Candy History, Candy News, Retro Candy

Remember Licorice Snaps?

January 16, 2014 by

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.

Sources: Text and Images


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  • Reply Mike Staeven April 20, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Why have the Original Licorice Snaps been discontinued? They have always been my favorite and I have searched the internet to to avail for them.

  • Reply Leeann Lara May 17, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    American Licorice Company forced them out of favor and out of stock, in my opinion. They switched from the tasty licorice granules to nasty licorice extract. They received several complaints from what I saw, but for whatever reason refused to go back to their original recipe.
    Growing up, I loved Snaps, the only non-extract licorice around. This is the closest I’ve found. And unlike ALC, this company has excellent customer service!

  • Reply Jeanne Thalman January 25, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    They are no where to be found in Utah. And I am in Florida..No where here…Am traveling up to Wisconsin..Maybe they will have some…Or can I get them on line..Have been eating them since I was a kid 30 plus years..Let me know when available again

    • Reply Jonah Half January 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Hard to say but the good news is that they can be ordered on and shipped directly to your door!

  • Reply James Russo June 20, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I knew 2 years ago when formula was changed for some reason or other, that they would soon be forced to discontinue.
    You guys screwed up a great candy treat by your mismanagement or greed!

  • Reply Carol vanderwall August 23, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I was told at a candy store in Chicago they had lead in them. Could that be true? I too searched everywhere. The new fake ones are awful.

    • Reply Jonah Half August 25, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Sadly, they would be very old as Snaps haven’t been made for several years….

  • Reply Mary Zuke September 22, 2017 at 11:23 am


  • Reply Gil walton November 7, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Stop being so cheap and go back to making the original licorice snap there are millions of people that will thank you.

    • Reply Jonah Half November 10, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Did you see that they made a very limited batch of the Original Recipe Licorice Snaps? And the best part is you can buy them from! (Hurry, because our supply is almost out!)

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