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Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar

Mr. Goodbar advertisement, ca. 1955
Mr. Goodbar advertisement, ca. 1955

Introduced in 1925, Mr. Goodbar was Hershey’s first new bar in almost twenty years. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds had been introduced in 1908.

The man responsible for developing the formula for Mr. Goodbar, Samuel Hinkle, graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1922 with a degree in industrial (now chemical) engineering. Following two unsatisfactory industrial laboratory jobs in Canada, he returned to Lancaster County, Pa. Hinkle contacted the Academic Department at Penn State (then) College and was referred to a job opening at the Hershey Chocolate Company. President William Murrie hired Hinkle in spite of his lack of experience with food chemistry. He began his career as a plant chemist in November 1924.

Hinkle’s first job was to analyze fat, sugar and milk content in products. In a 1975 oral history interview, Hinkle remembered that initially his job in the laboratory was routine and not very exciting. However, he slowly developed the lab, increasing the staff as responsibilities grew. In the same interview, Hinkle also shared vivid memories of developing the formula for Mr. Goodbar in 1925:

We’d been experimenting with a peanut bar, peanuts being a popular product with the American people. We decided we’d better use Spanish peanuts rather than Virginia peanuts. We came up with this Spanish peanut, a small round peanut, and we left the little red shell on the outside. We called it roasted, but we really were frying the peanuts in fat and combining them with our milk chocolate. We began to think about a name. Actually, it was Mr. Hershey who really came up with the name. Someone said, “That’s a good bar.” And his (Mr. Hershey’s) hearing being a little bad, he thought they said, Mr. Goodbar. So he named it Mr. Goodbar.

Mr. Goodbar is one of the Chocolate Company’s most enduring products. During the 1930s Depression era, it was marketed as a “Tasty Lunch” because the peanuts gave it added nutritional value. During these years the bars sold 2 for 5 cents. In the 1950s and 1960s the bars carried the slogan, “Quick Energy in Every Bar!”

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