Dum Dums (History, Flavors, Pictures & Commercials)

When you think of lollipops, one of the first brands that probably comes to your mind are Dum Dums. The Dum Dum lollipop is one of the oldest brands and most popular lollipops that are still in production today.

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Let’s dig into the history of Dum Dums. Going from their creation in 1924 to being sold to their current owners, the Spangler Candy Company.

Dum Dums

The history of Dum Dums

The creation of Dum Dums

During the early 1900s, the creation of lollipop processing machines began to be developed. Numerous candy companies began buying and developing their own lollipop making machine.

One of these candy companies included the Akron Candy Company located in Bellevue, Ohio.

They made a smaller variation of a lollipop that they would call a Dum Dum in 1924.

How did they get the name Dum Dums?

The person that came up with the name Dum Dums was I.C. Bahr. A sales manager for the Akron Candy Company.

Bahr’s reasoning for calling the lollipops Dum Dums was because it was an easy name for kids to say. Even an infant could learn the word Dum Dum and ask their parents to get one for them.

This name stuck and the lollipops have been known as Dum Dums ever since.

The early popularity of Dum Dums

Dum Dum lollipops quickly became one of the more popular hard candies in the US. The Akron Candy Company would release 7 original flavors that kids and adults loved.

Those included:

  • Butterscotch
  • Cherry
  • Coconut-Pineapple
  • Grape
  • Lemon 
  • Lime
  • Orange

Kids became passionate for Dum Dums and for only a penny or more, they could buy a lot of Dum Dums.

The Spangler Candy Company Buys Dum Dums

In 1953, after nearly 30 years after creating Dum Dums, the Akron Candy Company would sell their rights to the candy.

The rights to Dum Dum lollipops would be sold to the Spangler Candy Company. A much larger candy company than Akron Candy Company, who made them a large off they couldn’t refuse.

Along with the purchase, Spangler would move the location of the Dum Dum manufacturing plant. Moving the plant from Bellevue to Bryan, Ohio.

Spangler expands the success of Dum Dums

Under new ownership, the popularity of Dum Dums would expand rapidly. Thanks to Spangler having bigger and better processing machines, they were able to distribute and sell more Dum Dums.

They would begin processing thousands of lollipops daily. Way more than the Akron Candy Company were capable of making.

Spangler’s misstep

In the early years of Spangler’s ownership of Dum Dums, they tried to do one thing differently. That was attempting to change from paper sticks to plastic sticks.

The attempt of using plastic sticks was short lived as many customers complained about their potential for injury. Spangler quickly returned to using paper sticks which is what they have used ever since. 

Dum Dums Logo

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Spangler’s adds more Dum Dum flavors

After becoming the owner of Dum Dums, they would begin to gradually introduce more variety of flavors.

To add to the original seven flavors, they would add:

  • Blu Raspberry
  • Bubble Gum
  • Cotton Candy
  • Cream Soda 
  • Fruit Punch
  • Mystery Flavor
  • Peach-Mango
  • Root Beer
  • Sour Apple 
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

The Dum Dum Drum Man

A decade after purchasing Dum Dums, the Spangler Candy Company would introduce a Dum Dums mascot. The Dum Dum Drum Man.

A humanoid drum that was made to market to kids to buy more Dum Dums. Numerous different promotions were made using the Dum Dum Drum Man during the 1960s and 1970s. 

The mascot isn’t used much today, but the mascot can still be seen by visitors that tour the factory.

The Dum Dum Mystery Flavor

The last flavor added to the other 15 Dum Dum flavors was the mystery flavor Dum Dum. A lot of claims have been made by fans of the lollipop to what the mystery flavor actually is.

What adds to the mystery is not one mystery flavor Dum Dum tastes the same. Honestly though, there really isn’t anything mysterious about the Dum Dum mystery flavor.

The truth is that mystery flavors were a way to sell excess lollipop flavoring. At the end of each day, the processing machine that makes Dum Dums leftover material in the machine. 

As to not let the material go to waste, the workers began making Dum Dums out of the extra material. That is how mystery flavor Dum Dums were created.

The marketing of Dum Dums

You would think that to be around as long as Dums Dums have been that they have had great marketing campaigns. Their success is actually quite the opposite.

The Spangler Candy Company has really changed much of anything about Dum Dums since acquiring the candy in 1953. Other than adding 11 other flavors along with the 7 original flavors.

Even the logos and wrappers haven’t changed much in the 70 years since the Spangler Candy Company bought Dum Dums.

This lack of marketing has actually not hurt the sale of Dum Dums at all. They let the flavors speak for themselves and people continue to buy millions of the product every year.

Fans of Dum Dum lollipops seem to enjoy the nostalgia about the candy and feel like nothing needs to be changed.

Dum Dums Flavors

Originally, there were only 7 flavors when the Akron Candy Company first created the lollipop. Then after the Spangler Candy Company bought the rights to Dum Dums, the flavors expanded to 18. 

The list of Dum Dum flavors include: 

  • Blu Raspberry
  • Bubble Gum
  • Butterscotch
  • Cherry
  • Cotton Candy
  • Cream Soda
  • Fruit Punch
  • Grape
  • Lemon Lime
  • Orange
  • Peach-Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Root Beer
  • Sour Apple
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon
  • Mystery Flavor

Other Spangler Candy products

Dum Dums are not the only popular candy that the Spangler Candy Company is known for making. 

Some other popular candies that they’ve created or owned include:

The Spangler Candy Company actually makes 45% of the candy canes produced in the US.

Dum Dums Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Citric Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Salt
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Color Added
  • (Includes: Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1)

Dum Dums Nutrition

Serving Size:1 pops (5g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
Calories 20
Total Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 0mg0%
Total Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugars 3.7g
Protein 0g
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pictures of Dum Dums

Dum Dums makes a new ad

A few years ago, Spangler candy actually made an ad to advertise Dum Dums. This was the first ad they had done for the lollipops in over 30 years.

It was just a 15 second animated commercial that included their trademark catchphrase. “Dum Dums: Make life pop!”

Dum Dums Commercial

Dum Dums today

Today, Dum Dum lollipops are still going strong and still sell relatively well. The Spangler Candy Company now makes over 10 million Dum Dum lollipops daily.

Rget haven’t changed much, but that seems to be what their loyal customers like most about the candy. Fans of Dum Dums have continued to support their favorite lollipop for over 100 years. 

More than likely, your grandkids will also enjoy Dum Dum lollipops in the future.

Please leave a review of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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