Let’s celebrate another classic New England candy — the Sky Bar!
A chocolate bar made by Necco (of the famous Necco Wafers, Necco Sweethearts, andMary Jane candy) in Revere, Massachusetts (see Update at the bottom of this post), Sky Bar has four separate milk chocolate chambers, each filled with sugary goodness in flavors that Necco describes as “caramel, vanilla, peanut, and fudge.” For those who can’t make up their minds, a Sky Bar is the perfect choice. Why settle for one flavor when you can get four?
Sky Bar debuted in 1938 with a grand skywriting campaign. Newspaper ads promoted the spectacle by urging members of the public to “Keep your eye on the sky!” and look for “Letters a mile high — written at 10,000 feet in the sky — visible ten miles — A thrill to see!”
The bar actually was something to celebrate, since Sky Bar was the first chocolate bar to have four distinctly different centers encased in chocolate. Molded chocolate bars debuted in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the first half of the 20th century that they really took off, with thousands of different bars being made and distributed by individual companies. Today, it’s hard to find many small and independent chocolate bar manufacturers, but Necco is one of the few, making it all the more beloved by chocolate-loving Yankees with long memories.
In addition to its tasty and sweet properties, the Sky Bar (or at least one of its advertising signs) was also witness to history. In 1945, following V-E Day and the end of three long years of wartime blackout, the lights were finally turned on again in New York’s iconic Times Square. After years of darkness only six were primed and ready for power, and Necco’s Sky Bar was one of them.
Today, Sky Bar remains a favorite for many here in New England, where it’s still available in candy stores and supermarket checkout displays alongside the numerous offerings from Hershey’s and Mars. For those who can’t find it, but miss those 4 distinct flavors, the internet comes to the rescue again! You can order Sky Bar online by the bar or case.
Do you love unwrapping a Sky Bar? Which “square” is the best? Let us know!
Necco Update (2018)
Due to financial hardship, Necco was first sold to investment firm American Capital in 2007. When losses continued, the Los Angeles-based Ares Management bought both Necco and American Capital in 2017. Ares sold Necco’s real estate to an investment firm that rented the facility back to Necco. In May 2018, Necco declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was purchased by Greenwich, CT-based Round Hill Investments for $17.3 million. Hopes for a rebound were abundant, since Round Hill had been responsible for reviving troubled brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Chef Boyardee, and Hostess (including its venerated Twinkies), but on July 24, 2018, the Revere facility was was suddenly shuttered. Approximately 230 workers and executives were laid off, and production of all candy lines stopped, ending the Necco Wafer’s reign as the country’s longest-running, continuously produced candy. Round Hill would go on to sell off many of Necco’s long-running candy lines to other manufacturers.
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.