Food blog

The Surprising Connection Between Hershey’s and the Titanic

You probably didn’t know this connection between Hershey’s and the Titanic.

Food and history often have fascinating connections, and one such intriguing connection is between the famous Hershey’s chocolate brand and the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Known for their delicious taste and variety, Hershey’s chocolate bars have been a popular treat since their inception as a subsidiary of the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1894 (via The Hershey Company). Hershey’s founder, Milton Hershey, transformed what was once considered a luxury into a special treat that everyone could enjoy. From Mr. Goodbars to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Jolly Ranchers, Hershey’s has become a household name synonymous with chocolate.
Little did Milton Hershey know that his brand would play an important role in World War II. During the war, Hershey’s created a chocolate bar known as the Ration D bar, designed specifically for the U.S. military. They even developed Hershey’s Tropical Chocolate, a chocolate bar that could withstand the heat, allowing soldiers stationed in tropical areas to enjoy a taste of home (via Hershey’s Archives). The brand’s contribution to the war effort was commendable, and as a result, Hershey’s received a total of five Army-Navy “E” Awards for its support – a remarkable honor and accomplishment.
But there’s a fascinating twist to the story that could have changed the course of history for Hershey’s. Milton Hershey was almost a passenger on the Titanic, the infamous “unsinkable” ship. According to PennLive, Hershey and his wife, Catherine, were in Nice, France, during the winter when news of the Titanic’s maiden voyage made headlines. The ship was scheduled to sail to the United States around the same time Hershey needed to return to the business. In December 1911, Hershey wrote a check for $300 as a deposit for a stateroom on the Titanic.
But fate had other plans. Hershey’s business required him to return to the United States earlier than expected, forcing him to change his travel plans. Instead of boarding the Titanic, Hershey boarded the America, a German liner. According to Pam Whitenack, director of the Hershey Community Archives, the change in plans was not a matter of life or death for the company; rather, something came up that required Hershey’s attention. Still, it’s safe to say that everything we associate with Hershey’s today probably wouldn’t have happened without his leadership.
The connection between Hershey’s and the Titanic serves as a fascinating historical anecdote that highlights the intertwining of people, events, and decisions that shape our lives. It’s a reminder that even seemingly small decisions can have a profound impact on our destiny.
In conclusion, Hershey’s enduring legacy as a beloved chocolate brand is rooted not only in its delicious treats, but also in the historical moments that could have changed its trajectory. Milton Hershey’s decision to change his travel plans and forgo boarding the Titanic ultimately allowed him to continue building his empire, resulting in the creation of iconic Hershey’s products enjoyed by millions around the world. So the next time you indulge in a Hershey’s chocolate bar, take a moment to appreciate the unexpected connection between this delicious treat and one of the most tragic events in history – the sinking of the Titanic.


Should Milton Hershey have been a passenger on the Titanic?

Yes, Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine, were originally scheduled to board the Titanic for its maiden voyage. However, due to a change in business circumstances, they had to change their travel plans.

What caused Milton Hershey to change his travel plans?

Hershey’s business required his immediate attention in the United States, necessitating a quicker return than originally planned. As a result, he decided to travel on the America, a German liner, instead of the Titanic.

How significant was Hershey’s contribution to World War II?

Hershey’s played an important role in World War II by creating the Ration D bar, a chocolate bar designed specifically for the U.S. military. They also developed Hershey’s Tropical Chocolate, which allowed soldiers stationed in tropical areas to enjoy a taste of home. Hershey’s support during the war earned them five Army-Navy “E” awards.

What if Milton Hershey had been on the Titanic?

It is impossible to say for certain, but Hershey’s enduring legacy and the creation of iconic Hershey’s products may have changed significantly. His leadership and contributions to the chocolate industry and the community may have taken a different path.

How did Hershey’s change the perception of chocolate as a luxury?

Milton Hershey transformed chocolate, once considered a luxury, into an accessible treat for everyone. Through the creation of the Hershey’s brand and products, he made chocolate more affordable and widely available, allowing people to enjoy the indulgence of Hershey’s chocolate bars, Mr. Goodbars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Jolly Ranchers.

Is the connection between Hershey’s and the Titanic well known?

The connection between Hershey’s and the Titanic is not widely known and often surprises people. It highlights the unexpected intersections between historical events and the people who shape our world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *