Sunday, April 21, 2013

MilkShake (candy)

imageThe Hollywood Candy Company was a minor but successful national candy chain for much of the 20th century.  Named after their home base in Hollywood, MN, they successfully introduced the first fluffy nougat bar, MilkShake.  It was so successful that the Mars Candy Company put out their own version:  Milky Way.*

I first discovered MilkShake in the late 50s.  By this time, Milky Way was one of the most  popular candy bars in the US, and MilkShake looked like a cheap knockoff.  I didn’t like it as much:  it didn’t have as good a flavor or texture.  But in the summer, MilkShake was more than just a candy bar:  it was a frozen treat.

Just about every place that sold ice cream novelties also sold frozen MilkShakes.  This was not like today, when a novelty is created from ice cream that tastes vaguely like its namesake.  No, they would put a bunch of MilkShake bars in the freezer and sell them (for a premium) as a treat in hot weather.

A frozen MilkShake came out of the freezer too hard to bite into.  But, with a little work and patience and, of course, thawing, it would slowly begin to warm up just enough to be eaten.  The combination of the chill and the candy rush made it a treat.

Around the mid-60s, the treat vanished.  Maybe the MilkShake was taken off the market,** but I remember asking for one and they had no idea what I was talking about.  Milky Way was a poor substitute, mostly because it was denser.  And while that made it better eaten straight, it meant it was ever harder to bite into.  The practice of freezing candy bars faded away.

Hollywood Candy remained around, but the company was bought by a series of different candy companies starting in 1967, about the time MilkShake vanished.  Their two most successful brands – Zero and Payday -- are still around and now owned by Hershey.

The MilkShake was not a great candy until frozen.  Then, they were at the top of my list.

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*Candy recipes are not patented, so if you can figure out how your competitor made theirs, you can easily make a knockoff.

**The history of trademark foods, especially forgotten brands, is not easy to piece together.  No one really keeps track or pays much attention.

22 comments:

Denise Mason said...

I liked this better than the Milky Way. I wish they still made them.

Anonymous said...

I like this better tjan Milky Way. I wish they still made these.

Anonymous said...

Please bring back the milkshake candy bar. It never should of gone away! It's my favorite candy bar, its so sad that you can't get it anywhere now.

Doug said...

The Milkshake Bar was still available until the late 1970s. I'm pretty sure I still saw them around 1977-78. They were my fave!

Anonymous said...

I was born in 1979 and can remember eating these as a kid. They were my favorites along with Zero bars!

Noreen Brandenburg said...

They made a short comeback in 1993. I got them where I work. A vendor would come in with one of those boxes in where you inserted your exact change. I would buy all that were there. I miss that yummy goodness of a MILKSHAKE.

Diane said...

One of my all time favorites - Milkshake candy bar. Why do the best things in life always get snatched away?

Unknown said...

The Mars 'Believe' candy bar found in UK stores is very close and, yes, great frozen. Was a nice surprise and flashback.

Dale Redding said...

I remember the milkshake candy bars. There's nothing out there that compares. I sure wish they would re-introduce them.

Cathy said...

I remember them making a come back also in the early 90's my favorite candy bar ever!!!! PLEASE BRING THEM BACK PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing compares to the milkshake bar they were one of a kind wish there was a way someone could bring them back!!

Jim Bock said...

I remember eating milkshake candy bars as a boy when I went to the movies they were my favorite candy bar and yes I remember bringing some home also and putting them in the freezer they were excellent too bad they don't have them anymore.

Anonymous said...

I remember buying frozen milk shake bars at the snack bar of our neiborhood pool in summer. This would have been in the early seventies.

Quest Girl said...

You're right, they were. I'm pretty sure I saw them over after that time frame too.

Quest Girl said...

You're right, they were. I'm pretty sure I saw them over after that time frame too.

Anonymous said...

I Remember going to Jefferson pool in Eugene Oregon in the late 60's. After swimming, we all went to the snack bar. It was my favorite.

Richard ... said...

I got a shock when, in 1989, I stumbled into a Mom and Pop store near Kenwood, WA that actually had half a box of Milkshake bars on the shelf. It was like stepping out of a Time Machine. I did not care that they may have been buried in the back under a pile of dusty boxes for two and a half decades. I bought a couple and left feeling the rush of possibility that these bars were again being made. Disappointingly, it must have been either a miracle or a marketing fluke as I never again saw them being sold there (or anywhere). When I brought it up upon my next visit, the clerk gave me a empty look and remarked that they had no idea what I was talking about. Pure Twilight Zone. I should have bought the whole damn box. I would not be surprised if my account is not believed. I did not believe it myself. Let us conspire to bring this bar back into the world. There's gotta be enough talent among us (all) to pull it off. The status quo sucks. Waiting for big money to bother is a waste of time. Let's take charge! (( And, while we are at it, let's also resurrect the Big Time and the Hollywood bars. ))

Anonymous said...

Something totally magical about a frozen milkshake after an afternoon at the pool. I lived half a block from our public pool and swam and had a frozen milkshake afterwards pretty much every day all summer somewhere in the late 60s (68 or 69 I think). Haven't seen or tasted one since, but I've thought of those hot summer afternoon frozen treats often. To this day, I put most chocolates in the fridge, and freeze some types of candy bars as a direct result of that experience, but of course nothing ever comes close to a frozen milkshake!

Tammy Frazier said...

I can not believe the loved candy bar and they won't make them again with such a high demand! Help all of us Milkshake lovers bring them back! Grambo65

Anonymous said...

I bought these in 1984 in Seattle.

Maverick said...

I remember finding milkshakes at convenience stores in east Tennessee as recently as about 1980. Glad Zero is still around. Yes.Bring the milkshake back. Hershey Maybe? C'mon.

Maverick said...

I remember finding milkshakes at convenience stores in east Tennessee as recently as about 1980. Glad Zero is still around. Yes.Bring the milkshake back. Hershey Maybe? C'mon.