You can tell a lot about a country by their chocolate bars. Whether milk, dark, or white, every country loooves their chocolate – but which country takes the (chocolate) cake? Canada or the United States? You be the judge after reading, and of course trying, our top 10 chocolate bars from both countries.
If you didn’t already know, so much goes into making a single bar of chocolate. For one, chocolate starts out as a bean. A bean! And although farmers must wait four to five years for a cacao tree to produce its first beans, each tree harvests approximately 2,500 beans. Now that’s a lot of chocolate! It takes around 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate, and by simple math that means, every tree makes around six pounds of chocolate. Nice. That being said, from bean to bar, it takes at least two days to make a single-serving chocolate (and about two seconds to eat one).
It’s no wonder that "cocoa bean" literally translates to “food of the gods” – and we absolutely agree with Carolus Linnaeus, the father of plant taxonomy, on that one. In North America, 70 percent of our cocoa comes from West Africa, and is consumed as part of a balanced, heart-healthy diet and lifestyle. We’ve even incorporated chocolate into our culinary dishes, cosmetic products, and our clothing. Chocolate brings so much happiness to so many people every day, and that’s something worth celebrating. So which country has the best selection? Make it your goal to try every last one of these chocolate bar classics on this list in the new year!
19 Kit Kat - USA
"Have a break... have a Kit Kat."
Who needs a break? We know we do. Almost named Kit Cat, the idea for the Kit Kat bar has been around since the 17th century. Made by both Hershey's and Nestle, the Kit Kat bar consists of four chocolate fingers made up of several wafer layers, completely covered in milk chocolate. Each finger can be broken from the bar separately – making a Kit Kat the perfect compliment to any boxed lunch. These days, there are many different flavours of and variations of the Kit Kat, including milk, white, and dark chocolate. And now flavours include things as bizarre as green tea, strawberry cheesecake, lemon, wasabi and so. many. more.
18 Coffee Crisp - Canada
“Makes a nice light snack.”
This unique treat from Canada was born in 1939, and has been a nation-wide favourite ever since. Made from layers of vanilla wafer and a coffee-flavoured soft candy, and a milk chocolate coating, Coffee Crisp isn't too heavy, and isn't too sweet – it's perfectly balanced. Although it’s exclusively available in Canada, Coffee Crisp actually originated in the United Kingdom in the 1930s, as a chocolate bar named Rowntree's Wafer Crisp, and was later introduced to as Biscrisp. When the coffee-flavoured version of the Biscrisp became a country-wide hit, they evolved it into the Coffee Crisp bar we all know and love.
17 Snickers - USA
"You're not you when you're hungry."
Who are you when you’re hungry? Not yourself, we bet. But you always know what to do when you're hungry: you go and grab a Snickers. There, that’s better. Made up of layers of roasted peanuts, caramel, and nougat, the Snickers is known as one of the tastiest candy bars in the world. Named after Frank Mars’ (the founder of Mars) favourite horse, Snickers was a gamble for Frank. But he must have known what he was doing, because nowadays, Snickers are sold in over 70 countries and their global sales total reaches more than $2 billion a year. Making them not only the best tasting chocolate bar, but the best-selling one too.
16 Aero - Canada
"It's the bubbles of nothing that make it really something."
Aero is an airy snack or made of simple milk chocolate filled with tiny air bubbles (or "Aerated Milk Chocolate"). Known for its unique texture that collapses as the bar melts, the Aero is a staple snack for many in Canada. There are several flavours of Aero, including the Mint Aero, Caramel Aero, Dark Chocolate Aero, White Chocolate Aero, Latte Aero, Crispy Aero, Orange Aero, and many, many more. There’s an aero for everyone! As Nick Welch (yes, that’s Florence Welch’s father) once asked, "Have you felt the bubbles melt?"
15 Butterfinger - USA
"Crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery!"
Oh boy do we love Butterfinger. Made up of crisp cookie wafers, peanut butter filling and a chocolate coating, the Butterfinger is a U.S. fan favourite. Rumour has it, the original recipe was lost, and the current one is a knock-off that's as close to the original as they could get it. To be honest, we’re sure both recipes taste just fine. In recent years, Butterfinger has become extraordinarily well known for its advertising, with celebrity endorsers including Bart Simpson, Seth Green, Rob Lowe, and more. To publicize the release of the bar, they even dropped hundreds of them out of airplanes in several cities. Now that’s a weather forecast we wouldn’t want to miss!
14 Crunchie - Canada
"Get that Friday feeling."
Fridays and chocolate – our two favourite things. Crunchie, native to Canada, is a brand of chocolate bar with a honeycomb toffee sugar centre. It’s loved so much in the country that in order to keep up with demand, Cadbury produces 1,200 Crunchies per minute – which is one million every day. And this is no easy task, because the honeycomb is so brittle, the bars are sliced with an oil jet. Blades would break them and water would dissolve them. Crazy! Throughout its time, there have been several variations of the Crunchie, including a Lemonade Bar, a Tango Orange bar, and even a Champagne Bar. Crunchy!
13 Rolo - USA
"Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo?"
Well, do you? Rolo’s original slogan and their new hashtag #lastrolo really makes us think. If you don’t already know, a Rolo is a caramel and chocolate candy – simply a combination of Mackintosh Toffee with a chocolate coating – in the shape of a miniature flower pot. Known as the only candy you can “roll” to your friends from across the room, Rolo was invented in 1937 and introduced in England as 'Choc-o-Rol', only earning its forever name in the U.S. in 1969. That’s a really long way to roll!
12 Caramilk - Canada
“Unlock the Caramilk secret.”
Secrets, secrets are no fun. Unless they have to do with chocolate, only then will we let one slide. This 40-plus-year-old Cadbury brand has been teasing us for years with how they get the gooey caramel inside the little milk chocolate squares. Unfortunately, though many people believe they have cracked the code, we will never know. The secret is locked in a vault in Toronto, Canada (the only place the Caramilk bar is made), and is carefully guarded so the mystery can continue on. In stores, Caramilk candy is available in a variety of size and formats, and was briefly released in dark chocolate, maple, chocolate, and cappuccino flavours.
11 M&Ms - USA
"The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
With this chocolate-and-candy combo, we’re not sure what we love more, the M&M characters, or the taste itself. Traditionally, M&Ms are colourful button-shaped chocolates, with the filling depending on the variety of the snack. Flavours include peanut, peanut butter, almond, pretzel, crispy, dark chocolate, and caramel. Known for the little “m” stamped on the front of every candy, interestingly enough, it was printed using black ink until 1954. Even more interesting, M&Ms are the most commonly eaten chocolate in NASA's space program. Now that’s out of this world!
10 Smarties - Canada
"When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?”
Do you?! However you eat them, these colourful button chocolates have been a part of Canada's candy tradition for decades. They have been manufactured since 1937, and come in eight colours: red, orange, yellow, green, purple, pink, blue, and brown. Smarties are the candy that make you smarter. We guess it’s true what they say, you are what you eat! Funny enough, Smarties were originally named Smarties Chocolate Beans, but were then rebranded as people found the word “beans” to be too misleading. Pretty smart of them.
9 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - USA
"There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's."
We couldn’t forget about Halloween’s favourite candy – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Made out of (you guessed it) peanut butter and chocolate, RPBC were originally called “penny cups” due to their shape and price at the time. We can’t even imagine what life would be like if they still only cost one penny. It’s no surprise to anybody, but Reese’s Pieces were E.T.’s favourite candy in the famous 1982 movie. However, the candy cameo almost went to M&Ms, and we honestly have a hard time picturing the movie like that. Everybody loves Reese’s so much that they’ve named May 18th “I love Reese’s Day’ in the United States. How will you celebrate?
8 Mr. Big - Canada
"Mr. Big: so big they call him Mister.”
Bigger is always better. Especially when it comes to chocolate. Mr. Big is the biggest chocolate bar sold in Canada – at nearly 8 inches long, it’s nearly double the size of a regular candy bar. And double the delicious. Made of layered vanilla wafer coated in caramel, peanuts and rice crisps, and covered in a chocolate, Mr. Big is full of flavour. Other varieties include Mr. Chew Big, Mr. Big Fudge, and Mr. Big with Maple, with some being featured in an advertising campaign with basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. Big win!
7 100 Grand - USA
The 100 Grand Bar might just be the most luxurious chocolate brand in the game. Formerly the $100,000 Bar, The 100 Grand Bar is named after the 1950s quiz show, The Big Surprise, where the grand prize was (you guessed it!) $100,000. It’s made up of chocolate, caramel and crisped rice, which may sound sweet, but it’s also been at the centre of a few lawsuits. Some radio contests claimed they were giving away $100,000 prizes, when it reality, all they were offering out were chocolate bars. The 100 Grand Bar was also mentioned in popular TV shows like The Office and The Colbert Report – making it a real chocolate bar celebrity.
6 Crispy Crunch - Canada
"The only thing better than your Crispy Crunch is someone else's.”
Now we really want a Crispy Crunch. Can we have yours? Crispy Crunch is a solid chocolate bar with a crispy peanut flake inside. Harold Oswin developed Crispy Crunch when he was only 14 years old, after winning a chocolate bar contest and awarded a $5.00 prize. Crispy Crunch is true to its name, being probably, the crunchiest bar on the market. In the 1990s, it was sold in the United States for a brief period, but it never caught on like it did in Canada.
5 PayDay - USA
"Totally nuts about payday.”
Everybody loves payday. Whether it’s money in the bank or a chocolate bar, nobody can deny it’s the best. Consisting of salted peanuts rolled in caramel around a firm nougat centre, the PayDay candy bar was invented in 1932 – but it didn’t have a name. Seeing as it was payday at the office, one worker suggested the name, and it stuck. The Payday bar is sweet and salty and loved by Bob Hope, Norman Alden, and Charles Bukowski, and was featured in Cheech & Chong's Ralph and Herbie sketch. Everyone deserves a Payday and everyone deserves a satisfying candy bar. Treat yourself today!
4 Wunderbar - Canada
"The munchiest bar ever.”
Meaning “marvellous” in German, the Wunderbar is a candy classic. A truly marvellous mix of light rice crisps and delicious caramel, covered with rich Cadbury milk chocolate. It’s easy to see how this bar got its name! The Wunder Bar was developed and launched in 1976 by a woman named, Linda Allison, and has since become one of the most popular chocolate bars in the country. No wonder! It’s a magical peanut butter and caramel experience – simple, delicious and oh so Canada. Sounds pretty tasty, eh?
3 Almond Joy - USA
"Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."
Almond Joy has brought the United States so much joy since 1946. Becoming popular shortly after World War II (when sugar, coconuts, and chocolate became widely available), the candy bar is made with moist coconut, fondant, milk chocolate and whole almonds. And better yet, it comes with two bars in every package. There have also been a few notable flavours of the Almond Joy, including Piña Colada, Double Chocolate, White Chocolate Key Lime, Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit, and Toasted Coconut. This sweet snack finally got the recognition it deserved after appearing in Weeds, Kelly’s Heroes, and Hudson Hawk, as well as a few popular music videos. It’s a chocolate that's sure to put a smile on your face!
“The nibble that’s real in the middle.”
Movie-theatre goers, unite! Glosettes are the perfect bite-sized snack consisting of various chocolate-covered candies, including raisins, peanuts, and almonds, that are coated in a distinctive glossy chocolate shell – a totally retro snack! And the perfect antidote to salty popcorn. Glosettes are typically sold in resealable rigid cardboard boxes as opposed to plastic bags, so you can enjoy every last nibble. But traditionally, Glosettes were sold by weight in bags at supermarket chains, and from jars in candy stores. Now, they’re enjoyed by millions on their own, and as the perfect addition to any trail mix or baked treat. Sweet!
2 Heath Bar - USA
“Heath for better health!”
The Heath Bar, or once marketed as The Health Bar, is a candy bar made of toffee, almonds, and milk chocolate. It’s shaped as a thin rectangular slab that’s covered in chocolate, and is a popular add-in ingredient to ice cream, cookies and other sweets. Originally made by the Heath brothers in 1928, this candy bar was available for delivery via Heath dairy trucks along with milk and cottage cheese. And during World War II, The Heath bar was included in the soldiers’ food rations, because of its long shelf life. Now that’s what we call a power bar!
1 Maltesers - Canada
We couldn’t pick just one slogan for this one, they're all just too good. The current Maltesers' slogan is "The lighter way to enjoy chocolate". And earlier slogans have included: "The chocolates with the less fattening centre", "No ordinary chocolate" and "Nothing pleases like Maltesers".
See why? Maltesers were originally advertised as "energy balls" and aimed at helping women lose weight. Can you believe it? These little malted balls covered in milk chocolate may be super tasty and lighter than most chocolates, but they’re definitely not super slimming. Either way, they’re a classic snack that you either love or hate. What side of the ball are you on?