Candy History: Snickers

September 12th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

What could a horse and a candy bar possibly have in common?

This is a question that candy lovers have pondered for 83 years.

A New Kind of Candy Bar

In 1930, Frank Mars, the father of Forrest Mars, named his candy bar after his beloved horse named Snickers. Ironically, the name of the family farm located in Tennessee was Milky Way. These candy bars stirred a bit of controversy upon their release as they were priced at 20 cents at a time when customers expected candy bars to cost a nickel. The inspiration for the bar wasn’t a candy bar at all, but rather a confection made of nougat, peanut & caramel.

Taking Over the World

SONY DSCLittle did he know that this delicious chocolate and caramel would go on to become the best selling candy bar on planet Earth. At one time, confusion abounded as this delicious bar was originally called the Marathon Bar in the United Kingdom. The name was changed to be consistent worldwide, but the Snickers/Marathon confusion continues. In the UK, if someone mentions a Marathon bar, they could be talking about the early Snickers, or the now-discontinued bar best imitated by Cadbury’s Curly Wurly. To make things even more complex, Mars now markets a “Marathon” branded version of the Snickers bar as an energy bar.

Not Going Anywhere for a While

Snickers is the best selling candy bar in the world, accounting for over $2 billion dollars’ worth of annual sales for M&M Mars. Its success is largely attributable to some epic marketing campaigns, and today’s “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign is no exception.

In case you were wondering, there are roughly 16 peanuts in every chocolate-and-nougat-packed bar, and Mars packs 100 tons of them into 15 million Snickers bars every day. Over the years, more than
40 variations of the Snickers Bar have been marketed
in various places around the world.

Candy History: Necco Wafers

September 5th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

NECCO WAFERS ARE OLD-SCHOOL COOL

It’s hard to believe these delicious pastel wafers will soon be celebrating their 167th birthday. (They look pretty good for their age, don’t they?) Their longevity places them among the pantheon of great American candies.

vintage-necco-wafers

A Burst of Energy Right Out of the Gate

One of the most interesting things about Necco Wafers is that these candies sided with the Union during the Civil War. They were invented by Oliver Chase who used them as a way to give troops an energy boost, making them the oldest energy candy that we know of. It would be another 54 years until New England Candy Company was formed, and it took 11 more years until Necco Wafers became common currency.

necco wafers vintage rollsDelicious…and Durable!

The beauty of Necco Wafers is that they are virtually indestructible. Legend has it that Admiral Byrd took 2 tons of this nostalgic candy with him when he made his expedition to the Antarctic in the 1930s.

They might not be a great cure for scurvy or other exotic illnesses, but it’s a fair bet that his crew wasn’t wanting for sweets.

A Taste of Home

vintage-necco-adIn the 1940s, Necco Wafers saw a huge rise in popularity as the government ordered them to be included in ration kits for soldiers fighting in the second world war. They were especially important to those fighting in tropical environments where heat was an issue. Not exactly a substitute for mom’s home cooking, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Things in Necco-Wafer Land remained basically the same until 2009 when the formula was changed to an All Natural version. The idea didn’t come from the same folks who changed the long-beloved original CocaCola formula, but the change made candy lovers livid. The company changed back to the old-school formula two years later.

Candy History: Clark Bars

August 29th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

vintage-clark-bar-postcard

Clark Bars are an American institution near and dear to our black-and-gold Pittsburgh Hearts. They were formulated right here in our hometown of McKeesport, PA at the turn of the century by a gentleman named David L. Clark. The candy bar was originally made just a few blocks from the warehouse where our candy company has  resided since 1927! Since our founder Ernest Prince was friendly with Mr. Clark, we were probably the very FIRST candy wholesalers in the nation to offer this treat.

The company later changed its name to “DL Clark Company” and moved to downtown Pittsburgh. It graced the city with an illuminated candy-bar sign and remained until 1955 when it was acquired by Beatrice Foods. Over the years, they would be acquired by Leaf Confections and then again by Hershey, who returned the candy bar and its headquarters to its roots in Pittsburgh. It remained for three short but blissful years until New England Confectionary Company acquired it.

vintage clark candy bar pittsburghDespite Clark’s many owners and a few controversial ingredient changes (that were fortunately reversed), Clark Bars remain a tried-and-true classic combination of crunchy peanut butter and creamy milk chocolate. Today, this retro candy qualifies as a piece of edible Americana.

Licorice Snaps: The New Formula

July 18th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop
Is the difference subtle or substantial?

I love licorice snaps.

You could say I acquired a taste for them. Black licorice is my absolute favorite candy, so I’m always up for a new licorice adventure.  The first time I ate Snaps, I thought I hated them. I thought they tasted like paint. But they had a tough toothiness that made them kind of irresistible. By the time I finished my first box, I was hooked. I don’t know what that paint thing was about. I love them.

old-fashioned-original-licorice-snapsA Troubling Tip

At CandyFavorites, a customer recently brought it to our attention that he noticed a difference in his Snaps. While the bag said “same great flavors, softer, chewy center,” the taste he loved was gone. Saying that the change was far from an improvement, he likened it to what happened with the new Coke.

The New “New Coke”?

As a newly minted lover of Snaps, I was alarmed and tasted our latest shipment immediately. I felt like I could savor the old snaps, and these feel somehow less substantial and harder to hold onto. I’m able to go through a pile of them much more quickly than before. Which raises the point that I still enjoy them. I feel safer since the recall. But, as these things usually go, something seems to have been lost. I believe that luck does play a role in success, and striking just the right balance can make magic. That’s what I believe has happened with snaps. They’re still very good. They’re just not quite “The Original Licorice Snaps“.

Have you tried both versions of Snaps?
Tell us what you think in the comments.

New Pop Rocks Candy Experiments

June 19th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

pop-rocks-experimentsby Loralee Leavitt

When you pop them in your mouth, Pop Rocks fizz, sizzle, and explode.  These experiments show you why–and how to have fun with them.


Bubbling Pop Rocks

Why do Pop Rocks pop in your mouth?
It’s because they have a secret ingredient.

CE19.poprocksIf you pour Pop Rocks into a glass of water, you’ll hear them cracking and popping, and see tiny air bubbles rising as the candy dissolves.

You’re looking at the secret ingredient — carbon dioxide that’s pumped into the candy when it’s still melted, trapping bubbles.


 

Do Pop Rocks Bubble, Or Don’t They?

Pour water into one glass, and pour cooking oil into a second glass.  Then add Pop Rocks to each glass.  Do the Pop Rocks in water bubble and fizz? What about the Pop Rocks in oil?*

Pop Rocks are made of sugar, which dissolves in water.  As the Pop Rocks dissolve, they release tiny trapped bubbles of carbon dioxide, which make the bubbles and the noise.  But sugar doesn’t dissolve in oil, so the Pop Rocks in oil don’t dissolve or release bubbles.

This is why Pop Rocks can be mixed with chocolate and still keep their bubbles, such as in S Chocolate’s Exploding Chocolate Frogs, or in Chocolate Pop Rocks (sometimes available from www.candyfavorites.com).  They don’t dissolve until you eat them!


Jumping Pop Rocks


To see Pop Rocks in action, pour a small amount of hot water (about 140 F) into a clear soda bottle.  (If you use a glass instead of a soda bottle, prepare for a mess and wear safety glasses.)  Then dump in Pop Rocks and see if any of them jump!

Why do the Pop Rocks pop up?

The hot water dissolves the candy so fast that the air bubbles explode, making the Pop Rocks shoot up like popcorn.

Whether you soak your Pop Rocks, drop them in oil, or explode them like popcorn, candy experiments help you enjoy Pop Rocks in all sorts of ways.  There’s only one thing left to know: why are the “Blue Razz” Pop Rocks green?  That’s a question not even candy experiments can answer.


candy-experiments-mailing-coverLoralee Leavitt destroys candy for the sake of science at www.candyexperiments.com.  Find more crazy experiments, like growing giant gummies, making candy crystals, or turning cotton candy into slime, in her book Candy Experiments.

*Experiment adapted from the Science Sparks blog

Candy Experiments The Book

June 7th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

About Candy Experiments – From Blog to Book

candy-experiments-mailing-coverWe think Candy Experiments is one of the coolest blogs in the whole world. Blogger and author Loralee (with some help from her kids) comes up with so many crazy and interesting experiments that can be done with candy and common household items. When we heard that Candy Experiments was becoming a book, we knew it would be cool. What we didn’t expect was that we would learn so much!

Candy Experiments uses the funnest sweet substances in the world to teach some serious scientific concepts. These kid-friendly lessons are sure to stick! Your kids will sink, float, squash, melt, stretch, and pop their way to a better understanding of tough topics like density, buoyancy, and how molecules bind together.

More Goodies on the Way

Candy Experiments can really stretch out the amount of fun you can have with candy. So we’re stretching out our celebration! Watch out over the next week for some special Pop Rocks experiments by Loralee on the CandyFavorites blog. And we’ll hook you up with a special scientific shopping list so your candy laboratory is fully stocked before you start experimenting.

Candy Photo Contest Winners

April 30th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

The results are in! Thank you to everyone who submitted photos to the CandyFavorites.com Candy Photo Contest.

Grand Prize: Karen R. – $100 Sweet Certificate

First Runner Up: Kristi F. – $50 Sweet Certificate

 2nd Runner Up: Joe C. – $50 Sweet Certificate 

3rd Runner Up: Estella B. – $50 Sweet Certificate

4th Runner Up: Seiichi S. – $50 Sweet Certificate

All winners have been notified via email. If you are a winner but have not received an email notifying you of your prize, please contact newsletters@candyfavorites.com or call customer service at 1-888-525-7577.

CandyFavorites.com Photo Contest

April 15th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

A new and improved CandyFavorites.com is on its way!

We’re working on a website redesign that will make your CandyFavorites.com experience easier and more fun than ever!

CandyFavorites.com will be more fun than ever!

  • Quickly find your favorite Candies
  • Shop Retro Candy by Decade
  • Learn about the history of candy
  • Get help putting together a candy buffet
  • Find out about new and limited-edition products
  • Make secure online purchases
  • Enter Contests
  • Enjoy Free Shipping

 

Submit Your Photo for a Chance to Win

A new website needs fresh photos! We couldn’t think of a better way to add fun and quirky candy photos to our site than to get our visitors involved. Visit the Photo Contest tab on our Facebook Page or send your photo in an email to newsletters@candyfavorites.com to enter.

All entries must be received by April 27th, 2013.

Win Candy & Be Seen on Our Site!

We’ll pick 5 winners whose photos will appear on CandyFavorites.com.

Four (4) winners will each receive a $50 Sweet Certificate,
and one (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Sweet Certificate.

The pictures can be of you, your children, or anyone you know eating candy. (Just make sure you own the rights to your photo!) Photos can be of any time period, but as an old-time candy store, we have a weakness for nostalgic, retro candy photos. The older the better!

Send us your great photo today!

Candy Photo Contest: The Fine Print

By submitting a picture to this contest, you acknowledge that all submissions will become the property of CandyFavorites.com and may be used in marketing materials including but not limited to our website, social profiles, and other online media. Under no circumstances will we share personal information pertaining to those represented in the photographs we use. We will adhere to the terms expressed in our Privacy Policy (http://www.candyfavorites.com/shop/privacy-policy.php) . CandyFavorites reserves the right to use the winning photographs for promotional and marketing purposes and may make minor stylistic edits for aesthetic purposes. Contest awards do not constitute compensation, and no compensation is implied by or associated with contest entry. No purchase necessary. Purchase will not increase or impact odds of winning. To enter without using Facebook, send your photo to newsletters@candyfavorites.com with “Photo Contest” in the subject line.

New Products from Jelly Belly

April 9th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

In the market for some magic beans? You’re in luck!

Fee – Fi – Fo – Fum

Beans have long outgrown the beanstalk fad and have even begun to take a stand against “bean bullying” tactics such as baking, refrying, slow-cooking, and buttering. They’ve moved on to new, exciting, and more diversified endeavors in the 21st century. At the forefront of innovation, Jelly Belly has long held the throne as champion of jelly-bean deliciousness. And as humble servants of jelly-filled royalty, CandyFavorites.com is here to champion the lastest thrilling new lines of Jelly Belly products.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy

Everyone knows the world’s most famous animated characters and their connection to great fun and memories. Now you can bring the Disney experience to any classroom, party, or less-expensive theme park with Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, and Donald Jelly Belly assortments. Each bag is emblazoned with the likeness of a Disney personality, and every flavor-and-color-packed bean assortment has just as much character as its quirky namesake.

Snapple, Sunkist, Cold Stone, Tabasco

Who likes to eat foods that are flavored to taste like other favorite foods? We do! Don’t you? Jelly Belly is famous condensing authentic, iconic flavors into bite-sized bursts. They’ve done it with great fruity beverages, the best citrus mix, our favorite ice cream. Now with new Tabasco Jelly Belly jelly beans, you can down your favorite daring hot sauce anywhere — no fried food, eggs, or pizza necessary!

The hardest thing about Jelly Bellies is choosing which ones you want. You can purchase by color, character, or fancy flavor. There are even sugar free jelly beans! But with Jelly Belly Bags, why decide at all?  Buy a whole mess of them to mix and match, share, and trade.

Red, White, Pink, Brown

Have an event coming up?  Need favors, snacks, or centerpieces?  Jelly Belly can help you out with some tasty color coordination.  Cheer on your favorite sports team with red Very Cherry bags, or brighten your white wedding with white Coconut. No Disney Princess party is complete without Cinderella Bubble Gum Jelly Bellies, just like a Star Wars themed party can’t go wrong with Chewbacca-colored Chocolatey treats.

Jelly Belly jelly bean bags are great for any occasion!

  • Give them as gifts or favors
  • Create Jelly Belly recipes by combining flavors
  • Hold a “Who can eat the most Tabasco Jelly Bellies?” contest
  • Hold a guess-the-flavor contest
  • Hold any type of contest! Jelly Bellies provide all-inclusive competition. They work as the game pieces and the prize!

Sweet on Mad Men

April 5th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

This Sunday, Mad Men is coming back for season six. Whether you’re gathering with friends for the big show or snuggling up solo to view your guilty pleasure, there are preparations to be made. You’ve acquired a snazzy vest and equally dapper fedora. You’ve printed out all of the appropriate cocktail or mocktail recipes. You’ve listened to some Billy Page, Dusty Springfield, or Nancy Sinatra. And you’ve got the candy.

You did get all the right 1960’s retro candy, didn’t you?

Well, if you have not yet set yourself up with yummy, relevant, retro candy, then we have some treats for you. The first items you’ll want to stock up on are candy cigarettes. Now, you can join right along with the characters as their smoking their Lucky Strikes, but you won’t be coughing as much as they are. But, you know, this is a celebration, so you may want to enjoy a distinguished bubble gum cigar to kick off season 6.

Create A Happier Happy Hour

Some of the best Mad Men moments take place after work, at some of New York’s finest drinking establishments. Join Don Draper for a happy hour dirty martini. As he imbibes with olives on a swizzle stick, you can enjoy a rock candy swizzle stick (hold the olive) without ruining your Monday.

Get In Character

Sweetly fall into the gender roles of the 1960’s by providing the ladies of your premiere party with wax lips, and Sugar Daddy’s. You know, while the men talk business. You can even enjoy the exact same treats featured in the show! In a clip from season two, episode four, Draper is quoted saying that he enjoyed eating “ham and candy that tasted like violets.” Though many misheard the quote; thinking he said, “…candy that tasted like violence,” he was actually describing Choward’s Violet Mints. These mints, introduced in the 1930’s, have a refreshing floral flavor and fragrance – In case you were wondering what Don Draper’s breathe smelled like.

This Candy Will Take You Back

You might be wondering why we’re talking about Mad Men on our Candy blog. But these two things have a lot in common. What we all love about Mad Men is the insight into, or the reminiscence of a different time. The show brings folks together through entertainment and reminds us of a significant time in our cultural history. A part of that cultural history is the candy of the 1960’s. We’re an old-school candy company, and connecting people with nostalgic retro candies is the best part of our job. We like to think that, even though it’s a small part, these treats help bring people together over something delicious.