The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), known until April 2005 as the Hershey Foods Corporation and commonly called Hershey's, is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. Its headquarters are in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is also home to Hershey's Chocolate World. It was founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1894 as the Hershey Chocolate Company, a subsidiary of his Lancaster Caramel Company. Hershey's products are sold in about sixty countries worldwide. Hershey is one of the oldest chocolate companies in the United States, and an American icon for its chocolate bar. It is one of a group of companies established by Milton Hershey. Other companies include Hershey Trust Company, and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, which runs Hersheypark, a chocolate-themed amusement park, the Hershey Bears minor professional hockey team, Hersheypark Stadium and the Giant Center. Most of the employees for the factory come from the surrounding counties, towns, and boroughs, such as Lebanon County, Hummelstown, South Hanover, and Harrisburg. History
After completing an apprenticeship to a confectioner in 1873, Milton S. Hershey founded a candy shop in Philadelphia, which failed six years later. After trying unsuccessfully to manufacture candy in New York, Hershey returned to Pennsylvania, where he founded the Lancaster Caramel Company, whose use of fresh milk in caramels proved successful. In 1900, after seeing chocolate making machines for the first time, Hershey sold his caramel company for $1,000,000 (equal to $27,596,000 today) and began to concentrate on chocolate manufacturing. He stated to people who questioned him, "Caramels are just a fad, but chocolate is a permanent thing." In 1903, Hershey began construction of a chocolate plant in his hometown, Derry Church, Pennsylvania, which later came to be known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. The town was an inexpensive place for the workers and their families to live. Milton treated the people well and provided leisure activities to make sure the citizens enjoyed themselves. The milk chocolate bars manufactured at this plant proved successful, and the company grew rapidly. Milton built a milk-processing plant in the year 1896, so he could create and refine a recipe for milk chocolate candies. In 1899, three years later, he developed the Hershey process which is less sensitive to milk quality than traditional methods. Hershey Store located in the Falls Avenue Entertainment Complex in Niagara Falls, Canada. Hershey's Times Square Store, Times Square, New York City (2008), Hershey's Syrup, circa 1950s. In 1907, Hershey introduced a new candy, small flat-bottomed conical-shaped pieces of chocolate that he named "Hershey's Kiss". Initially they were individually wrapped by hand in squares of foil, and the introduction of machine wrapping in 1921 simplified the process while adding the small paper ribbon to the top of the package to indicate that it was a genuine Hershey product. Now, 80 million of the candies are produced each day. Other products introduced included Mr. Goodbar, containing peanuts in chocolate, in 1925, Hershey's Syrup in 1926, semi-sweet dark chocolate chips in 1928, and the Krackel bar containing crisped rice in 1938. Harry Burnett Reese worked at Hershey, beginning in 1917, as a dairyman for the Hershey Farms. In 1921 he went to work in the factory. By 1925, he had developed an assortment of candies which he was able to sell to department stores in Lancaster, advertised as "made in Hershey." In 1926 he built his own factory and then in 1941 with the wartime rationing of sugar, Reese focused all of his production resources on his own confectionery masterpiece, the peanut butter cup, which required less sugar than most other confections of the time. In 1956, Reese died, leaving the company to his six sons. In June 1963, Hershey Chocolate Corporation acquired Reese's company for $23.3 million at a time when Reese's sales were $14 million annually. Labor unrest came to...
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