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The History of Almond Joy

Peter Halajian, an Armenian immigrant to the United States, started a candy company in Naugatuck, Connecticut in the early 1900s. After legally changing his name, it became known as the Peter Paul Candy Company (or sometimes, the Peter Paul Manufacturing Company). The company gained notoriety and when the U.S. Army commissioned the company to produce chocolate for American troops abroad, the brand became synonymous with quality candy. In 1948, under the direction of Peter’s successor, Cal Kazanjian, Almond Joy bars were invented as a replacement for an older product called Dreams Bars. However, Almond Joy bars were more closely related to Mounds, which the company had begun producing in 1921. In fact, the two candies were so similar that the company even advertised comparisons between them, including a famous commercial jingle from the 1970s that exclaimed, “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't! Almond Joy's got nuts! Mounds don't!" In 1978, Peter Paul was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes and the British company removed all mentions of Almond Joy’s New England roots from the packaging. In 1988, Hershey acquired Almond Joy when they took over the U.S. operations of Cadbury. After more than 80 years of the candy being produced in Naugatuck, Connecticut, Hershey closed the original Peter Paul plant and moved Almond Joy production to Virginia. Today, Almond Joy remains a beloved candy and is often included in Halloween assortments.

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