Centennial Advisors

The History on Your Birthday Candy

Andes Mints

Andes Candies was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1921 by Andrew Kanelos. Originally called Andy’s Candies, the business produced a variety of boxed chocolates which it sold from a small Chicago storefront. The business grew to include 150 stores. With the expansion of the business, a factory was built to supply the stores, and the name was changed to Andes Candies. Andes became part of the Tootsie family in 2000.

Info Source: https://www.tootsie.com/candy/andes/andes-mints

Atomic Fireballs

Candy company’s often consists of lack uniqueness, but what they lack in that respect, they make up for it in ways to make things interesting. Atomic Fireballs sure are interesting, they are fun to look at, and take a bit of a sense of adventure to try. The Ferrera candy company has been producing Atomic Fireballs for years. 

The atomic fireball (and it’s re-incarnations that go by many other names) is a form of jawbreaker with an outer coating that if flavored form on cinnamon. Many would argue that it taste almost nothing like cinnamon but that might not have been what the Ferrera candy company was going for. Unlike many other candies of it’s kind, Atomic Fireball’s contains something called capsasins. It is a substance that gives off a spicy feeling in the tongue, often called chemical heat. The amount of concentration of these substances is what determines the spiciness of the candy. It has been stated by Ferrera that all sizes of Fireballs are supposed to have the same taste.  

Info Source: https://www.snackhistory.com/atomic-fireballs 


Bit-O-Honey first took the stage in 1924. In that year, Schutter-Johnson Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, created a new kind of candy bar. A bar made of almond bits in a honey-flavored taffy; Bit-O-Honey was a far cry from popular chocolate bars at the time. Then in 1969, Schutter-Johnson Company merged with NYC’s Ward Company, the makers of Chunky, Oh Henry! and Raisinets. It was during the time of this merger that a chocolate version of the treat, aptly named, Bit-O-Chocolate was made. However, something about the chocolate variety didn’t catch on, and the product was later discontinued. Although the different flavors didn’t work out so well, there was an addition from the late 70’s that did manage to stick around. Can you guess what it is? The Bit-O-Honey bumblebee, of course!

Info Source: https://www.candyfavorites.com/blog/bit-o-honey-taffy-history-nostalgic-candy/

Info Source: https://www.snackhistory.com/bit-o-honey

Caramel Creams

Caramel Creams made their debut in 1918, often referred to as Bulls-Eyes® due to the unique round shape of the caramel with a white center. Goetze’s Caramel Creams®, aka “Bulls-Eyes®,” are made of chewy caramel with a cream center.  They were introduced into market in 1918 by R. Melvin Goetze Sr., when Goetze’s Candy was still the Baltimore Chewing Gum Company. Melvin began making “chuees” (Caramel Creams® without the center) out of the family’s kitchen in 1917, Caramel Creams were developed soon after and were released in 1918.

Info Source: https://www.goetzecandy.com/goetzes-heritage.html

Dollie Lollies

Double Lollies were crowned a British favourite when they were launched back in 1952, the same year that Queen Elizabeth II became Queen. Double lollies launched the first double flavored sherbert lollies 

Info Source: https://swizzels.com/sweets/double-lollies/

Fruit Slices

Boston Fruit Slices began as part of the H.W. Powers Candy company in Boston. They were the first company to make and sell fruit slices in America. The product line was purchased by an employee and Boston Fruit Slices (the company) was born. Today, Boston Fruit Slices are still handmade in small batches, and packed at our new home in North Carolina, in the same traditional manner we did 80 years ago.

Info Source: https://www.bostonfruitslice.com/our-story


HERSHEY’s Kisses were first introduced in 1907 by Milton S. Hershey. The kisses were individually wrapped in foil by hand. The very first HERSHEY’S product ever available to the public was HERSHEY’S cocoa which was introduced to the public in 1894 and that’s when the HERSHEY’S brand was born. Over 100 years ago, chocolate was a luxury that only the rich enjoyed but when Milton built his factory, he made the treat available to everyone. Milton even built a town with a trolley system, houses, schools, and a zoo to give workers a better quality of life. In 1906 Milton built Hershey Park so his employees and their families could relax, unwind, and have fun. InThe Milton Hershey School opened, giving orphaned boys—who were typically excluded from polite society—educations and decent, happy lives.1909 The Milton Hershey School opened, giving orphaned boys educations and decent, happy lives. Milton Hershey funded the “Great Building Campaign” in Hershey, PA—putting 600 men to work during the Great Depression from 1929-1939.

Info Source: https://www.hersheys.com/en_us/our-story/our-history.html

Jolly Ranchers

When Bill Harmsen first founded the Jolly Rancher Company, he aimed to make the name sound like an appealing and friendly Western company. This was fitting, seeing as he originally only sold his goods in the Denver, Colorado area. What lucky kids they must have been, to be the first to ever taste the jolliest candy around! 

And delicious candies weren’t the only things they could buy from Mr. Harmsen. The Jolly Rancher Company in fact sold ice cream and chocolate as well. But clearly, nothing could compete with the Jolly Rancher candy. This was especially true in the winter months, when ice cream wasn’t selling in those cold Colorado temperatures. That’s when Harmsen shifted his focus to hard candy, something people wanted all year round!

Back then, Jolly Ranchers came in three flavors: grape, apple, and Fire Stix. Later on, cherry, lemon, and pineapple were added. And much later, blue raspberry was thrown into the mix as well. 

Info Source: https://www.candyfavorites.com/history-jolly-ranchers

Laffy Taffy

Although taffy has existed for generations, Laffy Taffy didn’t come into being until the 1970’s. In those days, the candies were sold as “Breich’s Caramels,” with the flavor of the taffy printed on each label. However, the company later changed the name to “Breich’s Laffy Taffy,” a name that stuck, just like the candy itself. 

What’s ingenious about the name, “Laffy Taffy” is that it encompasses both the texture of the sugary sweet and the company’s commitment to entertainment. Each piece of taffy is individually wrapped and inside each wrapper is a joke: hence, the “laffy” nature of this taffy.  Since the beginning, these jokes have been written and sent in by children. So, you’ll find all sorts of silly puns wrapped around your favorite candy! 

Info Source: https://www.candyfavorites.com/a-laffy-history


Lemonhead is a bright yellow candy that has a tart, sour and sweet lemon flavor. Lemonhead candy hit the American market for the first time back in 1962, and has become quite popular in the United states. LemonHead is produced by Ferrara Candy Company. Nello Ferrara, the company’s executive and son of the founder of the company, is said to be the one who introduced the world to Lemonheads. The name of the candy, Lemonhead, has its own story. 

Nello Ferrara decided on the name of the candy when he saw his son, Salvatore II, just after delivery. After seeing his grandson for the first time, he realized that the shape of the face of the child resembled that of a lemon. Subsequently, he ended up naming a newly introduced candy of the Ferrara Candy Company “Lemonhead”.  

Info Source: https://www.snackhistory.com/lemonhead


Invented in 1983 by Angelo Fraggos, Nerds found a niche in what was a culture already familiar with the term. But was the candy actually named after the bookish folk you made fun of, or the bookish person you were, during your schooldays? The verdict is still out. 

Some say that the candy was named after a reference in the Dr. Seuss Book, If I Ran the Zoo, where a “nerd” is mentioned as one of the creatures the narrator would collect for his zoo. However, most people today assume the candy has something to do with those of us who devoted our lives to our homework. (Yep, I’m looking at you! But relax, it takes one to know one, right?) Regardless of where the candy’s name actually originated, it’s safe to say that it struck a chord with someone and has been around ever since! 

Info Source: https://www.candyfavorites.com/a-nerd-tastic-history 

Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks were accidentally invented in 1975 by William Mitchell, a food scientist at General Foods. He made the discovery while trying to design an instant soft drink, when he put some sugar flavoring mixed with carbon dioxide in his mouth. The exploding candy became a cultural phenomenon after it hit the market.   

Small amounts of carbonation were released when the candy was placed in the mouth, causing both a mild “exploding” sensation and resulting in a satisfying “sizzling” noise kids loved.

An urban legend quickly spread that Mikey, the little boy from the Life cereal commercial (shown below), had died while eating Pop Rocks and Coca Cola at the same time. It was rumored that the combination of the two carbonated products exploded in his stomach. 

Pop Rocks were taken off the market for awhile and eventually disappeared in 1983, thus adding to the “truth” that the it really happened. Kraft Foods brought Pop Rocks back in 1985 under the name of “Action Candy.” Pop Rocks are now marketed under their original name. 

And, yes, Mikey is alive and well and living in New York. 

Info Source: https://www.oldtimecandy.com/collections/walk-the-candy-aisle-pop-rocks#:~:text=Pop%20Rocks%20were%20accidentally%20invented,after%20it%20hit%20the%20market


Originally marketed with the slogan, “First it’s a candy, then it’s a gum. Little round Razzles are so much fun,” Razzles has been delighting audiences with their two-timing qualities since 1966. Back then, they were made by a company called Fleer and only came in one flavor, raspberry. The fact that they could become a success with just a single flavor is clear proof of just how amazing Razzles really are! How many candies can you think of today that have made it big on a single flavor? 

Info Source: https://www.candyfavorites.com/a-razzled-history

Salt Water Taffy

The sweet is said to have received its name after a boardwalk candy shop flooded with water from the Atlantic Ocean in 1883, soaking all the taffy in salty seawater. Reportedly, the shop owner joked with a customer that all he had was salt water taffy, and the name stuck. While the origin of salt water taffy may be more myth than fact, many manufacturers will agree that David Bradley is responsible for the first appearance of salt water taffy. In 1883, a huge storm hit Atlantic City and flooded the boardwalk, where Bradley had his candy storefront. His store was flooded and with it, his supply of taffy.

In the most popular retelling of how salt water taffy came to be, a young girl asked Bradley if the store still had taffy for sale while he was cleaning the mess from the ocean surge. Jokingly, Bradley told the girl to help herself to some “salt water taffy.” His mother heard the exchange from the back and loved the name, and thus, salt water taffy was born. Initially, salt water taffy was something you only purchased at a seaside stand. It took some casual observances by a man named Joseph Fralinger to turn it into a product you can bring home from the beach.

Info Source: https://www.wockenfusscandies.com/blog/the-history-of-salt-water-taffy/

Info Source: https://www.bulkcandystore.com/info/history-of-salt-water-taffy/


Skittles was first produced in the year 1974, being first introduced in Britten. Skittles was introduced into the United States in the year 1979. It is possible that a person or company may have dreamed up Skittles as an idea for a candy product earlier then 1974, as the person or group who truly invented Skittles is still unclear. 

There is a unconfirmed rumor that Skittles the candy was based after a game called Skittles that was once more prominent in England. The game was similar to bowling and in this game you throw a rubber or wooden sphere called Skittles at 9 pins. This however may just by a myth, and there is no hard evidence that this is really how the candy Skittles had its name inspired from. 

Info Source: https://www.snackhistory.com/skittles


On January 10, 1949, Edward Dee brought his family from England to New Jersey. Equipped with only two machines in a rented facility, he succeeded in founding Ce De Candy, Inc., makers of Smarties®, America’s favorite candy wafer roll. The company is now led by the founder’s grand daughters, Co-Presidents Sarah Dee, Jessica Dee Sawyer and Liz Dee. Edward opened his first factory in Bloomfield, New Jersey in August, 1949. He proceeded to move the company to Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1959 and finally to Union, New Jersey in 1967.  On January 1, 2011, the company changed its name from Ce De Candy, Inc. to Smarties Candy Company.

Edward also created Ce De Candy, Ltd. in Canada, opening a factory on Queen Street in Toronto in 1963. Later, he moved the operation to a new Canadian facility built in Newmarket, Ontario in 1988 to make more Smarties® and “Rockets®,” as they are called in Canada. (Canadian Rockets® candy fans can visit the Rockets Candy Website, like Rockets Candy on Facebook and follow Rockets on Twitter.)

Smarties® are made 24 hours a day in two candy factories located in Union, New Jersey and Newmarket, Ontario. The company produces billions of Smarties® rolls each year.

Info Source: https://www.smarties.com/our-story/

Sour Patch Kids

The first packages of Sour Patch Kids featured a blonde boy based off of Frank Galatolie’s son, Scott, as the candy’s mascot. Later, starting in 1992, the package featured a more modern-looking Scott with a baseball cap as well as a girl; both of the kids appear to be crazy for the candy. This box featured the older candy catchphrase “Sour then Sweet” which has transformed into “Sour.Sweet.Gone.” in recent years. In 2010, the packaging ditched the boy and girl mascots in favor of the candy themselves, and they are now the official mascot of the candy. The little candies are displayed to be mischievous children both on the box and in commercials. However, in the commercials, their sweet side comes out after they are done being sour, reflecting the candy’s flavor pattern. In 2013, blue raspberry was added to the original orange, cherry, lemon, and lime flavors. 

Info Source: https://www.bulkcandystore.com/info/the-sour-then-sweet-history-of-sour-patch-kids/


Opal Fruits was made by Peter Pfeffer (pe-fef-er) in 1961 when he entered a competition that won him $5000.00 which was a lot of cash back then, he called them Opal Fruits. The original flavors were Strawberry, Lemon, Orange, and Lime. He later shared it with the Mars Company who five years later shared it with the United Kingdom. A few years after the Mars Company shared the Opal Fruits with them the United Kingdom shared the Opal Fruits with the U.S who nicknamed them Starbursts. Starbursts were one of the most popular types of candy in the U.S. a few years later the U.S made new types of flavors: Kiwi Banana, Plum, Mango, Apple, Tropical Punch and Blue Raspberry. A few years back the Mars Company changed the lime starbursts with cherry starbursts. The Mars Company in honor of the new movie Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest, they switched Kiwi Banana and Tropical Punch with Royal Berry Punch! In 2007 lime flavored starbursts was introduced again and in 2009 starbursts worldwide. Did you know Peter Pfeffer also makes cars? 

Info Source: https://www.colonialschooltimes.com/uncategorized/2012/07/13/the-history-of-starbursts/ 


SweeTarts are sweet and sour candies created by the Sunline Candy Company. The tablets used the same basic recipe as the already popular Pixy Stix and Lik-M-Aid candies. It was a response to parents’ requests for a less-messy candy. 

SweeTarts were introduced in 1963 with the same flavors as the popular Pixy Stix: cherry, grape, lime, lemon, and orange. Today, SweeTarts are manufactured by Wonka. 

Info Source: https://www.oldtimecandy.com/collections/walk-the-candy-aisle-sweetarts

Tootsie Flavor Rolls

Tootsie Rolls has been an iconic brand of chewy candy that has been around for over a century. The inventor, Leo Hirschfield invented the Tootsie Roll in 1896 and named it after his daughter “Tootsie”. The candy has been manufactured in the United States, has taffy and caramel type qualities and does not melt during transportation or during the summer months. 

Today, TRI (Tootsie Roll Industries) has purchased a large number of other well known American candy makers related to the industry and produces a huge amount of candy products. They remain one of the largest candy manufacturers in the world with more than 64 million Tootsie Rolls produced daily. 

Info Source: https://www.sweetservices.com/blog/2015/10/history-of-tootsie-rolls/

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