I think the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (which is also known as “The Great American Chocolate Bar”) is an iconic American food. The Hershey Bar was the first mass produced chocolate bar in America, which represents the desire of Americans to have food, such as chocolate, quickly, where ever they are. With Hershey’s bars, you don’t have to go to a specialty candy store, you can essentially go to any store and they will have a Hershey bar. You can also eat a Hershey’s bar on the go; their convenient wrapper enables the eater to enjoy the chocolate if they are in a hurry, without getting their fingers dirty.
During WWII (and maybe still today, I’m not sure,) Hershey’s bars were included in the military rations that the soldiers overseas received. Also, during the Cold War, when the U.S. was dropping supplies in East Berlin, they included Hershey’s bars in with the rations. In this example, Hershey’s bars almost become a representation of America; they could represent democracy, freedom, and hope.
Additionally, today Hershey’s bars can be personalized for special occasions, such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings. This represents the idea of the individual in American society. Everyone can enjoy the same Hershey’s bar, but on a specific occasion, the bar represents a particular person or persons.
While looking for pictures of a Hershey’s bar, I stumbled upon this picture. It’s an old wrapper for the chocolate which says, “More Sustaining Than Meat.” I think that message could have appealed to new immigrants who were entering America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries (when Hershey’s chocolate was essentially created.) Since meat was and is more expensive than a chocolate bar, immigrants may have been persuaded to spend their money on chocolate if it was promised to be just as filling and nourishing as meat.