Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Are Milk Duds called Milk Duds?

Why are Milk Duds called Milk Duds? Yet another candy factoid I didn't know when I was writing True Confections. This new candy piece developed in 1926 by F. Hoffman in Chicago was supposed to be perfectly spherical, much like a malted milk ball, but each batch of the dense, milk chocolate covered caramels kept collapsing into misshapen lumps. They were duds. Say, they're made with a lot of milk, they're duds, let's call them Milk Duds!
Shortly after they were developed, Philo J. Holloway took over the company and called them Holloway's Milk Duds. In 1960 he sold out to Beatrice Foods. Leaf purchased the brand in 1986 and took over production, until a decade later, when Hershey, that great swallower of large and small candy brands, took over the Milk Dud franchise from Leaf, which had by then been sold to Huhtamaki Oy of Helsinki. I wonder, what is the Finnish word for "dud"?

Until last year, all was status quo in the land of Milk Duds. But then Hershey decided to swap out costly cocoa butter for more economical vegetable fat in a range of their products, Milk Duds among them. This means they cannot legally call Milk Duds "chocolate" any longer. Thus the change on the label in recent months from "milk chocolate" to "chocolatey." Now that's a dud.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just waiting for the 2010+ version, which are sure to be called "Milk Dudes."