May 15 marks National Chocolate Chip Day. Don’t confuse it with National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, which isn’t until August 4. While that holiday celebrates cookies specifically, today celebrates the chocolate chip. Whether you like it in your cookies or as an ice cream topping, most of us can agree that they are delicious.
Here’s what you need to know about the holiday and where you can get some chocolate chip deals.
1. It’s Not Clear What the Origins of the Holiday Are
Like many food holidays, it’s not clear where they originated from. National Day Calendar couldn’t track down the creator of National Chocolate Chip Day. (The same site also couldn’t figure out who created National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, either.)
Of course, the ambiguity of the holiday’s origins isn’t stopping anyone from celebrating on social media.
National Calendar Day also notes that today is Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Nylon Stocking Day.
2. There Are Plenty of Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Deals
Sure, chocolate chips don’t have to be used in cookies, but free cookies is the best way to attract customers. Several local stores throughout the country will be giving away free cookies.
If you live in Nashville, you can pick up a free chocolate chip cookie at Christie Cookies in Germantown. Those in Florida can check out Cowin’s Ice Cream and Smoothines in Bradenton, where you can get a free cookie with any purchase.
Here’s a couple of other deals we spotted:
3. Chocolate Chips Were Born When Chocolate Chip Cookies Were Invented in 1936
As The New Yorker noted in 2013, there are several myths about why Wakefield decided to use chocolate chips in cookies to go with ice cream. One myth says she ran our of nuts, so replaced them with Nestle’s bittersweet chocolate. Another myth says vibrations from an industrial mixer caused chocolate to fall into the cookie dough.
In her book Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book, Carolyn Wyman wrote that Wakefield was a perfectionist and wouldn’t have happened upon it by mistake. According to the New Yorker, Wyman wrote that Wakefield planned out the recipe to try something different. The only unpredictable part of it was how successful it became.
4. U.S. Retail Chocolate Sales Hit $18 Billion in 2015
CNBC reported last year that sales of U.S. retail chocolate hit $18 billion. Over the pat 10 to 15 years, sales have climbed around 3 percent, according to UBS analysts.
But, as CNBC points out, U.S. per capital volume consumption of chocolate is down 3 percent from the 2005-2005 peak. The average American spent $56.80 on chocolate products in 2015, but consumption per person was around 9.5 pounds, down from 12.6 pounds in 2016.
“You’re seeing a lot more snacking alternatives or substitutable occasions that is taking people away from traditional sugar confection and also that everyday kind of chocolate purchase,” UBS analyst Steven Strycula told CNBC in 2016.
Notably, dark chocolate has held on strong, so it’s a good thing dark chocolate chips are available. Nielsen reported that dark chocolate sales grew 6.8 percent in 2015.
5. Hershey’s Is Trying to Cut Down on Calorie Counts, Making Half of all King-Size Bars 200 Calories or Fewer
A serving of chocolate chips doesn’t have that many calories. Stats on Nutritionix.com show that a tablespoon of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels has 70 calories. A tablespoon of Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate Chips also has 70 calories.
In April 2017, Hershey’s announced plans to cut down on calories in its chocolate bars, USA Today reports. The company plans to make half of all king-size or standard-sized individually wrapped bars 200 calories or less by 2022. By 2020, all king-size bars will be better designed to be split or packed away to save for later.
“The standard Hershey bar is 210 calories, so the path to 200 is very close,” spokesman Jeff Beckman told USA Today. “We’d be focusing on products that would get there without much.”
Around 31 percent of Hershey’s standard- and king-size candies are 200 calories or fewer already, USA Today reported.