These Are The Most Popular Candies From The Year You Were Born
Candy is a wonderful thing. Seriously — that’s why holidays seem to focus all around it. You don’t need a partner for Valentine’s Day, but you do need a box of chocolates, right?? And even though you may be saying “Trick or Treat” at the door on Halloween, you’re really saying “Treat, please. Unless it’s Smarties.”
Like all things in life, candy goes through phases. And lucky for us, brands today are becoming more and more adventurous with the types of candies being offered. Even though we, as people, are a little more health conscious than we were in the ’80s and ’90s, an occasional bag of Skittles won’t do a ton of damage. Especially if they’re limited edition.
Big candy companies are big into their demographic. Thanks to market research (and social media), they can get a pretty good idea of food trends and what their audience really wants. So, why isn’t every new product a hit? Well, because people are always changing. Also, sometimes really great food ideas don’t end up tasting very good.
Curious to see if you’re still enjoying the same candy today as you were the year you were born? Well, look no further. Here’s what was new and popular back in the day.
1965 – Dum Dums
They might not be the most popular lollipop today, but they’re still around and perfect if you literally just need a sugar boost. Plus, the root beer ones taste like everybody’s childhood.
1966 – Razzles
Even back in the ’60s, innovation was happening at every second. Razzles started out as candy and morphed into a gum when you chewed it. They were introduced this year, and people still like them today.
1967 – 100 Grand Bar
While we know it best today as 100 Grand, back in the ’60s, it was popularly known as the $100,000 Bar, or, “hundred thousand dollar bar.” It should go without saying, but 100 Grand is just way easier to say.
1968 – Swedish Fish
Initially created in the 1950s, Swedish Fish had a popularity boost in the late ’60s into the ’70s. Were Swedish Fish ever out of style?
1969 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Much like Swedish Fish, it seems like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups will always be popular. In fact, in 2016 they were named the “Top Candy in America” by Business Insider. And, they probably still hold that title today. But, 1969 was the very first year that they became the top-selling candy for Hershey’s.
1970 – Mounds and Almond Joy
What’s the difference, you may ask? Well, Almond Joy’s got nuts. Mounds don’t. While Mounds made their debut in 1920, the popular ad campaign debuted in 1970, and a lot of people took an interest.
1971 – Laffy Taffy
Laffy Taffy came out in the ’70s. According to Candy Favorites, it was known as Breich’s Caramels prior to gaining the Laffy Taffy name, which just sounds wrong. Delish notes that this was a big favorite during Halloween.
1973-1974 – Fun Dip
Fun Dip debuted in the ’40s as Lik-M-Aid but had a resurgence in the ’70s when the name changed.
1975- Pop Rocks
Don’t believe the rumors. Eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda won’t cause your stomach to explode. General Foods debuted the popular candy in 1975, and kids still can’t get enough of them today.
1976 – Everlasting Gobstopper
The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie didn’t perform so well in theaters, but at least the promotional candy was a hit. The candy was known for changing colors and flavors and lasting quite some time if you didn’t bite into it.
1977 – Ring Pops
Introduced in 1975, Ring Pops became a popular way to eat your own jewelry. But supposedly, the inspiration came from an inventor trying to find a way to get his daughter to stop sucking her thumb. Who would have thought that these jewel-shaped candies would have been less of a draw?
1978 – Reese’s Pieces
Reese’s Pieces were invented in 1977. By then, the world was familiar with the concept that chocolate and peanut butter taste really good together. Why not offer up that award-winning combo in a new way? (For the record, the correct way to say it is Rees-is Pee-cis, but I know many of you will disagree.)
1979 – Twix
It’s hard to believe that Twix only debuted in 1979. Back then, each side wasn’t at war. People liked both halves, since they were the best way to combine the flavors of a cookie and a chocolate bar all in one.
1980 – Big League Chew
Big League Chew hit the candy aisle in 1980, and kids were all about it. Even though the gum was imitated to look like chewing tobacco, hey. At least it’s better than candy cigarettes.
1981 – Jelly Belly
Jelly beans were always popular, but Jelly Belly offered a totally different experience. Back in 1966, Ronald Reagan was a notable fan. But it wasn’t until the 1980s when a ton of new flavors were introduced. And in 1981, due to Reagan’s endorsement, the company developed a Jelly Belly jelly bean jar that had the Presidential Seal on it.
1982 – 1983 Reese’s Pieces
Yeah, we already talked about Reese’s Pieces. But, due to a small little film called E.T. (ever heard of it?) Reese’s Pieces got a boost in popularity once again.
1984 – Skittles
Americans began tasting the rainbow in 1982, and haven’t stopped since. These days, there are plenty of varieties that people in 1984 could have only dreamed of.
1985 – Sour Patch Kids
Sour Patch Kids used to be called Mars Men but were rebranded in 1985. It could have had something to do with the Cabbage Patch Kids trend. They’ve definitely surpassed the toy in popularity during the last 30 years.
1986 and 1987 – Airheads
Airheads were a cool selection all throughout the mid-’80s and ’90s. Who can forget the thrill of the white mystery flavor?
1988 -1989 – Nerds
As far as candies go, the ’80s were a prime decade for Nerds. They were launched in 1983, were distinguished as “Candy of the Year” in 1985, and continued their popularity throughout the decade. At one point, they even had a Nerds cereal.
1990 – Hershey’s Symphony Bar
In 1990, Hershey’s made the news for a few reasons. One, their Symphony bar, which included almonds, toffee, and milk chocolate, was starting to make waves. And two, they created a heat-resistant chocolate bar to send over to soldiers in the Gulf War.
1991 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Again. You know why.
1992 – Butterfinger BBs
Not only was this a big product for Butterfinger, but it was a big product for FOX. After all, The Simpsons were most notably tied into the ads, which aired frequently. Alas, they were officially discontinued in 2006.
1993 – Warheads
In 1993, Warheads made their way to the United States, and they’ve been popular ever since. If you like sour candy, Warheads are your best bet.
1994 – Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme
1994 was the year when Hershey’s debuted their very popular Cookies ‘n’ Creme bar. Fans of white chocolate were especially happy with the product.
1995 – Starburst Jelly Bean
1995 was a big year for Starburst. Not only did their fruit chews start advertising heavily with funny and memorable commercials (remember the graduation commercial that aired all the time?) but they released jelly beans and candy canes.
1996 – Gummy candy
It seems vague, but a lot of people would report the same findings. Gummy candy was popular in 1996, notably gummy worms. You can’t deny that gummies are great.
1997 – Oreo O’s
Okay, so hear me out — it’s not a candy, but a cereal. But it deserves to be on the list. Post Cereals and Kraft Foods both went in on this 1997 life-changing creation, and the only reason it stopped being produced after ten years of success was the fact that they disbanded their union. (Also, I didn’t think you’d want to see Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on this list again, since that’s likely the accurate answer.)
1998 – Baby Bottle Pop
For some reason, everyone wanted to resort back to infancy in the mid-to-late ’90s. Baby Bottle Pops, which came in a variety of fruit flavors, were heavily advertised and helped change up the way we saw standard lollipops. Speaking of…
1999 – Jolly Rancher Lollipops
Jolly Ranchers were always popular hard candies throughout the early ’90s, but in their new form (that made it even harder to choke on them) they were in their prime. When they were first introduced, they were square-shaped. But with time, they looked more like a standard pop.
2000 – Wonder Ball
You may have assumed these would be more popular in the ’90s, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. After going under inspection for being a choking hazard, Wonder Ball — a chocolate orb that used to have toys inside — replaced those toys with candy. After years off the shelves, past fans couldn’t help but see what the rerelease was all about.
2001 – Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans
Can you believe that Harry Potter came out so long ago? Jelly Belly did their best to create the fictional bean, which comes in notably gross flavors. According to The Harry Potter Lexicon, new flavors have been added since their initial release.
2002 – M&Ms
M&Ms held a worldwide competition in 2002 to vote for a new color. It was between purple, pink, and aqua — and the competition was fierce. Purple ended up winning, and of course, people were curious to see if it tasted any different. (It didn’t.)
2003 – Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark
According to Yahoo, Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark miniatures were on people’s mind in 2003. When it came to Hershey, who are known for their signature milk chocolate, any new product that included a different type was newsworthy.
2004 – Wonder Ball: SpongeBob Edition
This was one popular Wonder Ball, probably because Spongebob is a big deal. Also, Wonder Ball was sold this year to a new company that pretty much did away with Wonder Ball a few years after this very notable release.
2005 – Hershey’s Kissables
Unfortunately, you can’t get Hershey’s Kissables any more. But, what a treat they were back in 2005. Hershey’s pretty much combined candy and chocolate in the best way, and this product was one of the most colorful they’ve ever debuted.
2006 – Reese’s Crispy Crunchy Bar
Peanut fans, rejoice. Reese’s Crispy Crunchy Bar takes everything you love about the Reese’s Cup (which, again — likely pretty popular this year as well) and morphed it into a brand new creation. Reese’s seriously can’t do any wrong.