A Whopper of a History

by Laurnie Wilson

Wonderful Whoppers

WhoppersNothing tastes quite like a Whopper. There’s just something about the whole malted milk situation that makes them a cut above the rest. These malted milk balls with their chocolate flavored coating have been pleasing the masses for a long time. But just how long exactly? Read on, because you’re about to find out!

The idea for malted milk balls originally began in England. In 1887, William Horlick created malted milk powder. At the time, he thought he would market it as a health food. Instead, the malted milk powder became a sweetener for everything under the sun. The idea to sweeten candy with malted milk came to fruition in 1936 when Forrest Malt created Malteasers, a malted milk center covered with chocolate. Sound familiar? 

A Whopping Name Change

Whopper BoxBut it took a few years for the same idea to hop across the pond. Whoppers in all of their malted chocolatey goodness were originally introduced in the U.S. as Giants. In 1939, the Overland Candy Company brought these little guys onto the scene.

10 years later, in 1949, Giants became Whoppers, the name that’s stuck with them ever since. But why the name change? To be honest, we’re not really sure! But we think it was for the better, as we’d rather have a mouthful of Whoppers than a mouthful of Giants. It’s a little more appealing, don’t you agree?

Whoppers for You and Me

Whopper AdOver the years, Whoppers changed hands numerous times. But they eventually ended up in the hands of the Hershey Foods Corporation in 1996. Now that always seems to be a good sign for a candy’s future. And it was! Hershey is still making these malted treats today.

Although these little guys used to be sold unwrapped—you could get two for a penny—when cellophane hit the scene, Whoppers were sold in cellophane sleeves. Then the milk-carton packaging came around in the 1950s and it’s been used ever since!

A Whopping Success

These days, Whoppers are a movie theater and snack time favorite. They come in three flavors—original chocolate, strawberry milkshake, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup—and still taste as distinctively delicious as they did back in 1939. So this summer, pick up a box or two or three of your favorite flavor of Whoppers. And when you do, remember that you’re tasting a little piece of history.



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