Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate and shower the ones we love with our affection…and of course, eat candy! Candy has become one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts. Each year, thousands of people give candies to their sweethearts. But where did it begin for some of the world’s favorite sugary treats? Here’s the history of Valentine’s Day candy:
Sweethearts Candy Hearts: In 1866, Daniel Chase developed a machine that could press food dye letters onto the candy lozenges made famous by his brother, New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) founder Oliver Chase. The candy gained popularity and soon became a favorite treat at weddings. In 1902, the candy hearts evolved into the ones we know today and continue to be made every year from late February to mid-January. During that time, around eight billion – 100,000 pounds – of candy hearts are made, and the entire amount is sold out within six weeks. To this day, Sweethearts are the best-selling Valentine’s Day candy.
Hershey Kisses: First introduced in 1907, it is not known exactly how the kisses got their name. But one theory suggests they were named for the kissing sound the chocolate made while being deposited on the manufacturing line. It wasn’t until 1962 that Hershey Kisses were first wrapped in red and green foil to celebrate Christmas. Today, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, kisses are wrapped in red foil.
Heart-Shaped Boxes of Chocolates: Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, created ‘fancy’ boxes of chocolates to increase sales. He used drawings of his family and Alpine scenes to decorate them. In 1861, he created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. The popularity of the boxes has only grown over the years. Each year, over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold around the world.
Whether you decide to go out or stay in this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to enjoy a sweet treat! What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day candy?