Hershey’s Kisses debuted on the candy scene in 1907. While it's not known exactly how Kisses got their name, one of the popular theories is that the candy was named for the sound or motion of the chocolate being deposited during the manufacturing process. While at first, the candies were individually hand-wrapped, the introduction of automation in the 1920s changed procedure forever.
This wrapping process has remained basically unchanged since it was developed in 1921. Current wrapping machines can package nearly 1,300 Kisses per minute. The familiar flag or plume that singles Hershey’s Kisses out was added to the packaging at this time as well then subsequently established as a registered trademark by company founder, Milton S. Hershey in 1924.
The shape and style of Hershey’s Kisses have not much in the last 80 years but this does not mean that there have not been small variations over the years. Many of these variations were produced in the early 1900s. Each one utilized different chocolate formulas and was offered in addition to the standard Hershey’s milk chocolate flavor.
Yet none of these variants have survived to the present. In fact, none has been produced since 1931. For those old enough to recall them or who might be a bit of the candy historian, names like Sweethearts, Silvertops, and Silverpoints may bring back fond memories. There has been only one time in the entire history of their production that Hershey’s Kisses have been interrupted. The bite-size chocolates were not produced from 1942 to 1949 due to the rationing of silver foil during and after World War II. During the war, the ingredient mixing units in the Kisses molding department were utilized for tempering military ration bar chocolate paste. It is estimated that paste for more than 3 billion ration units was produced during this period.
Later, in 1962, the Kisses were wrapped in colored foil (other than silver) for the first time. Red, green and silver chocolates were available during the Christmas season in addition to the year-round silver-wrapped ones. In 1968, Kisses brand chocolates were introduced in pastel blue, pink and green foil for the Easter holiday. Hershey also introduced Valentine's Kisses with red and silver foil in 1986.
In September 1990, there was a major addition to the Hershey’s franchise when Kisses with almonds were successfully introduced. Then only three years later another addition to the Kisses line called Hershey’s Hugs which were mini Hershey’s Kisses combined with white chocolate.
There have been other limited edition flavor combinations as the candy company has sought to keep an edge with the competition. Yet, nothing can really compete with the enduring place that the Hershey’s Kiss has made for itself for nearly a hundred years.