Burbank a sweet spot for world-record candy bar
BY HANNAH KOHUT Correspondent September 28, 2011 6:14PM
Jose Guzman (left), a student from St. Albert the Great school, looks at the world-record World's Finest Chocolate candy bar (21 feet, 12,190 pounds) during a "Think Big, Eat Smart" tour stop at the school in Burbank, Ill., on Wednesday Sept. 28, 2011. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 11, 2011 4:57PM
Forget the nearly 30 million calories, 5,000-plus pounds of sugar and loads of fat packed into the 21-foot-long chocolate bar that was on display Wednesday at St. Albert the Great grade school in Burbank.
The 12,190-pound chunk of candy — that’s a world-record size for a chocolate bar — was there to promote healthy eating.
“I was excited because I thought we were going to get to eat it,” sixth-grader Melissa Madrangca said.
Not so. The candy bar, created by Chicago-based World’s Finest Chocolate, is part of a marketing program to teach kids about portion control, chief marketing officer Tyler Jeffrey said. The bar is an example of “portion distortion.”
“Childhood obesity is a huge problem in our society, and we want to be a part of the solution, not the problem,” Jeffrey said. “We came up with the idea to break the Guinness record with this candy bar to catch children’s attention.”
It did just that for the students at St. Albert, who also participated in exercises as part of the awareness program.
Eighth-grader Tim Hecker said he didn’t think the candy bar “would be this big.”
“It was a fun presentation,” he said. “I think it was a smart presentation to spread the word about chocolate in moderation.”
“It was pretty cool — I’ve never seen chocolate that big,” sixth-grader Alex Hernandez said.
Jeffrey said the candy bar is touring the Midwest as part of the company’s “Think Big, Eat Smart” campaign. World’s Finest Chocolate specializes in candy bars sold as school fundraisers, and the world-record chunk is a replica of the “dollar bar,” except that it is 4 feet wide and 3 feet high.
What does it take to create the world’s largest chocolate bar? Jeffrey said the mammoth treat includes 5,500 pounds of sugar, 1,200 pounds of almonds, 1,700 pounds of chocolate liquor, and 1,300 pounds of cocoa butter.
The bar’s “nutrition facts” panel says it contains 29,561,520 calories, 1,669,437 grams of fat, and a heart-stopping 1,029,235 mg of cholesterol. That’s enough for 209,350 servings.
One of the challenges is keeping the bar from melting. It must be kept in its own cooling center, at between 65 and 68 degrees.
Jeffrey said planning for the candy bar took about six months, and included precise engineering. He did not say what it cost to create or market but that it was a “hefty investment.”
Jeffrey hopes the chocolate bar stays “fresh” until May, when it returns to Chicago for the Sweets and Snacks Expo.
Guinness verified the weight as a world record on Sept. 13. The Grand Candy factory held the previous record, 9,702 pounds.