There’s “Clean-Up Your Room Day” (May 10), “Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day” (April 18) and even “National Goof-Off Day” (March 22), but “National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day”? Yes, and it will be recognized March 24. While Nestle did not establish the holiday, the company is leading a national celebration in the name of Nestle Raisinets, which also happens to be celebrating its 85th anniversary this year.
Raisinets chocolate covered raisins were first introduced by a family-owned business in 1927, the Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Co. of Philadelphia. The brand was sold over the years and, in 1984, Nestle acquired then owner Ward-Johnston, makers of Raisinets, Goobers, Chunky, Sno-Caps, Bit-O-Honey and Oh Henry. Raisinets are sun-ripened California raisins drenched in Nestle Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate. They are a natural source of fruit antioxidants, and contain 30 percent less fat than the leading chocolate brands.
Raisinets are best known as the perfect movie treat, right up there with popcorn. In fact, movie-goers have been known to mix the two for the best of that sweet and salty taste. Early in movie making history when a box of Raisinets was sold to theaters for 1.25 cents, fans could buy a box of Raisinets for a nickel. Today, retailers sell Raisinets in single bags, stand-up bags and theater concession boxes, but they were originally sold by weight from jars in candy stores.
• Raisinets are actually polished to make each one shine. In earlier years, Raisinets were made by hand in small mixing and polishing pans. A load of 350 pounds took approximately 90 minutes to coat and an additional 60 minutes to polish. Today, Raisinets are made by machine in nearly 2,500 pound batches. That equals nearly one million Raisinets in a single batch, or more than 21 million each day;
• Raisinets are made with a special type of grape and proudly made in the U.S. Only one kind is chosen to become a Raisinet, Thompson Seedless grapes. All are grown and harvested in California’s Central Valley;
• If you lined-up the amount of Raisinets produced in one year end-to-end, the length would go around the earth 2.5 times;
• Every man, woman and child in the United States would receive 17 Raisinets if the amount made in a year was shared with all;
• Raisinets are gluten-free; and
• Raisinets are made in Burlington, Wisc. If a year’s supply of Raisinets was packed in theater concession boxes and lined up end-to-end, the boxes would reach from Burlington to Hollywood, Calif., two times over.
Nestle Raisinets are available in single serve pouches for on-the-go snacking, and in theater concession boxes and stand-up bags ideal for sharing. The treat is available at retailers nationwide in milk chocolate and dark chocolate.