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Cocoa Bean Baby Trademark, 1898-1968

Hershey Chocolate Company advertisement, 1898
Hershey Chocolate Company advertisement, 1898

Shortly after Milton Hershey started his chocolate company he began searching for a trademark design that would reflect the promise of his new business. The first logo that he used was an intertwined ‘H’, ‘C’, and ‘Co.’ Unfortunately, this monogram wasn’t very distinctive and it was soon replaced by a design that would represent the Hershey Chocolate for 70 years.

The Cocoa Bean Baby company trademark was introduced on August 1, 1898. The design reflected the newness and promise of the young company. The cocoa bean design reminded people that all the products produced by Hershey came from one main ingredient. The trademark was officially registered on June 26, 1906, for “chocolate, cocoa, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate coatings, chocolate liquors, and chocolate powder.” The trademark application stated the design featured “the representation of a portion of a vine bearing a broken cocoa-bean, with the head, arms and shoulders of an infant projecting therefrom holding a cup in one hand.”

The use of the company trademark was not limited to product packaging. The Cocoa Bean Baby appeared on stationery, invoices and salemen’s product lists, as well as on confectionery and grocery packaging. Until about 1910, two versions of the Cocoa Bean Baby were used concurrently. Confectionery bar products featured a Baby holding a bar of chocolate. Cocoa and baking products showed the Baby holding a cup of cocoa. The Baby holding a bar was phased out after 1910.

The design was modified over the years. Earliest versions of the Cocoa Bean Baby were in full color. Outline drawings were introduced when full color labels were discontinued. The Baby’s head and hair changed over the years as did the cocoa pod and vine. Sometimes the Baby was in outline form, as in a pen and ink drawing, other versions show a filled in design. At times the Baby’s cup changed to reflect a particular cocoa product. Fountain Cocoa labels featured the Baby holding a chemist’s beaker.

When a new Hershey Chocolate corporate headquarters was constructed in 1935, the Cocoa Bean Baby design was incorporated into design elements such as the door handle plates.

In 1968, the Cocoa Bean Baby was retired as the company’s official trademark when the company reorganized as Hershey Foods Corporation. A new trademark in the form of a modern stylized “H” was adopted to reflect the growth of the company from a single-line product company to a major diversified food company with a new name. This new trademark was registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1969.

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