Jolly Ranchers (History, Pictures & Commercials)

Jolly Ranchers are colorful small candies and are a type of hard candy. Jolly Rancher comes in a variety of different colors and flavors. They were first made in the year 1949, and since then new flavors and spin-off products for Jolly Rancher have been produced. This candy has enjoyed some popularity since its release, and the Jolly Rancher brand has continued to update its product years after it was first released.

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Jolly Ranchers


Jolly Rancher, an American brand of sweet, somewhat tangy, or sour/sweet hard candy products, is currently owned by The Hershey Company. Jolly Ranchers come in various colors and flavors. Jolly Rancher was first introduced in the year 1949. They are hard, brittle, rigid, translucent, and the brand has many different flavors.

The product was originally produced by the Jolly Rancher Company that was founded by Bill Harmsen of Golden, CO. He originally also sold ice cream but realized it was hard to sell during the winter months, so he focused on hard candies that can be sold year-round. In 2002, Hershey closed the Wheat Ridge, Colorado, plant and moved the manufacturing of Jolly Rancher to Mexico to save costs.

Flavors of Jolly Rancher include cherry, blue raspberry, grape, green apple and watermelon. There are also sour, cinnamon, and smoothie varieties. In 2013, lemon was reintroduced in an all-lemon bag. In 2015, a Fruity Bash variety pack was offered and in 2017 a Hotties bag was introduced with fruit flavors that added cayenne pepper, sriracha, habanero and ginger.

A number of other Jolly Rancher products have been made, from gummies and fruit chews to jelly beans, lollipops, filled pops and gelatin desserts. Jolly Ranchers are manufactured by creating a solution of corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, or fructose syrup that is boiled and cooled to create a supersaturated mixture. As the mixture is cooled, natural and artificial flavoring and artificial colors are added to the syrup solution which is mixed with malic acid to improve shelf life and add further flavor. Once the mixture cools it is extruded into long malleable strings that are cut to size and individually wrapped and packaged.

Jolly Rancher gummies are a chewable candy spin-off to Jolly Ranchers and have been made available in the same fruit flavors as the hard candies. Jolly Ranchers can be mixed with other foods and added to drinks. You can crumble and sprinkle them onto cookies, cakes and other baked delights and top candy apples.

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The Year Jolly Ranchers Was Invented

Jolly Ranchers were first made in the year 1949. Since then, the Jolly Rancher brand has created new flavors and spin-off products from the 40s candy.

The Jolly Rancher company was invented and created by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen. Their product was sold in the Denver, Colorado, area. They named the company “Jolly Rancher” because it sounded very friendly and would create a positive western company vibe for customers. The brand was first introduced as an ice cream store. 

After Bill and Dorothy found out that the ice cream sales were reduced in the winter, they decided to add chocolate to their product assortment. As a result of this decision, a new line of bulk and boxed chocolates was added. Those sweet treats were produced on a small candy farm located in the Denver area. 

Soon, the brand gained popularity and the love of people. So, the founders decided to open franchise stores in different states of the USA, such as Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. They offered chocolate candies and hot cinnamon taffy sticks, and prices for those were as low as five cents. 

Those sweet treats became loved by many people, and therefore, they caused the vast popularity of the Jolly Rancher Candy Brand. Slowly, the company started to manufacture and offer similar hard candies to their customers. 

The Jolly Rancher trademark was registered on March 31st, 1958. The registration number of the word mark was 0695762. The trademark of the name was first used in the manufacturing and packaging process in 1960, and it was noted in the filing.

In 1966, because of some financial problems, the Jolly Rancher candy manufacturing company was sold to Beatrice Foods. However, even though the company was sold, Bill and Dorothy Harmsen continued to operate the business. Another acquisition was made by Leaf, Inc. in 1983. This time, Jolly Rancher was bought from Beatrice Foods along with several other brands and became part of Leaf, Inc. 

The Company That Makes Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Rancher is currently manufactured by the Hershey Corporation. Hershey also owns products such as Take 5 and the Hershey bar.

Hershey’s is an American food producer and manufacturer famous for making chocolate and sweet confections. One of the most famous products of Hershey’s company is Milk Chocolate, which became the best-known American candy of the 20th century. The headquarters of the company are located in Derry Township, Pennsylvania. 

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The origin of the Hershey company goes back to the 1880s. It was first founded by Milton S. Hershey. At first, the company was known as the Lancaster Caramel Company. 

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Everything started when Milton Hershey saw the chocolate-pressing machine in Chicago, and at that moment, the idea of chocolate making was born. The company was actively manufacturing chocolate products by 1894. In 1900, his caramel manufacturing company was sold and he founded a new one, this time focused on manufacturing milk chocolate bars.

Hershey decided to purchase Leaf, inc, brands of North American confectioneries and those, including Jolly Rancher. The acquisition happened in 1996. Other famous brands that were also bought by the Hershey corporation were Whoppers, Good & Plenty, PayDay, Milk Duds, and Heath Bar. Part of the agreement was that Hershey would sell the European candy operation to the Leaf’s parent company, Huhtamäki Oy.

The factory plant of Jolly Ranchers, which was located in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, was closed in 2002 and the manufacturing process was moved to Mexico. One of the main reasons for this decision was that manufacturing in Mexico was associated with lower costs, and the company was saving money by doing so. 

The Hershey Company acquired The Allan Candy Co. in 2014, which was an Ontario-based company. After the acquisition, the manufacturing of candy was moved to Canada, to the Granby plant.

Jolly Ranchers Logo

We all know and are familiar with the current Jolly Rancher logo. However, similarly to the brand itself, the logo changes too, time by time, and is represented in different shapes, colors, and characteristics. Modern logos are modified to show the customers and the world that the brand is keeping up with modern technologies and changes around them. 

The very first logo that was introduced by Jolly Rancher was released in 1949. The letters were represented in black and white with a white background. There was a black circle surrounding the logo. The logo was in use until 1959. Then it was slightly modified. 

The second logo was introduced in 1959, and this time, the design became much simpler and was represented by only letters with no background. All the letters were in upper case and were black. The logo remained until 1986. 

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Complete modifications and changes were made in 1986, and as a result, the new logo was absolutely nothing like the old ones. This time, the brand brought color and “life” to it. The new logo was still “block lettering” in white, and it had a bold blue background. The yellow outline was also introduced this time. In the background, pictures of fruits were shown. It included cherries, grapes, and sliced melon and watermelon.

Another logo modification was done in 1998. This time the word order was changed. In the previous versions, “Jolly Rancher” was written side by side. In this case, the “jolly” was written on top of the “rancher”. In this version, the inside of the letters was white. The background was blue, and the logo was surrounded by a yellow outline.

The current logo was created in 2012. If in the previous version, “Jolly Rancher” was in all capital letters, in this case, “Rancher” is represented in lower case letters. The whole name was used, and there is a blue color behind the letters, written in blocks and bolded. A yellow outline surrounds the logo. The current logo is a combination of the colors blue, white, and yellow. 

Colors have meanings; therefore, they need to be chosen carefully. The color blue is a representation of loyalty, honesty, and trust. Yellow is associated with happiness and positive energy, whereas white is a representation of purity and innocence. 

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You can also buy Jolly Ranchers at Old Time Candy by clicking the image below.

Old time candy


  • Corn Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Contains 2% or less of: Malic acid
  • Natural lavor and artificial flavor
  • Artificial Color [Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6]
  • Mineral Oil
  • Lecithin (Soy)


Serving Size: 1 piece (6g) % Daily Value *
Amount Per Serving 0.1
Calories from Fat
Calories 24
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2.3mg 0%
Potassium 0.3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 5.9g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 3.8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0.1%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



Check out this complication of Jolly Rancher commercials:

Bottom Line

Jolly Rancher Candy managed to stick around and has been a popular treat for generations. Its sweet, sugary, and fruity taste will eventually cure every sweet tooth. There is a perfect balance of sweet and sour and fruity flavors until the candy is crunchy. No matter the flavors, all Jolly Ranchers are simple and, therefore, loved by kids and adults alike.

Which Jolly Rancher flavor is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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

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4 thoughts on “Jolly Ranchers (History, Pictures & Commercials)”

  1. Sadly, cinnamon kisses are very hard to find. Only on EBay for $$’s for less than a pound. I switched to the kisses when I could no longer find the cinnamon stick. I am a long-time Jolly Rancher fan.

  2. Having grown up very near the factory, many flavors are never mentioned. Cola, root beer, lime and others. There was taffy in ice cream flavors, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. They had chewing gum. Sticks, like the fire sticks, in all flavors. The candies are not the same now that they have been acquired by Hershey.

  3. Hi, I really love jolly ranchers, I mean I probably eat a bag once a week. and their arguably my favorite candy in existence, BUT. with great power comes great responsibility. and because I hold them so highly, it burdens my soul knowing that they have their faults. I recently opened a bag today at work ready to indulge in my personal favorite flavor cherry. I look in the bag and see the devil imminently, WATERELON, I almost barf, but I control myself. I look further in the bag and no sight of any cherry’s. In desperation I end up dumping the whole bag out onto my desk. 8 grapes, 9 green apples 7, blue raspberry’s, and 13 watermelon. NO CHEERYS. I can’t find the words to express my sadness, my mourning, it’s almost disgusting that they would do this to me. This isn’t the first time either, they are repeat offenders. some times I would find 4 or 5. but Zero…. this has brought the problem to my attention and I will strive to fix it. jolly ranchers, please make sure this dosent happen to any unfortunate soul again, thank you sincerely me.


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