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Novelty Candy 411

Posted by Candy Lady on 2/24/2014
A timeless classic for gift-giving, candy has long held its own among the highest ranking choices.  Candy manufacturers have responded to the demand for new and distinctive gift selections and we get to enjoy their concoctions!  

Where did the advent of novelty candy get its start?  Was it with candy-beaded necklaces or possibly with Pixie Sticks and candies that come equipped to be sugar-dipped?  No other movie in history has done more to further candy sales than the classic musical film Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  Originally named Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the name change was due to the anticipation of a substantial tie-in with candy merchandising, which turned out to be accurate and has lasted through the years since the film’s release in 1971.

A relative of director Mel Stuart just happened to be collaborating with the Quaker Oats company in search of a vehicle to help introduce and market a new candy bar which was being manufactured by their subsidiary company which had recently been renamed “Willie Wonka Candy Factory.”  Hence the retitling of the film.  

Upon release, the film did not see success however it would engender a wildly eager cult following, from which candy sales have done and continue to proliferate.  David Seltzer (Alka Seltzer) rewrote the screenplay and received some criticism for introducing “fizzy-lifting” drinks into the plot.
Pop Rocks were invented by a Kraft/General Foods scientist in 1957.  First offered to the public in 1975, in 1983 they were taken off the market due to poor sales and short shelf life.  Since that time, Pop Rocks (a carbonated candy that “pops” when eaten,) have continued to be sold, with the last few years seeing a surge in their popularity.  Through the years there have been copycats, but none have lasted.

So candy-eating can be more than a subtly delicious experience.  It can pop, it can make you pucker, it can overload your taste buds with all types of sensations, but one thing is certain: we love our candy.

With 2.44 billion lbs. of sugar, about 805 million lbs of cocoa beans, more than 1.47 billion lbs of corn syrup, over 1.1 billion lbs of U.S. milk and milk products and more than 339 million lbs of peanuts dedicated each year to candy production, we probably consume more candy than we might admit, even to ourselves.  May be time to chew on a flavored toothpick for a while.
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