Halloween is a time for creative costumes, sneaky tricks, and fun treats. You’ve always had that one treat that you set your sights on while trick or treating, right? Many of the popular treats you see today go back a long way, and have evolved ever since. Every year it seems that they come out with a twist or whole new kind of candy. So, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the history of Halloween candy.
Did you know that Starbursts originally had two names before? They were first called “Opal Fruits.” For a short time, they were named “M&M Fruit Chewies,” but in the 1970’s they were later renamed to Starbursts.
Treats that many never heard of such as the Seven Up Bar and the Chicken Dinner Bar discontinued between the 1960’s and 1970’s. Some treats discontinued certain flavors of products, but kept the company name strong. For example, Swedish Fish discontinued their grape-flavored fish in 2006, and Dum Dum Pops discontinued their banana, peach, and pineapple flavors in the 2000’s.
Did you know that many candies were popular with U.S. Troops during the time of WWII? The first M&Ms were made for U.S. troops in 1941, Tootsie rolls made their way into WWII rations, and Mounds were one of the troops’ favorite treats.
History of Halloween Candy
- Twizzlers are invented in 1845.
- The first company to make Candy Corn is the Wunderle Candy Company in the 1880’s. The Goelitz Confectionery Company also produces it, calling it “chicken feed.”
- Leo Hirschfield names his candy after his daughter’s nickname, Tootsie in 1896- Tootsie Rolls.
- The world-famous Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar is first sold in 1900.
- The American Candy Company makes the first version of Wax Lips in the early 1900’s.
- Hershey’s chocolate kisses are introduced in 1907. The signature “plume” is added in 1921.
- Life Savers are created in 1912.
- The American Licorice Company’s factory opens in 1914. They make Red Vines, which were originally raspberry flavored until 1952 when there was a slight formula change.
- The original Jaw Buster is created in 1919.
- A small confectioner produces and hand-delivers Mounds in 1919.
- Baby Ruth was introduced in 1920.
- Butterfinger is created in 1923.
- The Chicken Dinner Bar is introduced in 1923.
- Frank and Forest Mars create the Milky Way bar in 1923.
- Bit-o-Honey first appears in 1924.
- “Dum Dums” is invented in 1924.
- The Papa Sucker is invented in 1925. The name is changed to “Sugar Daddy” and Sugar Babies are made.
- Milk Duds were created in 1926. They were called “duds” because it was impossible to make them perfectly round.
- Reese’s are created by H.B. Reese in 1928.
- The first Candy Cigarettes are introduced in the early 1930’s.
- Cinnamon-flavored Red Hots are introduced in the 1930’s.
- Snickers is introduced in 1930. It is today’s top selling candy bar.
- Tootsie Roll Pop is invented in 1931.
- 3 Musketeers are invented in 1932.
- ‘Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp,’ now called Kit Kat, is first made in the UK in 1935 by Joseph Rowntree.
- Krackel is introduced in 1938.
- Nestle’ Crunch is introduced in 1938.
- The predecessor to Whoppers, Giants, are introduced in 1939.
- The first M&M’s are made for the U.S. Military in 1941 and launches to the general public in 1945. The “m”s are printed on M&Ms in 1950, and the peanut version is introduced in 1954.
- Almond Joy, cousin of Mounds, is introduced in 1948 as a milk chocolate alternative.
- Candies with the Jolly Rancher name are available in 1949.
- Ce De Candy Inc. first produces Smarties in 1949.
- Whoppers are introduced in 1949.
- Cumberland Valley invents the Dots, Candy Buttons sometime in the 1950’s.
- Pearson’s purchases the rights to the Seven Up Bar in the 1950’s.
- Swedish Fish is introduced to the U.S. in the 1950’s.
- “Opal Fruits” are introduced in 1960 in the U.K.. Then after a short time as “M& M’s Fruit Chewies,” they’re renamed, “Starburst” in the 1970’s.
- Two rocket scientists quit their jobs and create the Astro Pop in 1963.
- Twix are produced in the U.K. in 1967. They are introduced to the U.S. in 1979.
- Skittles are first made in 1974. The slogan, “taste the rainbow” is coined in 1994.
- Reese’s Pieces are introduced in 1977. They star in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial movie, increasing sales as much as an estimated 300%.
- Nerds are introduced in 1983 and become the “Candy of the Year” in 1985.
- Airheads is introduced in 1985.
- Sour Patch Kids are introduced in the U.S. in 1985.
- PB Max is launched in 1989. It is discontinued in 1990’s reportedly due to Mars family distaste of peanut butter.
- Originally called Nestle’ Magic Ball, now Wonder Balls, the part-candy, part-toy treat can be found in the early 1990’s.
Check out the complete infographic to find out more about your favorite candy and what they looked like in their beginning stages to the present.