Spree Candy
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Spree Candy

Among the various really creative and enjoyable candies that came from the Willy Wonka candy brand in the 80s and 90s, Spree candy has continued to be a fan favorite. This colorful and simple candy is delicious and comes in a colorful variety of flavors. Today, the product is owned by the Ferrara Candy Company, which has ensured the continued survival and sales of the brand in the US and Mexico.

If you have never tried out Sprees, you have been missing out. The candy has been around since the 60s and hasn’t changed much in all those years. There are few simple candies on the market today, so Spree Candy stands out as a great selection for those who love a simple and classic treat.

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

Spree Candy

History

Spree candy were first made by the Sunline Candy Company. They first hit the market in the 1960s and were the result of a brainstorm that was dreamed up by an employee at the company named John Scout. Pressed candies had been around for years, but coating the pressed candies with a sugary, flavored shell was a newer idea that had not been explored by many companies. Nestle bought the product from Sunline in the 1970s and immediately associated it with the Willy Wonka candy product line that they were crafting.

Willy Wonka candies were linked directly with the Willy Wonka of movie and book fame, and this helped to sell these creative and colorful candies. The sense of whimsy and fun that was associated with the Willy Wonka candy line helped to generate a variety of really fun and unique candies that thrived for years under the Willy Wonka brand name. Changes to the candy market as parents and lobbyists became more sugar-conscious and nutrition-conscious helped to pressure Nestle into selling all the products that were sold in the Willy Wonka lineup.

Children of the 80s and 90s remember well all the brightly-colored, highly sugary candies and snacks that were part of daily life. There was something intrinsically fun about these products that appealed specifically to children and teens. The changing times made it illegal for companies to market directly to children and to use many of the food dyes and sugar products that made these products so enticing. Changing times didn’t threaten Spree Candy for long, however, and they were quickly picked up by the Ferrara Candy Company when Nestle decided to sell.

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Sprees are a simple dextrose candy that is pressed and then coated with a colorful, fruit-flavored shell. There are various sizes of this candy that are still sold today, and you can get 5 oz rolls of the classic 141.7-gram Spree and also the thinner 140 g “movie theater” product.

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old candy

Sprees have used the tagline, “a kick in the mouth,” for years, but this is not really an apt description. These candies are enjoyably sweet, slightly chewy, and vary in flavor depending on the color of the Spree that you choose to eat. There were originally various flavors of Spree candy, but today you can only get the classic mixed variety rolls or boxes. Mini and Chewy Sprees continue to be sold in some markets and can be ordered online as well.

As soon as the Willy Wonka brand was associated with Spree Candy, the product was offered in movie theaters. This version of the candy was exactly the same, but it was sold in a cardboard box with slightly smaller Spree discs inside. The Spree box was usually purple in color but might also have been blue during certain periods of time. 

Most people would have picked up Sprees in a paper and foil roll at the candy store, however. This is still the most familiar packaging style that candy lovers expect when they look for Sprees at the store. The boxed version does offer the benefit of keeping your Sprees contained if you don’t want to enjoy them all in one sitting. The rolls are never as ideal for preserving candies, which is why many candy makers have moved away from this product packaging style.

Sprees are sold today in select stores, but most of the sales for this product happen in the movie theater or online. If you have not tried Sprees before, you should make sure to order some or grab a box the next time you are at the movies. There is something deceptively simple and satisfying about enjoying Spree Candy, and you will be surprised at just how fast you can consume the entire box or roll.

Flavors

  • Cherry – red
  • Orange- orange
  • Green Apple- green
  • Lemon- yellow
  • Grape- purple

Spree Mixed Berry was a variety of this candy that was sold until 2015. The flavors of this version of the product were Cherry, Strawberry, Blue Raspberry, and Mixed Berry. Chewy Sprees and Mini Sprees today come in all the classic flavors and might be sold in a box or in a roll.

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During the Christmas season, Spree sells candy canes that offer the traditional Spree varieties mixed with sour Sprees. 

Varieties

Today, you can only source the Chewy, Mini, and classic versions of Sprees. However, throughout the time that Nestle was managing the brand, there were products like Spree Jelly Beans, Spree Gum, and limited-time flavors and packaging that were sold in stores. These days are long gone, but people who have always enjoyed Sprees remember them well. You can check out pictures of the various spin-off products that were made with Spree flavoring and livery back in the day if you are curious about this era of Sprees candy.

Ingredients

  • Dextrose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malic Acid
  • And Less Than 2% Of Calcium Stearate, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Carnauba Wax
  • Color Added, Blue 1, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6

Sprees are not vegan because there is egg in the candy wash that is spread over each disc. There is also the possibility of contamination from milk in the processing plant due to shared equipment.

They are also not gluten-free due to being manufactured in a shared plant with products that use gluten in their recipes. This can be a big disappointment for those with food allergies who usually can enjoy hard candies of this type.

If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, you might not be able to enjoy the Spree candy in all its lovely fruit-flavored chewiness.

Nutrition

Serving Size:15 pieces (15g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories60
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Total Carbohydrates14g5%
Sugars 13g
Protein 0g0g
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet.

Livery

Most people who love classic candies miss the days when the Willy Wonka brand was alive and well. There was something delightfully engaging and inviting about the Willy Wonka brand livery, which came complete with purple and blue colors, silverly lettering, and images of a cartoon Willy Wonka emblazoned on every candy product in the stable. You could spot a Willy Wonka candy product from a mile away, and Sprees wore this same livery during this time in Nestle’s hands.

When the product was changed to Ferrara’s management, the original cursive logo was preserved, but the rest of the product design had to be changed. Spree rolls and boxes are now purple in color and show images of Sprees alongside the logo lettering. Each roll and box also states that the products inside are the “original” Sprees since there was an ownership shift.

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Chewy Sprees are often sold in bags, and the bag is aquamarine in color. The rest of the logo and branding look the same. You will not find Chewy Sprees in many stores or the movie theater very often. You will usually need to buy these little treats online if you want to give them a go. If you like SweeTARTS then you will enjoy the chewy version of Sprees a lot.

There is not much else to say about the product packaging for Spree Candy. The brand has always offered simple styling, and the Ferrara company didn’t change much about the overall layout of the product’s packaging. So many people know all about Sprees these days that there really is no need to tell consumers much about them. Word of mouth alone continues to market the Spree, and everyone probably knows at least one person who loves this candy.

Logo

Spree Candy Logo

Buy Online

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

Old time candy

Pictures

Ads

Spree Candy ads in the 90s were really strange, but then again, so were many other product ads that were targeted at kids. It was not uncommon to hear the tagline, “It’s a kick in the mouth,” during the ad, followed by things like woodpeckers drilling on someone’s tongue or people kicking their feet toward the TV screen.

Today, Sprees don’t require advertising to stay relevant. They have a lot of brand name recognition, and the Ferrara Company is clearly associated with the production of classic candies. Many people buy direct from Ferrara and their distributors to get access to the candies that they remember from childhood or that their parents have raved about for years.

All the various Spree candy ads that you can find online today are relics of a forgotten era. This makes them really fun, wacky, and totally enjoyable compared to modern candy ads.

A classic 90s Spree Candy ad that is wild and zany:

Another weird and wonderful 90s commercial for Sprees:

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

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