Why the Kit Kat Is the Most Influential Candy Bar of All Time

Rachel Tepper Paley
February 19, 2014

Photo credit: Flickr/slgckgc

The most influential candy bar of all time isn’t a Hershey bar, a Snickers, or a Baby Ruth. According to Time magazine, it’s the Kit Kat, which may have you scratching your head. Sure, a Kit Kat is a delight, chocolatey and crunchy and shareable with friends (on the rare occasions you’re feeling generous). But what sets it apart from its also-very-tasty competition? Here’s the rundown:

1. The Kit Kat bar was the first candy to be marketed around the concept of sharing.

You can’t say that about Snickers, for which the marketing campaign is based on the notion that the bar soothes a raging hunger capable of transforming one into a total diva. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the the Slice n’ Share Snickers bar, which is 10 inches long and clocks in at 2,000 calories.

2. It was one of the first candy bars to earn a global following.

For proof, do a search for the terms “Kit Kat” and “Japan.” Fanciful Kit Kat flavors pop up, including edamame soybean, Shinshu apple, purple sweet potato, and matcha green tea. Duplicate the experiment with a slew of other nations, and discover equally enchanting flavors.

3. It was in the works years before most of its modern competitors.

The Kit Kat bar's origins go back to 1911, long before Snickers (1930), Butterfinger (1923), 3 Musketeers (1932), Baby Ruth (1921), 5th Avenue (1936), and Milky Way (1923). (It was, however, beat out by the Hershey Bar, which hit the market in 1900.)

4. It has a jingle that you cannot get out of your head.

The “Gimme a Break” jingle has been used in some form in the United States since 1986. Chances are you can hum it by heart. And will continue doing so for the rest of the day.