Going Ga Ga For Goo Goo Clusters

by Laurnie Wilson

The Candy Everyone Can Say

Goo Goo ClusterIt’s commonly believed that “goo goo” is the first word that babies say. Just one simple repeated syllable brings endless joy to parents when they hear their sweet baby say it. That joy is kind of like the joy that you feel eating a Goo Goo Cluster. There’s just something so perfect about that candy, it’s like hearing a baby attempt its first words. If you’re a little rusty on your Goo Goo Clusters history, then read on to find out more!

The Goo Goo Cluster goes way back, all the way back to 1912 to be exact! Back then candies focused on one main ingredient. Chocolate or caramel may have been the star, but combination candies were unheard of! That is until Standard Candy Company came along.

A Southern Treat

Goo Goo Cluster BunchBased in Nashville, Tennessee, Standard Candy was the first candy company to invent a sweet that contained more than one main ingredient! That’s right, folks. The Goo Goo Cluster, with its caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts, and milk chocolate was quite the revolutionary little cluster at the time!

The recipe for this crazy candy came from two men, Howell Campbell, Sr. and Porter Moore. Apparently they painstakingly revised the ingredients and proportions until it was just right! And since the recipe hasn’t changed in over 100 years, they must have known what they were doing!

Why Goo Goo?

Say Goo GooBut what about that name? It’s not everyday that you call something a Goo Goo, right? After babyhood people really don’t use that word anymore. Well, the truth is, there are a lot of stories as to how this candy came to be called the Goo Goo Cluster.

The most popular story goes like this: “Goo goo” is the first word a baby says. These candies are so good that people will be asking for them from birth! So, they need to be called something everyone can say. Thus, the Goo Goo Cluster! Clever, right?

The Goo Goo Solution

Another interesting fact about these clusters is that they were advertised as “a nourishing lunch for a nickel” in the 1920’s and 30’s. Sound crazy? Well at that time caloric undernourishment amongst the working class was a big concern. So this cluster seemed to be a logical and affordable solution!

For the 100th anniversary of the Goo Goo Cluster, the clusters received a makeover in both their ingredients and their packaging. But although they may look a little different, they’ll still taste as good as they did back in 1912. The hope is that this time-tested treat will stick around for another hundred years.

Sources:

  • http://www.googoo.com/our-story/history/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goo_Goo_Cluster
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/08/23/100-years-of-delicious-american-candy-history/
  • http://archive.tennessean.com/article/20110511/LIFE02/305110080/Goo-Goo-gets-makeover
  • http://www.bonappetit.com/columns/the-foodist/article/andrew-knowlton-approved-candies
  • http://2eat2drink.com/tag/goo-goo-clusters/
  • http://www.npr.org/2012/07/01/156048358/americas-affection-for-hometown-confections
  • http://www.greenolivemedia.com/branding-and-design-for-food-and-beverage_our-work_goo-goo-cluster.html