Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Necco Wafers

Since 1847, Americans and people around the world have enjoyed Necco Wafers

NECCO’s long-standing success in the candy business is closely related to the enduring popularity of the company’s core product – the NECCO Wafer. A multi-colored, fat-free wafer available in seven flavors, a roll of NECCO Wafers is a candy favorite for all times.

In 1847, a young English immigrant, Oliver Chase, invented the first American candy machine, a lozenge cutter. After initial success selling his new candy, he and his brother, Silas Edwin, founded Chase and Co., which became the pioneer member of the NECCO family.

Original NECCO Candy recipe for the NECCO Wafer remains basically unchanged today, and the Necco Candy Wafers are still made in the seven of the original eight flavors: orange, lemon, clove, chocolate, cinnamon, licorice, and wintergreen. The ingredients are simply sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, natural colorings and flavorings.

In 1913, explorer Donald MacMillan took NECCO Wafers on his Arctic explorations, using them for nutrition and as rewards for Eskimo children. In the 1930’s, Admiral Byrd took 2 ½ tons of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole, practically a pound a week for each of his men during their two-year stay in the Antarctic.

The U.S. Government requisitioned a major portion of the production of NECCO Wafers during World War II. The candy doesn’t melt and is practically indestructible during transit, making it perfect for shipping overseas to the troops.

There has been a resurgence in the popularity of NECCO Wafers in recent years as consumer demand for non-fat sweets has increased. In addition, feelings of nostalgia on the part of baby boomers and other age groups have impacted sales of the candy.

Today, NECCO produces approximately four billion wafers on an annual basis. If the Wafers were placed edge to edge, they would go around the world twice. A whole roll takes about 40 minutes to eat. What other candy bar can make that claim?

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