Sometimes, nothing else will satisfy that persistent craving like something sweet. And oftentimes, a cake or bowl of ice cream just won’t do it. Every now and again—and it may happen a little more often than so seldom—the need for something extremely sweet wins the war an individual’s taste buds are having with his or her brain and the need for the ever-sweet invention of candy is needed. Whether it is in chocolate form or in the hundreds of fruity candy options, there’s plenty to choose from to make your mouth perform somersaults in your head! Here are ten things you may not have known about your favorite candies.
10. An Amazing Amount of M&Ms are Produced Year Round
M&Ms are produced by the Mars Wrigley Confectionery division of Mars, Inc.. They have colored the lives of many for a great number of years. They were founded in 1947, so that makes it a whopping 77 years! The original candies were filled with milk chocolate and they did very well for the longest time, yet the company introduced other types of M&Ms along the way, the most popular being the peanut filled variety. Other flavors you may not have known about include: almond, peanut butter, pretzel and even crunchy. It has been reported that Mars’ New Jersey plant actually produces an astonishing 4 million M&Ms a minute! So if we take out our old calculators, that actually comes out to 2 billion M&Ms made during every single 8 hour shift! So if we calculate that they work five days out of the week for only eight hour shifts at a time, that means that they make roughly about 10 billion M&Ms in a single week! That means that if they produce every week year round, that’s 520 billion candies a year! That’s definitely a lot of candy (sounds like such an understatement after such numbers). An employee of the plant would definitely have a lot to boast about at the dinner table after a hard day’s work. And more over that, we wonder how many samples he or she gets to bring home?
9. Mike & Ike Also Premiered In The 1940’s and The Origin of Their Name is Still a Mystery Today
It also came in many flavors over the long years since its inception and the world was all the more grateful for it. The actually originated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1940 exactly, and were available at first only with their original flavors included: lemon, lime, orange and cherry. But that wouldn’t set the tone for where the company would go, ultimately offering a plethora of amazing flavors. The candy’s peculiar name and its origins are actually still argued to this day, with a number of possible theories. Some believe that the candy was named after the old comic strip Mike and Ike (They Both Look Alike); some believe that the candies were named after the Matina Brothers, who were midget performers that were extremely popular at the time—they actually played “Munchkins” in The Wizard of Oz. And finally, some believe that they were named after a vaudeville song by the same exact name. But of course, no one seems to be sure, exactly. The company has released many different flavors over the long years, cotton candy and root beer included.
8. The M&M’s Candy Surface Serves a Purpose
The company’s slogan: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” actually comes from the company’s origins. Essentially the whole reason that the milk chocolate is covered by a candied coating is so that the chocolate wouldn’t melt. This was inspired by a practice used by the military to enable soldiers to carry chocolate on their person in warm climates, the candy shell allowing the chocolate within to remain intact. Candies and chocolate were actually believed to inspire happiness and battle depression in soldiers during times of unrest, so protecting that candy was definitely a priority. So, M&M definitely decided to apply the practice when they created these colorful candies we all enjoy to this day. It was genius, as children have always been able to enjoy them on warm days as well as cold.
7. Skittles Actually Originated In Britain
It’s true! Skittles were actually made the first time by a company operating out of Great Britain and they’re actually a lot younger than you’d think, especially when compared to a lot of other candies out there. That was in 1974, actually. And they didn’t migrate to North America until 1979, which makes this particularly popular candy only about 40 years old. It ended up getting consumed more over here than it ever did where it originated, but then again, North America consumes all delicious products at a quicker pace than the rest of the world. It is now a part of the candy producing conglomerate, the Wrigley Company, which is of course a division of Mars Inc.. Of course no chocolate at all makes itself available in the form of Skittles, but they do have some pretty outrageous flavors. Of course the original red packaging is the most popular and probably always will be, but their other flavor combinations such as Tropical, Sour, Wild Berry and even Sweet Heat ( their spicy variety) do well out there among all with a veritable sweet tooth.
6. Salt Water Taffy … Actually Contains Not an Ounce of Salt Water
So the Jersey Shore isn’t only known for giving us the likes of Snooky, J-Wow and Mike “The Situation” Sorentino. As it turns out, one of North America’s favorite treats originated from the same place. Specifically, it was founded in and originally made in the areas of The Jersey Shore, Atlantic City and other parts of New Jersey. Extremely popular because of its difficulty to chew, but its smooth and sweet flavor makes it just right, and it isn’t at all overpoweringly sweet, and has just the right elements of sweetness thrown in. Regardless, its etymology goes way back to the 19th century and the masses have been enjoying this candy for a long time indeed. The name however, is quite misleading in that there is no salt water in the recipe. As it turns out, in the later portion of the 19th century, a massive storm hit the area where taffy was produced and sold, specifically an Atlantic City boardwalk. The area was completely flooded. Shortly after, a patron showed up in one of the many boardwalk shops and asked for some candy. The owner of the shop actually joked and said that all that was left after the storm was salt water taffy! He said this in reference to all of the ocean water that had flooded his shop. Now talk about the joke heard round the world. It transcended time, and still today, people are referencing that comment he made at the frustration from the flood, and the taffy is known and forever will be as salt water taffy.
5. The Candy-Loving World Has an Author to Thank For Runts, Gobstoppers and Laffy Taffy
Authors and writers of fiction sometimes happen to touch onto something that can one day come to fruition. They say that author Jules Vern actually wrote about many items that were not even in existence yet, like remote controlled devices, certain types of weapons and the list goes on … inventions that eventually came to fruition, but only after he’d written about them, and long after at that. So was the case for this particular brand of candy. The former pilot, turned novelist hailed from Wales. His name was Roald Dahl, and he gave the world some of the most successful novels: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and of course Gremlins. It was of course Charlie and The Cholcolate Factory that was ultimately turned into a film, and a hit film at that. But the film would have never come to fruition had it not been for the Quaker Oats Company. Interestingly enough, the company actually helped finance the film, but that gesture wasn’t at all as selfless as it may have seemed. As it turns out, they helped launch the film all the while planning to launch a candy line all at the same time, hoping that the film would provide ample attention for their brand of candy. It was called The Willy Wonka Candy Company, and just as they planned it, it ended up working out well, as what child didn’t want to eat the candy that they saw in the hit film?
4. Candy Corn Can Last a Long Time After a Bag Has Been Opened … a Really Long Time
When you think of Halloween, probably one of the first thoughts that you think about after ghosts, goblins, vampires and zombies are the many treats that are associated with the Holiday. And probably one of the most famous, or rather infamous of those treats is none other than candy corn. The candy is exceptionally particular in that it actually looks like kernel corn, with the added colors of white and orange, and its taste is tasty enough to be quite memorable. So much so, that many get cravings for this candy all year round. But as it turns out, getting this candy in stores year round may be a wee bit of a problem. But, have no fear, as there is a way to enjoy candy corn year round: just buy a heck of a lot more of it than you think you’ll be consuming over the Halloween season. Will it go bad, you ask? As it turns out … not at all. Apparently, after a bag of candy corn is open, it can last from anywhere between 3 to 6 months! And that’s only if you happen to open the bag. If it’s stays sealed, you’re good to the end of the summer, which will bring you safely back to Halloween season, when you’ll start seeing this stuff back on those market shelves. Just remember to store it in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. “Keep them out of direct sunlight!?” So they are candies that are perfect for Halloween in the end, aren’t they? Like the vampires of old, they do best in the dark crevices of our pantries and only there will they survive the bright sunny days of summer.
3. A Twix Spread Actually Exists!
Of course, you only have to be willing to travel land and sea if you happen to dwell in North America. That’s right … it’s only available in the United Kingdom. Sorry folks, but it’s true, the Twix company has actually developed a spread out of this and many have compared it to Nutella. This spread actually has some caramel and biscuit thrown in. Now imagine that spread across your toast or a warm croissant straight out of the oven. Sounds mouth-watering? That’s because it surely is. Just be ready to bite into something super sweet, but for many that presents no problem at all, as the sweeter, the better. It’s unclear as to whether the company has made plans to sell jars of this stuff overseas, but we’d imagine that it would do well. However, similar spreads that were released in the past, like Reese Peanut Butter Cup Spread actually did quite badly in the North American market, as well as other spreads that didn’t quite hit the mark with consumers so to speak, which is why there might be a bit of a hold on this one. But if you happen to want a taste, just go over to the UK, and bring us back a batch while you’re at it. We’ll have the croissants, warmed and ready.
2. Dots Gum Drops are Actually Gluten Free
There are many that are actually allergic to gluten, and that means that they have to stay away from products that contain this particular ingredient. But the diet industry has also jumped on this bandwagon, and the fitness industry as well, have concluded that a gluten free diet is also a great way to shed away quite a few of those unwanted pounds. And as beach season approaches rather quickly, many are jumping onto gluten free diets and other similar diets in hopes of looking rather in shape when they hit the beaches of the world. The great news in all of this, is that they won’t have to give up candy in the process, as Dots Gum Drops are actually gluten free! And … they’re vegan friendly to boot! This fruity-flavored variety of candy has been around since 1945, and the company claims that it’s the number 1 best-selling gum drop brand. They’re marketed by Tootsie Roll Industries and have indeed been a top seller as they claim. From out of their Chicago plant, an astonishing 4 billion Dots are made and distributed in a single year. That sure isn’t as many as M&Ms can boast about, but it sure is a lot just the same. As it turns out, they’ve even been certified as being kosher as of December 1st, 2009 by the Orthodox Union. So while you’re doing those crunches, push-ups, curl-ups and hours and hours of elliptical training, pop a few of these in your mouth for energy and worry not about the gluten. Besides, you can use a treat after all those sets and reps. You deserve it.
1. The Three Musketeers Bar Originally Had Three Distinct Ingredients in Every Bar
The bar was introduced way back in 1932 by Mars. It was actually only the third bar to be offered by the company, the other two being the Mars bar and the Snickers Bar. But when the Three Musketeers bar was first seen, it actually had a few other ingredients thrown into the mix. In fact, three in all, hence the name. The bar actually contained vanilla, nougat and strawberry. But as it turned out, strawberry and vanilla were actually very expensive and hard to use during the second World War, thus the company’s decision to drop the other two ingredients. But the name stuck, all these years and for many consumers, the nougat was more than enough to satisfy their cravings for the bar. However, after celebrating their 75th anniversary, the company launched other flavors of the bar, vanilla and strawberry having a festive return and of course, the first of the new flavors was none other than mint. This did quite well, but still sales are still highest when the old standard flavor is concerned. As they say, nothing beats a classic.