10 Things You Never Knew and Should Know About Reese's
Reese's may not be the world's top-selling candy, but it is the king of American candy. Reese's was founded by former Hershey employee H. B. Reese in 1923. Since 1928, people everywhere have been enjoying Reese's peanut butter and chocolate creation known as the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. But did you know these 10 facts about the confection they call "perfect?"
1. Reese's First Attempt at Candy was a Bust
Reese was originally in the dairy business and managed Hershey's "Round Barn." When the barn shut down in 1919, he decided to take a shot at starting his own candy company. Thus, the "R&R Candy Co." was born. Its main confections were chocolate-covered almonds and raisins. It never did have much success, though, and was soon out of business. This probably had something to do with the fact that people don't consider raisins to be candy.
2. Reese's Initial Success Came From Candy Bars named after his Kids
Reese went back to Hershey's after his company went bankrupt, but he continued to experiment with treats in his basement. Reese made the Lizzy Bar, a chocolate-covered caramel and shaved coconut candy bar named after his daughter, and the Johnny Bar, made with molasses and named after his son. These sweets were successful, so Reese quit Hershey's and founded the "H.B. Reese Candy Co.". We may never have had Reese's famous Peanut Butter Cups if it weren't for these two candy bars.
3. Reese's original name was "penny cups"
Penny candy, anyone? Reese's really were penny candy back in the day, costing only 1 cent in the 1930s.
4. Not Widely Publicized
When Reese's Peanut Butter Cups first hit shelves in 1928, there were no fancy, extravagant ads promoting their release, like you see above. In fact, they weren't even a freestanding product yet. The peanut butter cups came in five pound bags of assorted candies, which stores bought in bulk. It was only later that the cups became popular enough to sell on their own.
5. World War II was Instrumental in Reese's Success
Yes, you read that right. World War II actually helped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups become the world-renowned candy they are today. Both sugar and chocolate were rationed during the war, which made it tough for candy companies to keep up with the demand for sweets. Luckily for Reese's, peanut butter was never rationed, which lead Reese to use automated production when making his peanut butter cups. Reese's decided to scrap the rest of their candy, and devote all their efforts towards producing peanut butter cups. The rest is history.
6. Production Out the Wazoo
Every year, Reese's makes enough Peanut Butter Cups to feed one cup to everybody in the U.S., Africa, Europe, Japan, Australia, India and China. That's a lot of peanut butter.
7. Reese's Pieces almost didn't make an Appearance on the Big Screen
Remember that scene in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial where E.T. is snacking on Reese's Pieces? Well, Reese's was actually never supposed to make an appearance in the movie. Steven Spielberg wanted to use M&M's, but Mars declined the offer. Too bad. Mars got the short end of the stick on this one, and Hershey's came out on top. Sales of Reese's Pieces skyrocketed after their appearance on the big screen, and it's all thanks to a shy, little alien lured out of the shadows by a trail of peanut butter candy in a crunchy shell.
8. Reese's Oreos
Once upon a time, you could buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos. These Oreos had half Reese's peanut butter filling and half chocolate filling. Unfortunately, all you can find today are Oreos with regular peanut butter filling. These Oreos were limited edition, and are no longer available.
9. America's Favorite Halloween Candy
The Hershey Co. has taken America's Halloween candy market by storm in recent years, accounting for almost half of all customer expenditure on regular-size chocolate candies. Reese's is America's best-selling brand when it comes to snack-sized candies. From California to the New York Island, trick-or-treaters are always thrilled to receive Reese's on Halloween.
10. I Love Reese's Day is May 18th
Reese's has had its own holiday since 2010, when a Facebook petition to declare May 18th "I love Reese's Day" got over 40,000 signatures. Be sure to celebrate your favorite peanut butter treat on May 18th. What could be better than celebrating Reese's on a beautiful Spring day?
While Reese's are great on their own, they also go great with other desserts. Reese's are certainly not the only interesting confection out there. A simple Google search is bound to give you some pretty cool facts about your favorite foods.