Ironically, one of Hershey’s “biggest customers” at its onset was Mars, the brand that has grown to give us M&Ms and Snickers. According to Meaww, Mars approached Hershey’s and asked for a chocolate supply to create the Milky Way bar. The founder of Hershey’s happily agreed, but when the Milky Way took off, so did a tense rivalry between the two corporations that’s persisted for nearly a century.
In more recent years, Mars introduced Dove Promises. The top-tier quality, individual chocolates took on a whole new demographic beyond just trick-or-treating kids: adults. Dove has become a classic Valentine’s Day treat, and a staple pick-me-up for tired moms.
Hershey’s took note, and in 2008, attempted to regain control with the introduction of Bliss. The Los Angeles Times reported that “Hershey’s management has acknowledged that it lacks the products to take advantage of demand for premium and dark chocolates,” and that Bliss was their hopeful next step to taking on Dove.