Decades of Decadence!6 min read
Halloween is just around the corner, which means everyone is ready for the best part of the holiday: buckets full of candy! At any age, candy has a way of reminding us of our childhoods. It gives us a chance to enjoy the little things and be a bit nostalgic for a while. That’s why this week we’re going to take a look at the best candies from the 1920s through the 1990s. Just how old is your favorite candy? Find out below; you may be surprised!
One 20s favorite was the Baby Ruth. There is some debate around the reason for the name: some believe Baby Ruth is indicative of Ruth Cleveland, President Cleveland’s daughter. Others believe the it comes from the Great Bambino himself. In any case, these Chicago-based confections were released in 1921 as a re-brand of another candy. Baby Ruth now belongs to the Nestlé corporation which bought the brand from Nabisco in 1990.
Charleston Chews made a splash in the candy market during the 1920s. They were released in 1925 and named for the popular dance the Charleston. Tootsie Roll Industries now owns the brand after buying it in 1993. The candy was also famously mentioned in the Eminem song “Forgot About Dre.”
Snickers were released by Mars, Inc. in 1930. Named for the family’s beloved horse, the Snickers bar remains a favorite candy of many Americans today. In the UK, they were released under the name Marathon bar, and they’ve been running the candy market ever since with an estimated annual 15 million bars sold per year. They’ve even become a staple in a Midwestern dish, the Snickers salad, which consists of cut up pieces of the candy, apples, and whipped cream mixed together in a bowl.
3 Musketeers, released in 1932, used to be a candy which correlated more closely to its name. Originally, it came in a package with three small candy bars. They each had a different flavored nougat filling, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and sold for five cents. Now, it sells as one large candy filled only with chocolate nougat, a change made in 1945. However, the company still released seasonal or limited edition flavors like mint, French vanilla, or cherry from time to time.
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” is the longest-running slogan of a 1940s favorite: the M&M. These candies were originally marketed during the war as a way to give chocolate to soldiers without having melted candies in their pockets. M&Ms were named for the candy’s two creators, Forrest Mars of the Mars corporation and Bruce Murrie, the son of a Hershey executive; Mars and Murrie are the original M&M! They got their patent in 1941 and today more than 400 million individual pieces are manufactured in a given year.
Jolly Ranchers have been bought and sold multiple times throughout their history, but they originated in Golden, Colorado, home of the Jolly Rancher Company! They were so popular at his shop in Denver that it actually became difficult to sell his other product, ice cream, during the winter months. For that reason, he devoted all his time to perfecting the hard candies because they saw no seasonal shifts in sales. Back in 1949, there were only three flavors: Fire Stix, grape, and apple. As the candy’s popularity has grown, so have the types of flavors and ways to consume them. From blue raspberry Jolly Rancher suckers to watermelon Jolly Rancher jelly beans, they’ve taken over the fruit candy market.
All these candies still hold our hearts as some of the best of all time. Next week, we’ll explore more top sellers from the 50s, 60s, and 70s! What candy do you hope makes the cut? Let us know in the comments!