Archive for the ‘Candy History’ Category

America’s Favorite Halloween Candies

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 by Jonah Half

Though it may be a bit soon to start decorating, we’re sure there are more than a few of you who have already started planning your Halloween costumes for this year. But are you prepared to impress the little ghouls that come knocking on your door looking for their favorite Halloween Candies??

For most children, the best part about trick-or-treating is coming home and dumping their candy on the floor to evaluate the night’s haul. This ritual often involves dividing the best candy from the worst to decide which to devour and which to trade. In 2013, Chicago-based market research firm, IRi, completed a study to determine America’s favorite Halloween Candies. Based on the results of this study, we’ve created a list of the top 5 treats to keep your trick-or-treaters munching instead of bargaining with one another!

Reeses_Halloween_CandyReese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the most sought-after Halloween candy. Introduced in 1928, this candy is a delicious combination of milk chocolate and smooth and creamy peanut butter, so it’s no wonder kids everywhere love them. Reese’s come in various forms, from mini to pumpkin-shaped, making them the perfect treat to handout to all of your eager trick-or-treaters this year.


Halloween_CandyM&M candy was first produced in 1941 and handed out to soldiers during the war. Today, they are a trick-or-treat favorite! Check out our fun-size M&M’s assortment, which includes classic M&M’s Plain and M&M’s Peanut, for a treat that’s a Halloween sure-bet.





Snickers_Halloween_CandySnickers has been around since 1930 and has been a favorite candy around the world for years. A great treat that will ward off tricks this Halloween season, these Mini Snickers Bars will have children flocking to your front door for Halloween candy.




Hesheys_ChocolateAnother classic candy, Hershey has been making Hershey’s branded milk chocolate bars since 1900. There isn’t a kid out there that doesn’t know what a Hershey’s chocolate bar is, so satisfy their tastebuds this Halloween with these miniature-sized ones.



Kit Kat
KitKat_Halloween_CandyA delicious combination of smooth milk chocolate and light crisp wafers, the Kit Kat has been Halloween candy-lovers’ favorite since 1935. These Halloween Kit Kats feature bat wings on the wrapper, but kids won’t know which designs they’ve got until they peel back the wrapper.  

If you’re wondering what to stock your Halloween  bowl with this year, this selection of America’s Favorite Halloween Candies are sure to make for happy trick-or-treaters. If you need a few more ideas, you’re just a few clicks away from finding more seasonal favorites right here!

Want To Learn Why We Give Out Halloween Candy?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 by Jonah Half

Halloween_CandyColorful and imaginative costumes, ringing doorbells and little hands grabbing handfuls of candy out of a brimming candy dish – we think it’s safe to say that there’s no holiday quite like Halloween. But where did our traditions originate? After all, you have to admit that dressing up as your favorite character and asking virtual strangers for Halloween Candy is a bit strange.

Though many believe that trick-or-treating is just another one of those traditions cooked up by candy companies in order to generate revenue, the truth is that these traditions are rooted in history. The exact forerunners of today’s trick-or-treating habits – where children dress up, knock on neighbors’ doors and collect bucketfuls of candy – may be a bit hazy but here are a few contenders for potential influencers. Which do you think is the real inspiration for Halloween celebrations?

During the ninth century in England, November 2nd was designated “All Souls Day”, which was a time for honoring relatives and ancestors who had passed on. To celebrate, townsfolk would participate in bonfires and masquerades. In addition to festive parties, poor people would visit the houses of richer families and beg for “soul cakes” in exchange for promises to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ deceased relatives. The tradition was later taken up by children who would go door-to-door asking for gifts like food or money.

Also during the ninth century in Scotland and Ireland, young people took part in a tradition called “guising” wherein they dressed up in costumes and accepted offerings from various households. In exchange for the gifts they received, these youngsters would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke or perform another form of “trick”. Could this possibly be where the phrase “Trick-or-treat” came from?

In the early 20th century, many immigrants to the United States had begun to revive the traditions of “Souling” and “Guising”. However, by the 1920’s many of these traditions had devolved into pranks and vandalism rather than harmless door-to-door visits and begging. When the Great Depression struck, the issues surrounding Halloween pranking and damage became much worse. Some sources theorize that it was this costly vandalism issue that led to the organization of community-based trick-or-treating events to deter these activities.

Regardless of where these traditions came from, one thing is certain – Halloween is still the best night of the year to show off frightening costumes and gather gobs of delicious candy! But before you can indulge on the busiest candy-eating night of the year, you need to stock up! Visit and peruse our selection of tasty, sweet, cute and spooky Halloween Candy. We’re sure you’ll find just the treats you’ve been looking for!

Bit-O-Honey – A Nostalgic Taffy History

Friday, January 31st, 2014 by Laurnie Wilson


There’s something great about the sweet stick-to-your teeth Bit-O-Honey that everybody knows and loves. It’s a nostalgic treat that’s been around for what feels like an eternity. But did you know all the chewy details of its past?

Bit-O-Honey first took the stage in 1924. In that year, Schutter-Johnson Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, created a new kind of candy bar. A bar made of almond bits in a honey-flavored taffy; Bit-O-Honey was a far cry from popular chocolate bars at the time.

Made with egg white for extra chew, the six pieces of taffy wrapped in wax paper were a huge success. People were craving that taffy from the minute it was on the market!


Then in 1969, Schutter-Johnson Company merged with NYC’s Ward Company, the makers of Chunky, Oh Henry! and Raisinets. It was during the time of this merger that a chocolate version of the treat, aptly named, Bit-O-Chocolate was made. However, something about the chocolate variety didn’t catch on, and the product was later discontinued.

Other flavors like Bit-O-Licorice and Bit-O-Peanut Butter were also made, but, once again, failed to find wide approval. Clearly, when it comes to Bit-O-Honey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!


Although the different flavors didn’t work out so well, there was an addition from the late 70’s that did manage to stick around. Can you guess what it is? The Bit-O-Honey bumblebee, of course!

This guy has been adorning Bit-O-Honey wrappers for over 30 years! And, just like the original flavor, he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.


Nestle bought the Bit-O-Honey brand in 1984, and just last year, Pearson’s Candy Company purchased Bit-O-Honey from Nestle. But while this classic treat has been shuffled around quite a bit in its day, you can bet that the Bit-O-Honey you bite into now is just as good as the original.

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The History of Pez Iconic Candy Dispensers

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 by Jessica Prokop

early-pez-dispensersNothing says childhood quite like PEZ. There’s something nostalgic about these familiar little treats that bring back memories of yesteryear with each and every bite. But would you believe that your favorite PEZ didn’t start out as the fruity candy we know and love today? It’s true! In fact, this is one candy that has a history that may surprise you.

Pfefferminz to PEZ

Eduard Haas III invented PEZ in 1927, in Vienna, Austria. The name of the candy originated from the German word for peppermint, which happens to be “pfeffermintz.” Haas took the ‘p,’ ‘e,’ and ‘z’ from the German word to get the candy’s name, PEZ. And after eight years, the company was doing so well that they had to build a factory in Czechoslovakia to increase production.

PEZ For Your Health

Then in 1948, Oscar Uxa revolutionized the PEZ experience, designing a PEZ dispenser that allowed one piece of candy to be dispensed at a time. This was a sanitary measure that prevented people from touching every piece of candy before choosing one. However, it also doubled as an anti-smoking campaign.

The push for people to eat PEZ instead of smoking a cigarette was a real one. In fact, early slogans for the candy boasted, “No smoking, PEZing Allowed” as Haas hoped his candy might lower smoking rates.

PEZ in the USA

pez-space-gun-dispensersIt wasn’t until 1952 that PEZ made their way to the United States. In that year, the first U.S. PEZ headquarters were established in New York City. Despite PEZ’s success in Europe, Curtis Allina, the first president of PEZ in the U.S., found the candy difficult to sell because of the strong peppermint flavor. So, in an attempt to draw children to the brand, PEZ came up with the idea to create fruity flavored versions and cute, character-themed dispensers.

The idea worked. In no time, children and adults alike were in love with PEZ. The very first dispensers available were a Full-body Santa, Robot, and Space Gun. And since then, the character-themed dispensers have really taken off! Today, there are countless different PEZ dispensers to choose from, and ten different candy flavors available. We have Hello Kitty PEZ Dispensers, Marvel Superhero PEZ dispensers, and everything in between. There really is a PEZ for everybody.

pez-dispensersFrom Far to Near

And while PEZ are sold worldwide, the PEZ candy that you eat in the USA is made in America. So with a single satisfying click of any PEZ dispenser, you can feel good knowing that the candy in your mouth is really much closer to home than you would expect.

Remember Licorice Snaps?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Jessica Prokop

Snap From The Past

retro-candy-covered-licorice-snapsBlack licorice. Some people love it. Some people hate it. But no matter where you stand on the licorice spectrum, wouldn’t licorice be better if it was coated in something sweet?  Like candy? We think so, and apparently we’re not alone. You see, the good people at the American Licorice Company are one step ahead of you, and have been for quite a few decades.

An Instant Classic

The American Licorice Company started in 1914 in Chicago, Illinois. Back then, their very first candy was licorice twists. Next came licorice cigarettes and cigars, during the Great Depression. As it turns out, when times were tough, people seemed to need a candy fix even more than when the living was easy. It wasn’t until the 1930s that The Original Snaps Classic Chewy Candy appeared on the main stage.

Snaps, with their licorice center and pastel candy coating, became an instant classic. Originally, they were sold in distinctive red boxes for only 2 cents each. That’s a bargain you won’t see anymore! Even the packaging boasted of the Snaps success, deeming them the “Classic Chewy Candy.” There’s no doubt that these were a fantastic hit.

Original Licorice Snaps PictureLong Live the Snappy Memories

Over the years, Snaps have had a somewhat turbulent history culminating in their recently being discontinued. But they’ve had a long run, developing a cult-like following in the process.

Until very recently, Snaps enjoyed a beloved treat by baby boomers and many more. For those who enjoy the bite of black licorice mixed with a sweet sheen of candy, this has been the treat of choice since its debut in the 30s. It will go down as one of the most iconic late candies of our era. But when you need a candy-coated-licorice fix, former Snaps lovers will have to resort to Licorice Pastilles and Good ‘N Plenty like everyone else.

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Candy History: Angel Mints

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

A Mint From The Past

am_singleIf you’ve eaten candy in the last almost 100 years, then chances are you’ve had Angel Mints. These minty masterpieces were first introduced in 1919 on the Atlantic City boardwalk. The boardwalk was the birthplace of many popular time-tested candies, such as Salt Water Taffy, as people are more apt to treat themselves to sugar on a day in the sun.

Originally, each batch of Angel Mints was cooked in copper kettles over gas stoves, to maximize moisture content. After cooking, the candies were individually wrapped to ensure freshness. It’s that little extra effort that has continued to make a huge difference in taste for almost a century.

Divinely Inspired?

And the heavenly name? Legend goes that people raved about the candy’s peppermint zing with comments like, “this candy tastes heavenly” and “this recipe had to be divinely inspired,” so that the candy maker could see no more fitting name than Angel Mints! Not bad, eh?

Peppermint Power

angel-mints-bigOne of the reasons Angel Mints have remained so popular over the years is their apparent healing property. The peppermint oil in each Angel Mint has palliative therapy benefits that have been reported to help treat indigestion, respiratory problems, and everything in between.

In fact, peppermint oil has a whole host of healthy properties. It contains manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and C. As if you needed more reasons to love Angel Mints! Now you know, they’re actually good for your health!

A 21st Century Mint

Today, production of Angel Mints has moved to Florida, but the process hasn’t changed a bit. Each batch is still handmade according to the original recipe, and wrapped on the same K-H cut and wrap machines that have been around since the dawn of Angel Mints time. A traditional process in a modern era: now that’s history that you can taste.

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Candy History: Candy Canes

Friday, December 20th, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

The Origins of the Candy Cane

We’ve probably all heard the story of the German choirmaster who created white, sugary shepherd’s hooks to keep the children quiet during the services. But, there are almost as many candy cane creation stories as there are varieties of candy canes!

What’s certain is that these popular Christmas treats were originally all white. Many have attached a religious connection to them, saying that the white candy cane represented the sinlessness of the life of Jesus. As for the shape, many also claim that it’s meant to look like a shepherd’s hook, to remind children of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus.

Although they were probably created in 1670 in Germany, it wasn’t until 1844 that a recipe for straight candy sticks was published. And in the mid 1800s, candy canes were hung on Christmas trees for the first time. Back in the day, it was common to hang sweets and baked goods from the festive tree, so the candy canes were a perfect addition!

Candy Stripes

retro-nostalgic-candy-canesChristmas cards from before and after the 1900s reveal that it wasn’t until the turn of the century that candy canes earned their stripes. There’s lots of lore around the stripes as well, with some saying the thickest stripe represents Jesus, while the three smaller stripes represent the Holy Trinity.

Around the turn of the century, peppermint and wintergreen flavors were also added to the sweets, whose flavors could be distinguished by either a red or green stripe, for peppermint or wintergreen, respectively.

In the 1950s, a Catholic priest by the name of Gregory Keller invented an automated candy cane machine, to twist the candies into their popular shape. And since then, there’s been no looking back.

Today, candy canes are arguably the most popular holiday candy with the longest-standing history. And they’re not just peppermint and wintergreen anymore. Check out all of the canes we have to offer. You’re sure to find something for every candy-cane-craving sweet tooth.


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Candy History: Brach’s Chocolate Stars

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

Ask anyone on the street if they’ve ever heard of Brach’s candy and they’ll probably think of those infamous bulk bins in the grocery store. Or, they may sing you a little jingle, “Stop where you are, buy a Brach’s candy bar.” But do you know how it all began?

As it turns out, Brach’s is almost 110 years old, as the first store was opened all the way back in 1904. Brach’s was created by a German immigrant by the name of Emil J. Brach. And, believe it or not, the store in 1904 was his second attempt at starting a candy business. His first, in the late 1800s, was a complete failure.

brachs-stars-retro-adBrach’s Booms

The first Brach products were caramels, made in the back of the store and displayed at the front as a way to lure in customers. And lure them in it did! Between 1906 and 1913, the Chicago-based company had to move locations three times to keep up with expansion due to high demand.

It’s no surprise that they were so popular, too! Brach’s has always prided itself on quality, being the first candy company to institute what we might call quality control on candies coming off the line.

Star Quality

Back in the day, Brach shipped his candies by horse, car, mail, and train. So you could have your candies, no matter how near or far you were to the store. That dedication to customer satisfaction is one of the main reasons Brach’s has stayed in business for so long.

The Brachs kept the business in the family for a long time, too, only selling to a non-family buyer in 1966. But the change in ownership didn’t change anything about the taste! Those Chocolate Stars are still sure to be as good as you remember.

brachs-candy-companyToday, Brach’s abandoned factory has some film credit fame to its name, as it became Gotham Hospital in the 2008 movie, The Dark Knight. Cool, right? And since you can’t make delicious confections in a decaying building, you can rest assured knowing that your Brach’s candies are made safely in Texas by company Farley’s & Sathers.

Brach’s is truly a company for the ages. What started as a niche has exploded into a huge candy empire, reaching sweet tooths, everywhere.

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What’s a Cordial Cherry, Anyway?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

cherry-cordials-inventedA Cordial Past

Cordialed cherries have always been a huge hit around the holidays. They’re sweet and perfectly festive- a treat normally reserved for this time of year. But did you realize just how old the method of cordialing is? If not, let’s just say that it’s a little older than you may be expecting.

Cordials for the Heart

In fact, cordials started being made hundreds of years ago, during the Renaissance. They were originally made for medicinal purposes, as the strong flavor was thought to promote health. The meaning of the word itself betrays earlier thoughts that cordials were good for the heart, as “cor” means heart in Latin.

First produced in Italy, this heart-helping drink slowly spread its influence throughout all of Europe. And, over time, this purely medicinal beverage became something of a social-statement, as cordials evolved into what we know today as liquors.

Cordials and Candy

Liquors are often the perfect remedy to a cold winters night, so it’s no surprise that home cooks soon began soaking their fruits in the stuff! What could be more delicious and practical than liquor that you can both drink and make candy with? Our forefathers really knew what they were doing.

chocolate-covered-cherries-cordial-with-cream-2Generations of cordial recipes have been passed down over the years, and many families still make their own, today. Cherries tend to be the most popular cordialed fruit, as the cherry lends itself well to soaking and then being smothered in chocolate. But cordialing takes time- months in fact, to wait for the fruit to sufficiently imbibe itself with the delicious liquor it’s soaking in. And who wants to wait for that? So if waiting is not quite your thing, check out Brach’s Villa Cherries. They might be just what you need to remind yourself of holidays of old.

This year, treat yourself and your loved ones to a taste that has almost outlasted the test of time. Be sure to add cordialed cherries to your shopping list.

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Candy History: Necco Peach Blossoms

Saturday, December 7th, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

A Peach Blossom A Day

Peach Blossoms are a candy that tastes as sweet as it sounds. A truly American treat, they also happen to be made by an American company with a history that stretches far longer than you may have expected.

It all started back in 1847. It was in this fateful year that a man by the name of Oliver Chase invented the lozenge cutter. Chase was a pharmacist, so he wasn’t necessarily in the candy-making business. But, as it turns out, the creation of this machine, which allowed long ropes of sugar to be cut into manageable pieces, was just what the confectionary doctor had ordered.

retro-necco-peach-blossomsIn fact, the machine was first used to slice up what we know today as NECCO Wafers. Originally used as cough drops, or a way to soothe the stomach, these wafers were yet to come into their candy prime. Alas, who would have known that a simple little machine, similar to a pasta maker, would have such an impact on U.S. candy production?

Peach Blossoms Blossom

In 1901, Chase & Company, Hayward & Company, and Wright & Moody – three pre-Civil-War-era candy companies – joined forces to become NECCO: the New England Confectionary Company that we know and love today.

Four years later, in 1905, NECCO introduced Peach Blossoms. And the smooth peanut butter, wrapped in a crunchy candy coating has been delighting sweet tooths ever since.

But, don’t expect Peach Blossoms to actually taste like peaches. The candy is more reminiscent of the flower than the fruit, as there’s no peach flavoring inside. Somehow, the misleading name has never been a turnoff, as generations have been enjoying the candy ever since.

buy-necco-peach-blossoms-onlinePeachy Keen

Today, Peach Blossoms are manufactured in Revere, Massachusetts. The factory still uses many machines that have been around since before World War II and relies on real live workers to add food coloring and whisk mixtures – no fully automated candy production, here! So the Peach Blossoms you buy today are made with the same personal touch that has been sweetening every batch for decades.

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