We don’t want to sound like that old person sitting on their porch yelling at kids to get off their lawn. But kids these days don’t know history! If they didn’t see it posted on social media, then they probably don’t know about it! Well, boys and girls, put on some bell bottoms and listen up. You might think that we live in an age of good candy, but the real deal was way back in the day! Check out this list of the Top 10 Best Candy Of The ’60s!
10. Swedish Fish
Today, there are more than 7,000 metric tons of Swedish Fish produced every year. That’s a whole lotta candy seafood and it all started back around 1960 when these swimmingly delicious red chewy treats were introduced to North America. The exact date on which they made their debut in North America is unclear, but the gummies were created by the Swedish company, Malaco, as a way to expand into the American market. Fish is a big part of the Swedish diet and that was the inspiration for Swedish Fish. Most people think that the original flavor of the candy was a raspberry flavor, others say it was lingonberry – but that has never been verified. All we know is that it is a sweet berry flavor. Over the decades, there has been a wide variety of new flavors introduced, from orange to lemon-lime. There were also grape ones, but that flavor was discontinued back in 2006. These days, the Swedish Fish we consume here in North America are produced in two places: Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, and Turkey. These candies have been around for so long, that almost anyone you talk to has great childhood memories associated with them. And there are thousands of tons of more memories being made every year!
9. 100 Grand Bar
The 100 Grand Bar was created in 1966 and named for a series of classic game-shows of the era. Until the mid-1980s, these awesome chocolate bars were known as “hundred thousand dollar bars.” That’s definitely a little awkward and has way too many syllables for a candy bar. Which is probably one of the reasons everyone now just calls it a “hundred grand bar.” Well, those who can find them of course. While the candy is still popular and can be found all over the United States, candy lovers of the North, in Canada, might have a harder time finding this one at their local corner store. Thankfully, there are online candy retailers that will be happy to deliver them to your door should you want some – and trust us… you want some! These really are great chocolate bars that contain sweet and chewy caramel at the center, covered with crunchy pieces of crisped rice combined with creamy milk chocolate. They have also made a few people a lot of money. At some point, radio stations in Boston and Kentucky held $100 Grand contests but didn’t tell the participants that the winner would be getting the classic chocolate bar and not actual money. Well, while it might have seemed funny at the time, they certainly weren’t laughing when they were sued by the context winners and had to give them the chocolate bar plus $100,000 cash!
There are those that love sour candies and those that don’t. For the former group, Lemonheads are still a must-try. These awesome, hard, yellow sour treats were introduced to the world back in 1962 by the Ferrara Candy Company in Chicago, Illinois. Since their introduction, there have been a few other varieties created, including Grapeheads, Appleheads, and Cherryheads. The candy came about after the founder of the company, Salvatore Ferrara saw his grandson right after the boy’s delivery. The child had been a forceps baby and when Salvatore saw him, one of the first things he noted was that the child’s head was shaped like a lemon. And Lemonheads were born. The company is also the creators of Red Hots and they used the same candy-making process to produce the Lemonheads. Today, the company produces 500 Million Lemonheads every single year. The most common version of the candy is the 1 cm-sized ones you find in the boxes. However, they do also produce single-sale ones that clock in at 3 cm. While candy isn’t generally associated with health benefits of any kind, there are many pregnant women and parent bloggers who speak to the nausea-relieving effects of sucking on Lemonhead candy. Also, people undergoing chemotherapy are often recommended to suck on Lemonheads (or other sour lemon candies) in order to promote salivation.
7. Now And Later
Now And Later – a 1962 creation from The Phoenix Candy Company in Brooklyn New York – might not be all that recognizable to today’s candy lovers. But those who grew up in the 60s and 70s probably have some very fond memories of these sweets and their demanding and direct slogan, “Eat some now, Kid.” In fact, some of those kids might still be chewing on a piece they started back all those years ago. These taffy-like candies definitely required some strong mouth muscles to work them to belly-filling completion. In fact, the name, Now and Later, partly refers to the idea that you can start chewing on a piece now and will probably still be chewing on it later. More than that, the name was meant to suggest that you will like the candy now and want more later. These candies are fruit-flavored, square-shaped, and come individually wrapped in colorful paper. Their visual similarity to Starburst is hard to deny. Although, there’s no threat of lockjaw when chowing down on a bag of Starburst. There are 12 Now and Then flavors, including cherry, grape, apple, strawberry, a few tropical ones as well. We aren’t sure how wide the availability of these candies is, but they are worth searching out, if only for their nostalgic value. Just, maybe don’t tell your dentist about it.
6. Astro Pops
This may sound like a joke, but Astro Pops were created by actual rocket scientists. Two guys who were working on the space program decided to quit their jobs and make candy. Seems nuts, but it worked. They used their background to build all of the machines for the production process from scratch and based the Astro Pop on the look of a three-stage rocket. As you may remember, the 1960s was when the space race was in full force. It was in 1962 that President Kennedy made his famous speech where he said that America would go to the moon within the decade and just seven years later, Apollo 11 made his statement a reality. With that as a backdrop, the Astro Pop tapped into the space craze and became a big hit. The original three flavors of the pop were cherry, passionfruit, and pineapple. Spangler Candy Company, which bought the rights to the candy in 1987, expanded the Astro Pop line and released a line of lollipops with flavors such as banana split and caramel apple. In 2000, some genius at Spangler had the bright idea to produce reverse-Astro Pops with the stick in the tip of the pop rather than the wider base. The thought process behind this was that it would give consumers more surface area to lick. We think you can guess how well that went. They discontinued the brand in 2004. But in 2010, it was bought by another company and you can still get them today.
5. Caramilk Bar
If you’ve always wanted to know the “Caramilk secret,” rest assured, you’re not the only one. People dating back to 1968 have been wondering the same darn thing. Caramilk is one of the oldest chocolate bars in Canada and is made by Cadbury. The creamy, caramel-filled chocolate bar has been a fan favorite among chocolate lovers for decades. People never seem to get enough of that sweet caramel filling, and the mystery of how it’s made truly helped sales soar. The ancient secret is carefully guarded and protected so the mystery is able to live on and on. The secret to how they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar remains safely sealed in a vault in Toronto. Unfortunately, that means that this baby is not sold in the US, but that hasn’t stopped us from wishing and hoping Caramilk would make its way across the border. The Caramilk Candy Bar has satisfied Canadians with its smooth and silky caramel and extraordinary chocolate, and we can’t help but wonder just how delicious it must be. We kind of have an American take on this classic called “Caramello,” but it’s nothing compared to the real thing. It’s less sweet and it’s chewier than the Caramilk. We might never know how it tastes or how it’s made, but that’s okay. Some of the best things in life are better left unknown, and after all, we all love a sweet secret.
4. Fruit Stripe Gum
If one of the key factors in determining what gum you chew is that it must have stripes on it, then Fruit Stripe Gum is perfect for you. This 60s era gum was long and flat and, of course, striped. Each individual piece was packaged in a zebra-striped piece of paper and came, and still comes, in a number of fruity flavors, including wet ‘n wild melon, cherry, lemon, orange, and peach smash. They are also still producing cherry, grape, mixed fruit, lemon, and cotton candy bubble gum options. The cool stripes and the strong flavors were two reasons Fruit Stripe gum was a hit in the 1960s – although that yummy flavor is also famous for not lasting very long after you start chewing. However, the company behind the gum had another marketing trick up their sleeve. Plus, every pack includes a set of temporary tattoos! It looks like they have continued that tradition and the gum now comes with tattoos featuring their mascot – Yipes the Zebra – doing things like, inline skating, skateboarding, playing baseball, and eating grass. The gum has had other mascots in the past. Including, the Fruit Stripes Gum Man character who was a gum pack with arms and legs. However, over the years, the company has put all the other mascots out to pasture and Yipes became the sole character promoting the product.
Even though these candies were invented all the way back in 1962, they are still one of the most popular and recognizable candies on this list. There are probably a few items on this list you’ve never heard of, but if SweeTarts is one of them, then you probably haven’t been to a movie theatre, a corner store, a 7-Eleven or a grocery store in the last 50 years. These sweet, sour and tangy treats originally came in five flavors: Cherry, Lemon, Lime, Orange and Grape. The very observant candy-lovers among you might have noticed some similarity in flavor between SweeTarts and Pixy Stix. SweeTarts actually came about based on the idea that consumers would prefer a condensed candy version of Pixy Stix rather than the powder one. They also kept hearing complaints from parents that Pixy Stix were too messy. – and we agree. The candy was originally produced by the Sunline Candy Company, but today they are produced by Nestle, which also makes a few other versions: Giant Sweetarts, Chewy Sweetarts and Mini Sweetarts. The first SweeTarts flavors were the exact same flavors as Pixy Stix, but there have been some changes made in the ensuing 58 years. In 2002, the green one (lime) was replaced with green apple. In 2009, Nestlé stopped making lemon, but they brought it back four years later in 2013. The current flavors in a SweeTarts roll are: blue punch, cherry, grape, lemon and green apple.
Starburst made their debut in 1960 in England and were known as “Opal Fruits.” One lucky UK citizen even won five pounds in a competition to name the new candy. Seven years later, in 1967, they made their way across the pond to the United States, and with the move, they also moved away from the drab name and were branded as Starburst here (although, they remained Opal Fruits in the UK until the 1990s). The first “unexplainably Juicy” flavors in the US were, Strawberry, Orange, Lemon and Lime (which changed to cherry). In the UK, there was a black currant flavor and they combined lemon and lime into one flavor to make room for it. For almost 20 years nothing much changed on the flavors’ front. That was, until 1984, when they added a few new tastes, including sour, fiesta and more. Today you can also find Tropical Starbursts. Starburst is another candy that, while it might resonate with the older generation, those chewy squares are just as loved by the younger crowd today – many probably have no idea they’ve been around since before the internet. Although, to be fair, many young kids don’t know there was a time before the internet.
1. Cadbury Creme Eggs
These decadent delights have a long and interesting history. The Cadbury Brothers first started producing filled eggs all the way back in 1923. However, the Creme eggs as we know them today didn’t come about until 1963. And at that time they were called Fry’s Creme Eggs. It wasn’t until 1971 that they became known as Cadbury Creme Eggs. Besides how delicious they are, the thing everyone knows about the Creme Eggs is that they are only available for a limited time every year – generally from January thru to Easter. You might think that, given their popularity it would be smart for the company to make them available year-round. Well, they tried that in the UK in the 1980s and sales actually dropped, so they went back to the seasonal thing. A smart move given that Cadbury Creme Eggs are the best selling confectionery item between New Year’s Day and Easter in the UK. If your super-taste buds noticed something different about Cadbury Creme Eggs back in 2016, it was probably because the company changed their eggshell from the classic Dairy Milk chocolate to a lesser quality exterior. Not a smart move. Sales dropped in the UK by more than £6 million. Even with the loss and the public backlash the eggs are still uber-popular, and the company has continued with the new recipe since the change.