Baby Ruth candy barThe Curtiss Candy Company is more popularly known as the creator of the Baby Ruth candy bar. Currently, most of the company’s popular brands are now owned by Nestlé.

Curtiss Candy Company was founded in 1916 by German immigrant Otto Schnering. Schnering got the inspiration of naming the company from his mother’s maiden name in order to make it more American sounding. The company’s first product was the confectionery item Kandy Kake, a pastry bar topped with peanuts and enrobed in chocolate. During its first year, the company earned just under a hundred thousand dollars, but was able to achieve total sales of $1 million in the year 1921.

In 1919, Curtiss Candy Company opened a new factory, which was three-stories high, and hired around 400 employees. What made the company skyrocket in sales in 1921 was the creation and launching of its Baby Ruth candy bar. After the launching of Baby Ruth, other currently popular candy bars were also launched and were named ‘Butterfinger’ and ‘Polar Bear.’ Curtiss Candy Company continued to grow in the 1930s, employing over a thousand employees around the city.

In 1964, the company was acquired by Standard Brands, which then later went into a merger with Nabisco in 1981. After the merger, the Curtiss brands were then sold to the food giant Nestlé.

In previous years, there had been a controversy around the origin of the brand name Baby Ruth. Three theories came out regarding the origin of the candy bar’s name:
1. The candy bar was named after President Cleveland’s daughter Ruth Cleveland.
2. The candy bar was named after the baseball legend Babe Ruth.
3. The candy bar was named after the granddaughter of Mrs. Williamson. Mrs. Williamson’s husband was the president of the company that co-developed the formula for the Baby Ruth candy bar.

Of the three possible explanations, Curtiss Candy Company claimed that the first explanation is correct. Some critics however, questioned this explanation because President Cleveland’s daughter died long before the Baby Ruth candy bar had even been launched.

Regardless of the controversy behind the name, Curtiss’ Baby Ruth had been, and still continues to be, one of the most popular candy bars across the country and even in other parts of the world.

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Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Polar Bear – although the brands Baby Ruth and Butterfinger were created by the Curtiss Candy Company, currently these brands are now owned by Nestlé.

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