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The following continues the discussion of WWII’s impact on the candy industry. Here we’ll see how: advertisements addressed the wartime civilian candy shortage, the manufacturers of bakery equipment changed gears in wartime and Americans were encouraged to alter their consumption of meat.

While candy was being shipped overseas for military consumption, advertisements for many candies, such as the ones below, emphasized the industry’s the struggle to manufacture adequate amounts for both serviceman and civilians in a time of rationing and reduced production.


Blumenthal Bros advertisement, from 1945, thanking customers for their patience during wartime conditions.


An entire Necco advertisement from 1943 devoted to explaining wartime conditions.


Another Necco advertisement from 1943 emphasizing the benefits that Necco candies provides civilian workers and soldiers.


Yet another Necco advertisement from 1943 mentioning the war.


Necco wasn’t the only candy company sending rations overseas. According to this advertisement (also from 1943), Reeds sent nearly all of their candy to fighting troops.


Soliders also had the option to munch on Chicken Dinner and Denver Sandy Bars according to this 1943 Sperry Candy Company advertisement.

During WWII, many manufacturers of bakery and confectionery machinery also switched gears and instead, began to manufacture products beneficial for the war effort. This Greer advertisement from 1943 demonstrates the re-purposing of their conveyor lines to help stock military ships with ammunition.


Instead of creating conveyors for confectionery factories, Greer helped the war effort by using their popular conveyors to load ammunition into war ships.

WWII’s impact on American diets stretched well outside the realm of sugar. Read meat was also in short supply, most of it being sent overseas to fuel fighting troops. With the citizen supply limited, Americans were encouraged to eat their meat sparingly. This advertisement issued by the American Meat Association, encourages American’s to “share the meat” so that everyone might get a portion.


As more and more meat products began shipping overseas to fighting troops, civilians at home were encouraged to ration their meat consumption. This pamphlet produced by the American Meat Institute stresses the moral duty of of Americans to be more sparing in their meat consumption to give all “an equal chance at the available meat supply.”

Between the years of 1942-45 the National Research Council established the Committee on Food Habits. The Committee’s goal was to “restructure social norms, change perceptions of taste, and help assimilate variety into the U.S. diet” (Wansink). A specific mission was to encourage Americans to accept alternative sources of protein in their diet. Organ-meats not traditionally consumed by Americans, such as kidneys, brains and hearts, were promoted as viable sources of protein. The concerns addressed within this advertisement and the Committee on Food Habits concerning protein intake are also reflected in candy advertisements of the era. Many, like the following advertisement for the Staley Company promote the consumption of candy by specifically touting its protein content.


With meat being in short supply, Americans were encouraged to find protein in alternative sources. Candy companies tried to persuade consumers that candy could provide protein for those in need.

Blumenthal Bros Chocolate Products. “BB Chocolate Products Have a War Role Too!” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 71 (May 1945): 21.
———. “BB Chocolate Products Have a War Role Too!” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 71 (May 1945): 21.
D. L Clark Company. “Two Quick Selling Items.” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (January 1943): 34.
Greer Company. “Now…Greer Conveyors Hoist the Ammunition.” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (April 1943).
NECCO. “Memo from Necco.” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (January 1943): 34.
———. “Necco Candies on the March!” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (March 1943): 37.
———. “Necco Candies On the March.” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (February 1943): 33.
Reed’s Candy Company. “On Active Duty.” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (July 1943): 39.
Share the Meat. Chicago, United States: American Meat Institute, 1943.
Sperry Candy Company. “They Deserve the Finest.” Advertisement. Confectioner’s Journal 69 (June 1943): 41.
Wansink, Brian. “Changing Eating Habits on the Home Front: Lost Lessons from
World War II Research.” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 21, no. 1
(Spring 2002): 90-99.