We are all aware of international candy such as Skittles, Hubba Bubba, Milk Duds, Cheerios, or Hot Tamales. But little do we know about the candy brands that created them. For most people, candy is associated with holidays, carnivals, and, mainly, childhood. Specific candies and specific tastes trigger our brains to bring back the memories of our joyful moments, reminding us once again of our loved ones, family, and friends. However, not all candy brands have managed to survive and maintain popularity in modern times.
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In this article, we’ll discuss the most successful candy brands that still maintain their reputation and lead the sales not only in the US but worldwide. We’ll review their most popular products too.
Top Candy Brands of All Time
The Hershey Company
Hershey’s is a multinational company and one of the world’s biggest candy brands. The headquarters of the company is in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The founder of Hershey Chocolate Company was Milton Hershey.
Milton S. Hershey had a long journey in chocolate making. Even though he had failed many times, he did not give up and kept trying and fighting for what he wanted to achieve, and apparently, he made it. His first successful company was the Lancaster Caramel Company. There, he made caramel candies. However, he has always been keen on chocolate making. That’s why he decided to sell the Lancaster Caramel Company.
Even though it was a very risky decision, it worked out well. The next step for him was to create the perfect chocolate formula. After three years of constantly trying, he finally did it and created the first official bar.
He had farmland close to Derry Township, surrounded by the local dairy farms, which was a really good strategic location. There, he started building the chocolate company’s factory, which slowly grew and became our famous Hershey’s. Milton Hershey was very strict and his main aim was to create high-quality products. As a result, his company is still considered one of the most successful candy brands in the world.
The Hershey Bar has been produced for over a hundred years now. It’s made out of milk chocolate. The Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar can also be referred to as “The Great American Chocolate Bar”.
The Hershey Bar candy is a flagship product for the Hershey’s Corporation. However, it is also surrounded by different variations. The Standard Bar has smaller, perforated squares. The shape makes it easy to break off the square of delicious chocolate and eat it in one bite. The taste of the candy is somewhat tangy and sour at the same time, with a pinch of sweetness.
Milk Duds is a candy, first made in 1928. Creating this particular chocolate was a “Happy Mistake.”Milk Duds are tiny, bite-sized balls filled with caramel. The coating is chocolate, made from cocoa and vegetable oil. Candy is sold in a yellowish-orange box.
Candy was originally manufactured by Hoffman and Co., which was located in Chicago. Since then, the ownership has been transferred from hand to hand of different companies. After Hoffman and Co., the candy was taken by M.J. Holloway & Co. After some years, ownership was transferred to Beatrice Food. After that, Leaf took the production into its own hands. It was in 1996 when the Hershey Food Corporation acquired Leaf and took over the production of Milk Duds.
The Wrigley Company
The Wrigley Company is among the global candy brands that sell their products in over 180 countries and operates in 50. The company has 21 products in total, which are distributed in 14 countries.
The company was founded by William Wrigley in 1891. Today, it is owned by Mars, Incorporated. Alongside other amazing candy and chocolate products, there is a brand that makes Mars Wrigley Confectionery too. The company is one of the largest chewing gum manufacturers and candy brands in the world.
It was in 1892 that Wrigley made his entrance into the gum industry. Before that, he worked at a soap manufacturer. During his work there, they were selling the soaps and added the baking powder as a premium. Slowly, he found out that the baking powder was more popular and wanted than actual soap. From this moment, he decided to move to a totally different industry and started making chewing gum.
In 1893, there were two chewing gum brands offered by the Wrigley Company. Those two gums were “Juicy Fruit” and “Wrigley’s Spearmint.” Because of his massive advertising campaign, his product soon became famous and the revenue grew significantly.
Today, “Rondo” mint-flavored chewing gum is one of the most popular products. His spearmint was not just a gum, but it created a whole culture which is one of the reasons why Wrigley Company remains amongst the legendary candy brands.
Hubba Bubba is a very famous gum in the USA and around the world. The Hubba Bubba was created by the Wrigley Company. It was introduced in the USA in 1979.
The name “Hubba Bubba” is connected to the military. The phrase “Hubba Bubba” was widely used in the military during World War II. The phrase was used to express approval. At first, the name was “Stagecoach”. However, it changed right before they started selling it. Chewing gum was discontinued in the United States in the 90s. However, it appeared on the market again in 2004.
Skittles is a chewy, button-shaped candy that comes in a bag. The candies are multi-colored and fruit-flavored. The filling of skittles mainly consists of sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, artificial flavors, and others. Similar to M&M’s, Skittles also have the letter “S” printed on each of the candy shells.
There are different variations of flavors, such as tropical, desert, wild berry, smoothie, sweet heat, and sour. To specify the colorfulness of the candy, the package mostly has the tagline “Taste the Rainbow” on it. The candy had a standard, red-colored package. However, when the newer varieties appeared, the packaging became more colorful.
Willy Wonka Candy Company
The Willy Wonka Candy Company was inspired by the novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was later turned into a famous movie starring Johnny Depp. Needless to say, how it managed to become one of the most popular candy brands among kids worldwide. The company was introduced in 1971. At first, it was owned by Sunmark. However, in 1988, the owner became Nestle.
The creation of the name of a candy company was a result of the film. The film director was David L. Wolper. His daughter had read the novel and loved it. Her father decided to make a film based on the book. The author of the book had the name “Wonka” licensed to the film director Mel Stuart. So, he went to “Quaker Oats Company.” He promised to promote “Wonka Bar“. In return, they needed money to finance the film. The agreement was made and the brand was named “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” So, a new brand was released under the name “Breaker Confections,” which was a subsidiary of Quaker Oats.
There was a problem with production, so the original bar, “Wonka Bar,” was not introduced in the stores soon enough. However, later on, it was released successfully. Also, the name of the company was changed in 1980, and it was renamed “Willy Wonka Brands.”
Later on, after the appearance of the Wonka bar, other candies were introduced by the brand. In 1976, Everlasting Gobstopper was released, followed by Nerds Candy, in 1983. Many products of the Willy Wonka brand were inspired by the book by Roald Dahl and the film.
In 1975, Breaker Confections merged with Sunmark Corporations. In 1980, the name of the company was officially changed to Willy Wonka Brands. They did it to develop the brand image of the company. However, soon, in 1988, it was sold to Nestle. Finally, in 2015, Nestle renamed the Willy Wonka Candy Company into a “Nestle Candy Shop”.
Nerds Candy was launched in the USA in 1983. However, it was invented in 1976 by David Klein. Currently, the candy is manufactured by the Ferrero group. However, at first, it was originally made by the Sunmark Corporation, known as the Willy Wonka Candy Company.
Over the years, many flavors have been added, such as strawberry and grape, wildberry and peach, double-dipped lemonade, and others. Also, there are some spin-off products from Nerd Candy too, such as Nerds cereal, Neon Nerds, Nerd Jelly Beans, seasonal Nerds, and others.
Fun Dip is a candy that has been in the US market since the 1940s. Candy comes in a pouch. In the package, there is a candy stick, which is edible and powdered candy. The stick is dipped in the powder and is supposed to be licked. The candy stick itself is in a different package and the powder is in a different one. The fun dip is almost similar to the Wonka product Pixy Stix. However, it has much smaller pouches.
Fun Dip was originally made by Fruzola. Later, Fruzola became Sunline Incorporated, part of Willy Wonka Brands. Finally, in 1989, it was purchased by Nestle. Nestle was the manufacturer for many years, until, in 2018, it was sold to the Ferrara candy company.
Speaking of popular candy brands, Ferrera Pan indeed deserves to be mentioned in this list. The company was founded more than a decade ago, in 1908, by Salvatore Ferrara. Not much is known about this candy-maker. However, we do know that it was a family business, created by Salvatore and carried on by his son Nello. Later, in 1959, the company moved to Forest Park, and Sal Ferrara, a son of Nello, became the head of the company.
Ferrara Pan is widely known for creating candy-coated almonds. Some of the most popular candies that the company manufactures are Oh Henry, a unique milk chocolate candy, and Atomic Fireballss, which are tasty round balls that are both sweet and spicy.
Nowadays, Ferrara Pan produces as many as 140 million bags of Famous Amos cookies per year. And if you wonder what the statistics of their famous Lemonhead look like, based on their official website, the company produces 2 million pieces of Lemonhead candy every day.
Even if General Mills isn’t as famous as other popular candy brands such as Mars and Ferrero, it’s still among the largest candy companies worldwide. General Mills is a consumer food company that stands out among other candy brands by selling its products through retail sales and food-service distributors. The company operates in more than a thousand countries and has branches on all six continents.
General Mills was founded 155 years ago by Cadwallader C. Washburn, John Crosby James, and Ford Bell. Its headquarters is in Golden Valley, Minnesota. However, the company operates worldwide. This multinational candy brand is often called “Big G.”. In 2017, Jeff Harmening took over the company and became the chief operating officer of General Mills.
Big G Cereals is probably the most popular product created by General Mills. The company is considered the number two cereal maker in the US, lagging behind Kellogg Company. Some of the most popular products made by General Mills include Fruit String Thing, Count Chocula, Frankenberry Cereal, Fruit Roll Ups, Fruit Gushers, Dunkaroos, or Fruit By The Foot. Most of them are high-quality cereals that are indeed some of the most common breakfast snacks in the US.
Candy Brands The Bottom Line
The love of candy is what unites every country and every generation. Apart from what we discussed, there are many more popular and loved candy brands in the world. Each of them offers something unique and wonderful. That is why people love them.
It is very interesting how our favorite candy brands improve year by year. Their new products, tastes, variations, and spin-offs help us to keep loving them even more. Let us know which one is your favorite from the above-discussed candy brands down in the comments!
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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