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Hershey’s Tropical Chocolate Bar

Hershey’s Tropical Chocolate Bar

Date: 1943
Catalog #: 80015M    Accession #: 1977.0865.07
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


Hershey Company

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 1.25" H x 3.25" W x 0.5" D

Physical Description

Paper candy wrapper over candy bar.

Specific History

The U.S. Army’s requirements were quite specific. For troops engaged in a global war, they needed a ration bar that weighed about four ounces, would not melt at high temperatures, was high in food energy value, and did not taste so good that soldiers would be tempted to eat it except in an emergency. This last objective in particular was certainly a new one for the Hershey Chocolate Corporation. Nevertheless, its chocolate technologists came up with something that passed all tests.

Named “Field Ration D,” it was so successful that by the end of 1945, approximately 24 million bars were being produced every week. More successful still was HERSHEY’S Tropical Chocolate Bar, a heat resistant bar with an improved flavor developed in 1943.

Hershey chocolate bars were a standard part of a soldier's C-rations.

General History

In 1943, the Procurement Division of the Army inquired about the possibility of obtaining a heat resistant chocolate bar with an improved flavor. After a short period of experimentation, "Hershey's Tropical Chocolate Bar" in both one and two ounce sizes was added to the list of war production items. This bar was destined to exceed all other items in the tonnage produced. The Army-Navy "E" Production Award was awarded to Hershey Chocolate Corporation on 22 August 1942 in recognition of its outstanding war effort. The Corporation received a flag to fly above the chocolate plant and a lapel pin for every employee. The award was presented for exceeding all production expectations in the manufacturing of an Emergency Field Ration. The “E” production award was not easily won nor lightly bestowed. the award recognized companies that consistently met high standards of quality and quantity in light of available resources. Major General Gregory said of Hershey, "The men and women of Hershey Chocolate Corporation have every reason to be proud of their great work in backing up our soldiers on the fighting fronts. In all, the Hershey Chocolate Corporation received five Army-Navy "E" awards.


Country: United States
War: World War II
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