History of the Chocolate Bar
Up to and including the 19th century, confectionery of all sorts was typically sold in small pieces to be bagged and bought by weight. The introduction of chocolate as something that could be eaten as is, rather than used to make beverages or desserts, resulted in the earliest bar forms, or tablets. At some point, chocolates came to mean any chocolate-covered sweets, whether nuts, creams (fondant), caramel candies, or others.
The candy bar evolved from all of these in the late-19th century as a way of packaging and selling candy more conveniently for both buyer and seller; however, this "convenience" did not include price, of course, as the buyer had to pay for the packaging. It was considerably cheaper to buy candy loose, or in bulk.
In 1847, the Fry's chocolate factory, located in Union Street, Bristol, England, moulded the first ever chocolate bar suitable for widespread consumption. The firm began producing the Fry's Chocolate Cream bar in 1866. Over 220 products were introduced in the following decades, including production of the first chocolate Easter egg in UK in 1873 and the Fry's Turkish Delight (or Fry's Turkish bar) in 1914. In 1896, the firm became a registered private company and was run by the Fry family, with Joseph Stores Fry II, grandson of the first Joseph Stores Fry, as Chairman.
By 1910 in Canada, the Ganonge Brothers Limited in St. Stephen, New Brunswick had developed and begun selling the modern chocolate bar.
Although chocolate bars and candy bars had their beginnings in the 19th century, it was in the early-20th century that this confectionery commercial venture grew most rapidly.
During the first half of the 20th century in the U.S., there were thousands of different candy bars being manufactured and distributed locally or regionally by small candy companies. Some of these still survive, but a few major manufacturers have taken over the marketplace by buying up smaller companies and reproducing the most popular of their candy bars. Today, candy bars are made and consumed all over the world and are manufactured to local tastes and environmental conditions.
The world's largest chocolate bar weighed in at 5,792.50 kg, measuring 4m by 4m by 0.35m and was manufactured by Thorntons plc (UK) on 7 October 2011.