  Before this, hot water was usually added.

Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle were the first to add condensed milk to the chocolate creating Milk Chocolate in 1875.  Nestle still makes a lot of the stuff to this day!  Nestle had many other firsts as well.  In 1938, Nestle Crunch was introduced as the first chocolate bar adding crunchy crisps to create a new eating experience with differences in taste, texture and sound.  In 1939, Nestle introduced the Chocolate Chip.

In 1960, chocolate syrup was used to simulate blood in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho.”  Since it was in black and white, the color didn’t matter.  That short scene took 7 days to shoot.

In 1907, the Hershey Kiss was introduced.  Hershey produces around 20-25 million kisses per day in a variety of flavors.  Now, in Hershey Pennsylvania, the street lights are shaped like Hershey kisses.

Street light in Hershey PA

Chocolate producers consume 40% of the world’s almond supply and 20% of the world’s peanut supply.

Now some bad news – the price of chocolate appears to be heading up.  Right now, about 30% of the world’s cacao bean supply comes from the Ivory Coast in Africa.  Due to political turmoil there, a 30 shipment ban was announced in late January.  So far, this has only minimally affected the short-term price of Cacao, but with increasing prices of sugar and other raw materials as well as fuel and the cost of shipping, it is only a matter of time before prices of chocolate begin heading up as well.

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