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The History of PayDay Bars

PayDay bars were invented in 1932 by Frank Martoccio, the founder of Hollywood Brands (The Hollywood Candy Company). Legend has it that the name PayDay was literally proposed by an employee on a payday. Since the candy bar debuted during the Great Depression, creating an association between a literal payday and the affordable treats was a good business move. In fact, PayDay was originally marketed as a meal replacement bar. At just 5 cents per bar, it provided an affordable boost of calories for cash-strapped Americans during the Great Depression. The bars caught on, and in 1938, Martoccio moved his company to Illinois. In 1967, PayDay, along with all of Hollywood Brands, was purchased by Consolidated Foods (now Sara Lee). Thirteen years later, the Illinois plant was destroyed in a fire, but L.S. Heath & Sons, the makers of Heath bars, assisted with PayDay production and kept the brand going after the disaster. PayDay changed hands once again in 1988, and in 1996, Hershey’s bought the brand. In 2005, Hershey’s introduced a PayDay protein bar called the PayDay Pro Bar, which brought the brand full circle by harkening back to its Great Depression days as a meal replacement. Notably, PayDay Pro Bars are considered difficult to find today. However, the original PayDay bars, with their sweet and salty taste profile, remain highly popular today.

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