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Hershey Deploys First Round of Heat-Resistant Chocolate

December 12, 1990 GMT

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) _ U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia finally have chocolate bars that melt in their mouths, not in the sand.

At the request of the Army, Hershey Foods Corp. sent 144,000 ″Hershey’s Desert Bars″ that won’t melt in 100 degree-plus heat.

The first round of heat-resistant chocolate sent earlier this month to the Persian Gulf was a test of the product, said Hershey spokeswoman Bonnie Glass. If the chocolate bars taste good and are tough enough for desert warfare, Hershey will send thousands more, she said.

″Chocolate has long been an American favorite and we are happy that we can supply the soldiers in Saudi Arabia with a familiar taste from home,″ said Richard A. Zimmerman, Hershey’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Ms. Glass said Hershey has cooperated with the Army since 1937 in providing specially made chocolate bars. In June 1937, Hershey sent 90,000 candy bars to military personnel.

″There have been heat-resistant bars in the past, but one of the specifications given out by the Army is that it tastes good, like commercially available chocolate,″ she said.

″Another specification is that it is made with real milk chocolate,″ Ms. Glass said.

Ms. Glass would not answer any other questions on the bar’s contents or how it is made.

The troops haven’t sent word yet on the Desert Bar, but an Army spokesman said the chocolate candy is good.

″It’s quite a tasty bar. A familiar chocolate candy bar and it’s in a familiar form,″ said Harvey Keene, spokesman for U.S. Army Nattick Research, Development and Engineering Center in Nattick, Mass.

The development of candy for military use isn’t unprecedented. M&M’s, a product of Mars Inc., first were made for military personnel during World War II. What made M&M’s so useful to the military is as simple to explain as the product slogan: ″Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.″