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In these economic hard times we are experiencing, the New York Times reports that many consumers are turning to good old-fashioned candy to calm their nerves instead of Valium.

Many big candy makers are reporting rising sales and surprising profits even as manufacturers of other products are struggling to stay afloat. Cadbury reported a 30 percent rise in profits for 2008 while Nestle’s profits grew by 10.9 percent, according to public filings. Hershey, which struggled for much of 2008, saw profits jump by 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

According to the story, this surge in candy sales during hard times has a historic precedent. The Great Depression gave birth to many of the most popular candy bars of today: "Snickers started in 1930. Tootsie Pops appeared in 1931. Mars bars with almonds and Three Musketeers bars followed in 1932."

Which candy, if any, are you turning to in these troubled times? Me, I'm a complete sucker for malted milk balls when the Dow heads south.

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