The origin of Milk DudsThursday, July 2nd, 2009 by Jon
Having spent my life surrounded by candy, I have to admit that I am a fan of the history of the many products that we sell. New candies are introduced regularly yet few survive long enough to make it to the shelves let alone qualify for having a history.
I stumbled across the curious origins of Milk Duds which I thought readers would enjoy. Little do many realize that this candy was, in some regards, a fortuitous mistake.
In 1928, the defunct F.Hoffman and Co., of Chicago, one of the original inventors of chocolate covered caramels was purchased by an entrepreneur named Milton J.Holloway who had an idea to create a round piece of candy which was nothing more than caramel enrobed with high quality milk chocolate.
Despite numerous tries and due to manufacturing limitations, it was impossible to create a round candy and thus all of their tries produced nothing except irregular shaped pieces that they called “duds.”
Despite best intentions, they were never able to produce their dream BUT they realized that the product was delicious nevertheless….
Fast forward sixty eight years and Hershey Chocolates took ownership of this brand from Leaf Confections and changed the formula from cocoa butter to a “lesser priced oil substitute” and therefore it is no longer, technically, a milk chocolate based product.
Despite changes of ownership, a formula change and 84 years of trial and error, Milk Duds remain one of the best selling candies in the world, a personal favorite ,and a historic candy icon .
Lest I forget, we were one of the first candy wholesalers in the nation to offer this oh so irregular yet oh so good candy long before it was considered retro…