Who counts how many feelings and memories come up in our minds when we read or hear the word “candy”? 80s candy felt like a sweet paradise, right? It does not matter how old you are or where you are from, the love for sweet treats unites us all. Don’t say that you have not experienced any of those: growing up, eating Pop Rocks with siblings while watching TV and laughing; Sneaking into the kitchen cabinets to find a skittles treat; Asking your dad who goes to the supermarket to get the Skor bar for you; Or walking around in the neighborhood proudly holding a whole package of Candy Cigarettes.
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How does it feel when you go to the supermarket or look at the vending machine and see the familiar candy? It immediately brings back memories and makes us smile. Candy is connected to the pleasure and taste that it brings and sticks in our memory forever. The origin of candy goes back to the ancient Egyptians. They mixed honey with different kinds of fruit and created flavors that were a tasty treat. Since then, people have been developing the techniques and tastes to create something sweet that gives our minds colorful butterflies.
Top 10 Candy Names from the 1980s
- Runts Candy
- Pop Rocks
- Candy Сigarettes
- Big League Chew
- Skor Bar
- Gummy Worms
- Sour Patch Kids
Pop Culture and 80s Candys
Since ancient times, people have been obsessed with candy Candy and sweets have become a huge part of the culture and are strongly connected to history. Candy, like the fashion, music, and film industries, has its own celebrity. The 1980s was the period of many unique moments and events.
With this article, we will take you back to the 1980s. If you are old enough, you will remember, but, if you have not lived in the ‘80s, let us give you a brief summary of the events going on back then. What are some things that characterize the 1980s? This decade is remembered by extreme fashion – “big hair’, Funk, preppies, punk rock, and bold styles. Not to mention pop culture – movies and music. It is the decade of Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Batman, Gremlins, and many other famous movies. And yes, legendary Michael Jackson and his pop music really made a change in the 1980s. Similarly, 80s candy was just like culture, full of colors and surprises.
The 1980s was the time when Germany became one, and they’re already cable networks. It was a decade of MTV and the time when the nature of communication changed drastically and the first cellular phone was released. Besides, watching Cal Ripken. Jr must have been wonderful while eating all the sweet treats.
Top 10 Candy from the 1980s
Every decade is characterized by different preferences and tastes in all industries and areas.
Candy is no exception. Just like fashion and art, it is an industry that affects people a lot. We chose the top 10 most loved and famous candies from the 1980s to tell you about. Hope that it will bring up great memories for you too if you grew up in that period. If not, lie back and imagine what those candies taste like, and if they still make some today, do not hesitate to taste them. Follow us and see the list of most popular Candy from the 1980s.
It’s hard to find a single person who has lived in the 1980s and hasn’t tasted and loved skittles. And not only them, but now, in real-time, skittles still remains one of the most beloved candies among the thousands of others. This fruit-flavored candy brings the spirit of the festival. They are fruit-flavored, button-shaped candies that come in many different colors.
Skittles has a hard shell that is mainly made out of sugar and has the letter “S” printed on it. It consists of sugar, corn syrup, palm kernel oil, and flavors. There are different varieties of skittles. For example, tropical, dessert, sweet heat, sour, etc.
Firstly, it was made in 1974 in Britain. In North America, Candy was introduced in 1979. And in 1982, domestic production started in the USA.
2. Runts Candy
One of the most remembered Candy from the 1980s is Runts. Runts were one of the first candies manufactured by the Willy Wonka company. The first was seen in 1982. Nestle now owns the product after the acquisition of the Willy Wonka company. These candies mimic fruits in their taste and form. It is crunchy, bite-sized, and has a hard shell. At first, it had the flavors of lime, strawberry, banana, cherry, and orange. However, later on, it was moved to different manufacturing companies, which resulted in several changes to the candy itself. For example, the lime flavor was discontinued and replaced by watermelon and blue raspberry.
There were different kinds of varieties: “Chewy Runts”, “Runts freckled eggs”, “Tropical Runts”, and “Rock’s Runts”. It used to have a colorful center, but that was changed, and now only a white center is contained. The center contains a compressed dextrose core, which makes the candy chewy.
Runts bring joy, with their colorfulness and sweet-savory taste. There are red-heart shapes, yellow banana shapes, green apples, purple grapes, and others. It’s a treat that friends, family, or siblings would enjoy very much. It comes in the bulk of 12–24 pieces or 5 lb. bags. An interesting fact is that the “Bananarama” variation of Runts remains the real banana pieces. It also needs to be mentioned that candies are gluten-free.
Nerds candy was out in 1983. The owner was the Sunmark Corporation, which belonged to the Willy Wonka candy company. Usually, Nerds come in two flavors in a box. Nerds are irregular pebble-shaped mini candies.
Candy mainly contains sugar. Sugar crystals are coated until they turn into Nerds. The original color of it is white, and during the process, it is colored and different flavors are added. It has a thick glaze that contains carnauba wax, which gives it its crunchiness and gloss. There is also the “Nerds Gumball,” which is unique because it appears as Easter candy. It has the exterior of gum but surprises us with the tiny Nerds inside. The original flavors were grape and strawberry. However, today we see many more flavors and varieties of this amazing candy. Unfortunately, Original Nerds and Jumbo Nerds were discontinued and are not available today.
No doubt, it is one of the most famous and people’s favorite Candy from the 1980s. However, it still is as “addictive” today as it was back then.
4. Pop Rocks
Can you imagine the festival of tastes in your mouth? Now add the fireworks to that festival. That’s what Pop Rocks taste like. It creates the “explosion” in the mouth and there is not a different term that can explain this candy more. The candy dissolves in the moisture that is in the mouth and candified bubbles of gas burst, it has a popping sound and may also jump from the tongue.
There has been a lot of fear, campaigns, and scandals surrounding this candy. And it can also be said that candy has been the most misunderstood commercially produced sweet ever. However, all the fears have been proved to be wrong.
How were Pop Rocks created and how did they become one of the most wanted candy from the 1980s? Actually, it was invented by accident, by chemist William A. Mitchell in 1956. The ingredients of the candy are sugar, lactose, and flavoring. Even though the candy was invented in 1956, it was not available to the public until 1976. It was among the children’s favorites and still remains the same today.
5. Candy Сigarettes
Candy cigarettes really bring you back in time. Back then, if you wanted to be a cool kid, you had to have the entire box of Candy Cigarettes. So others would look at you seriously and you would be just cool. Candy Cigarettes are mainly made of chalky sugar, bubble gum, or chocolate. The history of Candy Cigarettes goes back to the 1930th.
The candy was wrapped in paper and was branded so that it looked like cigarettes. It even had powdered sugar that resembled smoke. Despite the fact that this candy received a lot of criticism. It has also been banned in many places. Most of the manufacturers changed the brand name and took the “cigarette” out of the product name.
Today, Candy cigarettes are known as “candy sticks” or “bubble gum”. However, even though it is not as popular as it used to be back in time, it still reminds us of one of the most beloved candies.
6. Big League Chew
Big League chew is a bubble gum that was introduced in 1990 and has been one of the people’s favorites since then. It was created by Rob Nelson and Todd Field. Those people were pitchers, and the batboys played for the Portland Mavericks. The bubble gum was at first an imitation of the habit that the ballplayers had. They made fun of the tobacco-chewing habit. So, the brand “Big League Chew” is the official baseball brand.
The bubble gum is traditionally pink. Cartoon packaging is very interesting, it has a flashy color and cartoon packaging. They have a neon green color for the apple flavor and purple for the grape flavor. The gum is made out of sugar, gm base, Glycerine, Corn syrup, flavors, and other ingredients.
Airheads candy is another popular and widespread candy from the 1980s. It was created in 1985 by Steve Bruner. This candy was originally manufactured by a Dutch-Italian company, “Perfetti Van Melle”. It originated in Kentucky. Tangy candies have a chewy texture and are described as a kind of “Tangy”. This fruit-flavored taffy can be snapped for hours.
The flavors are various. It has grapes, strawberries, oranges, blue raspberries, and watermelon. And the most interesting is the mystery flavor. They make Airheads by creating long strips. It is mainly made out of sugar and goes through some sweeteners. Apart from the flavor, texture, and taste, Airheads candy has very nice packaging. The smiley balloon is shown on the package. which creates positive feelings.
8. Skor Bar
Skor Bar is a chocolate toffee bar, first appearing in the USA in 1981. The candy is made by Hershey’s Company. The bar of chocolate contains a slab of butter toffee. After the coffee is made, it is coated in milk chocolate. It has a very rich, buttery texture and flavor.
Actually, the candy was created to compete against the Heath Bar. However, later on, Heath Bar also became “Hershey’s“. So the company continued the production of both.
The name “Skor” apparently sounds Swedish. And the packaging is very elegant. It has a black wrap and the name is written on it. Because of the letter “O”, there is a Swedish product, in the middle of the letter “O,” there is a crown. However, it was totally made by Hershey’s company, and Sweden has nothing to do with it.
9. Gummy worms
On July 15, 1981, gummy worms were invented. It turns out, the date is the 50th anniversary of Gummy Bears. This great 80s candy is gelatin and colorful. It is easy to chew and leaves a sweet and sour taste at the same time.
The gummy worms are covered in sugar powder, which melts when touching the tongue. It is like creating the perfect balance of sweet and savory, ending up tasting like heaven. The original flavors were cherry-lemon, strawberry-grape, and orange-lime. The two main ingredients that the candy contains are gelatin and carnauba wax. This candy was especially popular among children due to its worm-like shape.
10. Sour Patch Kids
“Sour Patch Kids” were originally made by Frank Galatolie. It is a soft, colorful candy that has a sugar coating. The coating also consists of citric acid and tartaric acid. All that is left is the sour taste. Apart from the taste, the reason for its popularity was that people would buy it in the cinemas. So most people, who loved watching movies, loved this 80s candy savory treat.
A fun fact about the packaging. The candy wrapper has a logo based on a real person. Also, it has a border that is made out of many tiny sour patch kids.
80s Candy Bottom Line
We just can’t get enough of the sweet stuff, and it goes on and on. Sweets and candies were people’s all-time favorites for centuries, and they will continue to be so. Candy gradually becomes a way for us to connect with our past and collect the sweetest memories. Are you a fan of the savory stuff? Here we have Runts candy for you. Or if you prefer something gummy, take some gummy worms. They are a lot of fun too. What would be a better treat than sour patch kids while watching Ghostbusters or Indiana Jones? Well, we have all kinds of candy you might like from the eighties.
And still, how can a sweet treat bring us happiness? Scientists have proved that sweet treats are linked to the most positive memories. When we think about it, all of the events are linked to some kind of sweet. For example, Halloween candy is a staple of the Halloween celebrations. Candy has just become a celebratory part of our lives.
So, which 80s candy is celebratory in your life? Or which candy brings out the sweetest memories for you? Share your favorite candy from the 1980s in our comment section.
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology. She’s passionate about writing about the candy industry and exploring the cultural significance of sweets and treats. She believes that the stories behind our favorite snacks can reveal a great deal about our values.
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