Hershey Kisses have been used to celebrate Valentine’s Day in America for over 100 years. (Photo submitted)
There is something unique about American ingenuity. Only in America can a drop of chocolate wrapped in colorful foil with its tiny signature plume be developed and marketed successfully for a 100 years.
In 1907, the same year Oklahoma was admitted to the union, the famed actress, Katherine Hepburn was born, and the year of the first Boy’s Scout Camp, Milton S. Hershey, introduced the famed chocolate drop to the Hershey product line.
Hershey's Kisses Chocolates is a product with world-wide appeal. Since its beginning, the quality and value of the bite-sized chocolate has endured. Hershey's Kisses are as popular today as when they first appeared. While it’s not known exactly how KISSES got their name, it is a popular theory that the candy got its name for the sound or motion of the chocolate being deposited during the manufacturing process.
Prior to the KISS, Hershey had a molded product called SWEETHEART. It was conical and had a kiss imprint on its base. When Milton Hershey introduced his famous confection in 1907, kisses were mass-produced on machinery that could accurately extrude chocolate at a precise temperature and amount, and then properly cool it.
At first, Kisses were hand-wrapped with foil and included a square of tissue paper that identified it as a Hershey's product. Since the buyer could not see that identification until after the Kiss was unwrapped, it encouraged many imitations. To counteract this market invasion, Hershey Chocolate Company developed wrapping machinery that could insert a visual product marker, the plume, in August 1921. The basic shape, size and configuration of Kisses, with their foil wrap, were made official trademarks of the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1923. Before the trademark, the word "kiss" had been a common confectionery term used for a variety of candies.
Kiss production was halted during World War II because the Kisses' foil wrap was rationed for use in the war effort. For the same reason, Hershey began using glassine paper as an inner wrap on Milk Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with almond bars instead of foil. The production of Hershey's Kisses Chocolates resumed in 1948.
During the company's early years many items similar to Kisses were also produced. The predecessor of the famous morsel was a molded product called Sweetheart. It was conical and had a heart imprinted on its base. Produced concurrently with the Kiss were Silverpoints, Silver Tops and Liberty Bells. They all had a relatively short life-span, and the Kisses remained Hershey's primary line.
The popularity of Kisses has led to many line extensions. Semi-sweet chocolate Kisses, wrapped in gold foil, were introduced in 1972, but were soon discontinued. The gold foil wrap was reintroduced with the introduction of Kisses with Almonds in 1990. Hershey's Hugs and Hugs with Almonds, miniature Kisses covered in white chocolate, were launched in 1993. More recently dark chocolate Kisses and Caramel Kisses have been added to the Kisses line.
You only need to look down Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, Pa., to realize the importance of Kisses in the company's history. Since 1963 visitors and residents alike have marveled at the streetlights designed to resemble wrapped and unwrapped Kisses. Hershey's streets may not be paved with gold, or even chocolate for that matter, but Kisses continue to light the way.
Milton S. Hershey became passionate about candy making as a teenager. In 1876 at the age of 18, he opened a candy shop in Philadelphia. All the while, Milton was convinced that chocolates could be produced and marketed to a wider market. In 1886, only 10 years later, he began to see his dreams come to fruition with the opening of the Lancaster Carmel Co.
In 1893, after attending the Chicago International Exposition and purchasing some German chocolate-making machinery, Milton began mass producing chocolate-coated caramels. The Hershey Company was formed in 1894 with a complete product line that produced chocolate caramels, breakfast cocoa, sweet chocolate and baking cocoa.
For generations, Hershey products have been synonymous with quality chocolate products throughout the country and the world. Hershey’s unique chocolate formula, ingenuity and zealous entrepreneurship developed the world’s largest and most famous chocolate factory, the Hershey Company.
Today, the Hershey Company is the nation’s leading manufacturer of confectioner products. With dogged persistence and the courage to pursue a dream, Milton S. Hershey, son of a Pennsylvania farmer, made one of the great American fortunes.
What is your dream? What is your passion? Do you have the fortitude and persistence of Milton S. Hershey? Will you let your dream pass and die through the annals of time without taking the challenge?
Having aspirations and dreams inspires and nurtures us, but all too often we find that we can't seem hold onto them. Fulfilling those dreams seems impossible. Don’t let any of the naysayers tarnish your dreaming or your creative pursuits.
What gets in the way of following our dreams has puzzled folks for thousands of years. Perhaps there is an unwillingness to really try to get a hold of them. Maybe there is a fear of failure? Maybe even a fear of success and even doubt that anything good will come of it? Maybe your conviction is that there's no point in having dreams because they will never come true anyway.
You can follow your dreams with a “can-do attitude.” Fulfilled dreams come in “can’s” not "cant’s." By being mindful of all those dreams and by being open to whatever God has in store for you will help you focus on what it is you want to achieve or experience.
Perhaps you need confidence in your ability to learn something new, courage to make that decision, and belief that you will succeed.
God wants you to discover all that He has planned for you now. You have what you need by simply realizing that dream. Just imagine for a while how it feels.
Remember this: He would not have given you the dream if He was not going to give you the tools to fulfill it. That is God’s job. Nevertheless, He will not do your job — that is to believe. It is impossible to accomplish a dream without believing in it.
Only you, with God’s help, can turn those dreams into reality. Somehow those dreams are woven into His unique plan and purpose which is far greater than your own fulfillment, peace of mind or ambitions. His dreams become your dreams. The fulfillment of those dreams will lead you into a closer relationship with the God of the universe.
Now more than ever, it is time you started chasing some of those dreams? You will not be disappointed because your dreams originated in heaven.