Today’s post on Bob Hoffman’s Hi-Proteen Fudge reveals that one of the first precursors to the modern protein bar only came about in the early 1950s, sometime between 1953 and 1954. Having previously dabbled in fish and soy protein powders, you may be wondering what prompted Bob to expand out into making fudge.
Attending a local high school football match in his hometown of York, Pennsylvania in the early 1950s, Hoffman was informed that had the local side been treated to Hoffman’s Hi-Proteen tablets, they would have won the game. In another version it was said that had the quarterback been given just one more Hi-Proteen tablet, he could have executed a perfect 96 yard touch down. Whichever story you believe, Hoffman was supposedly inspired by this football related problem.
Reasoning that more energy was the deciding factor, Hoffman took to his makeshift lab to create a blended fudge consisting of his patented Hi-Proteen blend, honey and a series of binding agents. The world’s first bar was born.
As is so often the case in the fitness industry, Hoffman’s fudge was promoted with little heed to truth or fact. Massive levels of scepticism about the fudge’s transformative abilities aside, Hoffman’s powder did prove popular amongst his clients. Although this was not always the case.
As John D. Fair’s excellent account of York Barbell attests, Hoffman received numerous complaints from certain sectors concerning the product’s taste, its packaging and more importantly its pricing model for distributers. While such concerns paled in comparison to its generally favourable reviews, the fudge was not an all round success story.
It did however help lay a ground stone for today’s world of ‘healthy’ chocolate protein bars. While Hoffman’s fudge may have faded from memory, its legacy lives on.