You might be able to rattle off the names of a bunch of candies, but do you know anything else about them? Here, you’ll find a ton of fun facts about your favorite sweets. Brush up on your candy trivia and learn a new thing or two with our original infographic and fact breakdown below.
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Presidential Jelly Beans
During Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration, Jelly Belly served more than 3 tons of jelly beans! That’s what I call bulk candy. Hope they got a good deal!
Because the president developed a love of jelly beans after he started eating them to kick his smoking habit. While Reagan was a governor, he got regular shipments of mixed jelly beans from Herman Goelitz Candy Company.
After a couple years, these jelly beans were narrowed down to his favorite: Jelly Belly jelly beans. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, the company shipped three and a half tons of red, white, and blue Jelly Belly jelly beans to Washington D.C.—although licorice was the president’s favorite.
Shortly after in February, Herman Goelitz Candy Company was authorized to make a jelly bean jar featuring the presidential seal. These special jars of jelly beans were given out to heads of state, diplomats, and important guests. Ronald Regan received shipments of jelly beans from the same company for the entirety of his two terms. It goes to show that true love lasts a lifetime!
In 1949, Bill and Dorothy Harmsen founded the Jolly Rancher company. Getting its start in Golden, Colorado, the company sold ice cream, candy, and chocolate at local stores. The fun fact here comes in the name. Since these tasty hard candies were cerated in the west, Bill wanted them to represent the spirit of the people. The name, “Jolly Rancher,” was chosen to connote a “hospitable western company.”
Today, Jolly Rancher has lip gloss, shirts, home décor, jelly beans, seasonal candies, lollipops, chewy candies, and hard candies. However, you can still enjoy five of the seven original flavors, including—grape, apple, watermelon, orange tangerine, and sour apple. Whatever flavor you choose, you can “Keep on Sucking” on these hard candies for a good long while.
World War Too-tsie
During World War II, American soldiers were given Tootsie Rolls in their rations because of the candy’s ability to withstand all weather conditions. Considering Tootsie Rolls were invented by an Austrian, Leo Hirshfield, it’s a little ironic.
Although, he did open his first shop in the streets of New York City in 1896, so Tootsie Rolls have always been an American candy.
All Hershey’s Kisses have a white paper strip that comes out of the top of the wrapper. But do you know what it’s called? This little flag is actually called a “plume.” Hershey’s originally introduced it to distinguish itself from phony knock-off candies.
However, it also helps unwrap the candy. Since the plume is tucked inside the foil and under the base of the kiss, you should be able to pull on the paper to extract the candy from the wrapper. You don’t need to scrape your fingernails or use your teeth.
The Hershey’s Kiss plume is both functional and fashionable! From 1907 when it was invented, until 1921, Hershey’s Kisses were wrapped by hand. Nowadays, they’re wrapped automatically and every plume is still tucked in with care.
Hungry? Grab a Snickers. You all probably know that now famous campaign and slogan, but do you know where the name “Snickers” came from? Inventor, Frank Mars, actually had a favorite horse named Snickers.
That’s where the idea for this peanutty, caramelly, and chocolatey candy came from. While the horse is long gone, the candy and its name that was created in 1930 lives on!
We’re not horsing around. This is another candy fact that was spurred by a galloping racehorse. Famous candy inventor, George Smith, tried his lick, oh we mean luck, on the racetrack. In 1908, he invented a now famous hard candy on a stick and named it after his favorite race horse, Lolly Pop.
Today, there are thousands of versions of this beloved candy and with every version, the lollipop name has stuck. We’re not sure if Lolly Pop the racehorse won very many derbies or went on to become one of the greats, but we know its namesake did.
Naschkatze (Sweet Tooth)
Germans like some heavy food. Between all the beer, bratwurst, pretzels, and cheese, it’s no surprise they’d need to lighten it up with some sweets! Did you know that Germans consume twice as much candy as Americans? It’s true!
The most popular candy in Germany is the Milka Chocolate Bar that was invented there in 1901. Annually, Germans spend more than $730 million on these chocolate bars! The second place candy is Lindt, that sells about $500 million worth of chocolate a year to Germans. Since Germany is known for the German chocolate cake, it’s no wonder why its citizens love chocolate so much.
We all know kids don’t like green stuff (veggies), but they really seem to enjoy red! In fact, red jelly beans are the all-time favorite jelly bean color among children.
While we know the color, we don’t know the flavor. One would assume it’s cherry since that’s light and sweet, but there are also dozens of other red jelly bean flavors out there!
There are Boston Baked Beans, cinnamon jelly beans, pomegranate jelly beans, and so many more. Considering apple juice is one of America’s most popular beverages, maybe there’s a red trend here? Ask your kids and see what they think!
Give Me Some Sugar
During the middle ages, sugar was very expensive, so only the wealthy could afford it. That’s because sugar was originally farmed in India, and only spread to the Middle East and the Mediterranean shortly after. During the 15th century, sugar cost £40.00 per ton! (a lot for back then).
A single bag equated to an entire day’s wages! Sugar wasn’t the only modern household item that fetched a large price. In Rome, people used to be paid in salt. So the next time you look at your pantry, appreciate how accessible and affordable these once rare products have become!
Americans aren’t known for their health foods. Since obesity is an epidemic and more than one-third of U.S. adults are considered to be obese, the following fact might come as a shock: Less than 2 percent of all calories in the American diet come from candy. That goes to show we’re chowing down elsewhere!
Despite this small percentage, Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy every year for Halloween alone. That’s six times the weight of the Titanic! Even crazier, more than 30,000 people are employed by the candy industry in America. For such large candy numbers, it’s still surprising Americans don’t consume more candy. At least our dentists will be happy about that!
Candy Corn Craze
Candy corn, also known as “chicken feed,” is the top selling candy in the U.S.! M&Ms is a close second, selling $673.2 million of these chocolate morsels every year. That’s about 20 million pounds! Candy corn also has been around longer than M&Ms. In Philadelphia in the 1880s, George Renninger of Wunderlee Candy Company created these multi-colored treats.
Today, candy corn is made by a number of brands, including Jelly Belly and Brachs. While it’s a simple mixture of sugar, fondant, corn syrup, vanilla, and marshmallow creme, you can’t knock a classic. Candy corn has been around for decades and looks like it’s here to stay.
Burst Your Bubble
Ever try to blow a gigantic bubble gum bubble to only have it pop on your face? You might be doing it wrong. In order to blow a huge bubble gum bubble, you need to chew it until all the sugar has dissolved. The reason? Sugar doesn’t stretch! Once the flavor is gone, practice slowly blowing air into the bubble.
The largest bubble gum bubble recorded to date was 20 inches in diameter. The person used three pieces of Double Bubble bubble gum. Now, that’s something to respire to! :)
Oldies But Goodies
Classics never go out of style. The fact that 65% of American candy bars were created more than 50 years ago proves this. The Hershey’s Chocolate Bar was the first “American” chocolate bar—having made its debut in 1894—and is still the 4th most popular candy bar in the United States.
Hershey was so successful because he was the first candy manufacturer to come up with a mass production system and the ability to use fresh milk in his chocolate. While the recipe has changed over the years, Hershey’s made people happy in 2015 when it decided to remove artificial ingredients from the chocolate.
Decaf is kind of a lie. While it has much less caffeine than regular coffee, it still has the same amount as a one-ounce piece of milk chocolate. The reason why both popular beverage and sweet have caffeine is because of their derivatives.
Caffeine comes from a xanthine alkaloid substance that occurs naturally in leaves, fruits, and nuts of coffee, guarana, tea, yerba mate, cacao, and many more plants.
But don’t worry. Since the safe amount of caffeine people should consume a day is about four cups, or 400 milligrams, the roughly 35 milligrams in milk chocolate and decaf coffee shouldn’t affect you much.
Lollipops, licorice, sour balls, candy canes, and gummi bears are all free of fat and cholesterol. Since some candy bars can contain up to 30 grams of fat, which is almost all of your daily recommended fat intake for a 1,600 calories diet, going with a lighter candy can satisfy your sweet tooth without busting your belt.
One candy that’s touted for its health benefits is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, when it’s not loaded with sugar, has a ton of antioxidants and can improve heart health. While no candy can be dubbed a healthy treat, some are much better than others!
Larger Than Life Lolly
The “World’s Largest Lollipop” weighed 7,003 pounds and was created by Sees Candy on July 18, 2012 in Burlingame, California. That’s the weight of more than 11 grizzly bears, 3.5 Clydesdale horses, or more than one BMW 7 series! If only we had giant mouths to eat this pop…
Holy smokes that’s big!
Without the stick, the lollipop itself was about six feet tall and 16 feet 7 inches with the stick. The company made this chocolate lollipop by creating a very large mold and transporting it on a moving truck.
Lifetime Supply of Chocolate
The largest chocolate bar weighed 12,770 pounds! It was created in the UK in 2011 and hasn’t been topped since. To put that in perspective, that’s the same as the weight of one T-Rex, five adult giraffes, or one African Elephant.
Now, if someone created a marshmallow and graham cracker, we’d have one huge s’more!
You might think the scent of cologne would do the trick, but The Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago found a stronger aphrodisiac: cucumber mixed with Good & Plenty candy.
After studying a group of women, the foundation discovered that women, in particular, became most aroused by this scent combination. We’re not sure anyone would want to walk around smelling like candy and cucumbers, but the ladies would love it!
Despite what mean grandmothers or school teachers have told you, gum is digestible. It won’t stay in your body forever.
While any large food could potentially obstruct your intestines, gum is flexible and should pass through like anything else! However, when it comes out the other end, commercial bubble gum doesn’t biodegrade very quickly. That’s why it’s such a pain when people stick it under desks or spit it out in the street!
Just know, if you accidentally swallow gum, it’ll come back out again. Just try to throw it in a trash can if you’re able!
Fizzling Old Wives Tales
It’s been said that if you drink Coca-Cola and eat Pop Rocks at the same time, you will explode. That is definitely not true, but you could have some hellish gas! When Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks combine, the pressurized carbon dioxide in the candy is released. That’s what makes the fun popping sensation!
When combined with carbonated soda, there is even more carbon dioxide gas. If you do a science experiment with a bottle of soda, a package of Pop Rocks, and a balloon, you can see this gas build-up when it inflates the balloon.
When you use your body as the vessel in this experiment, it’ll just make you burp!
How The Zebra Got Its “Yipes”
Ever had Fruit Stripes gum? Then you might have noticed the fun zebra on the front. He actually has a name—it’s Yipes. Fruit Stripes Gum was invented in 1969—undoubtedly one of the better achievements of the year, aside from landing on the moon!
We can safely assume this zebra was given his name because of how it rhymes with the product. It’s also an exciting onomatopoeia for a fun kind of gum. Each package of Fruit Stripes still comes with edible tattoos you can put on your tongue or body and the friendly zebra on the front.
President Nixon regularly had the breakfast of champions, Milky Way! Supposedly, the president had a sweet tooth and loved Milky Way bars. He’s not alone.
Milky Way bars are one of the top ten most popular candy bars in America. Considering the fact that the bar has been around since 1923, it has outlasted Nixon’s short presidency and carried on a much more noble reputation!
Every Easter, yellow puffs of marshmallow, called Peeps, line supermarket shelves. Of all the colors and shapes, the most popular color of Peeps is yellow.
And the country demands a lot of them! Back in 1953, when Peeps were first put into production, it took 1,620 minutes to make one. Now, it only takes six minutes from start to finish to make one Peep! Whoa!
Good thing, because every day, factories make 5.5 million Peeps to keep mouths fed and sweet teeth happy!
Over The Rainbow
Every day, Skittles makes 200,000,000 of its original variety. When you look at how many that makes over the course of a year, it’s enough Skittles to reach from earth to the moon!
Skittles have traveled a decent way over their history too. Starting in Britain in 1974, they made their way to the U.S. by export in 1979 and became a domestic product in 1982.