Vintage Candy – Ultimate Guide to Classic Retro Candy

Have you ever wondered what happened to all that vintage candy that were popular decades ago? Luckily, they haven’t disappeared! Popular candy brands always try hard to take care of their customers’ needs, and as a result, the most successful vintage candy are still on the market even nowadays. 

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Trying new types of candies is nothing unusual today. We can just go to any store and get our favorite treat. However, there was a time when candy was not affordable and available for everybody. It was more of a luxury thing. And that’s probably one of the reasons why candy-lovers still adore popular vintage candy from the 1990s or any decade of the previous century. 

Back in the day, making candy was not an easy thing to do. Confectioneries faced many challenges. However, they still continued their experiments and created some very popular and memorable treats. Follow us on a journey of vintage candy from the 20th century.

Vintage Candy Ultimate Guide to Classic Retro Candy

Most Popular Vintage Candy from the 1900s

If you wonder what some of the most successful candy brands that haven’t left the market yet are, take a look at the list below. In this section, we’ll look at some of the most delicious and sought-after vintage candy that can still be found in old-fashioned vintage stores. So, here’s the list of the top nine vintage candy from the 1900s.

Baby Ruth Bar

baby ruth

Baby Ruth Bar is one of the oldest candies that has remained popular and loved by people since its first appearance. This vintage candy is believed to be a very famous and well-remembered candy from the 1920s.

The Candy Bar was created by Otto Schnering. He was the founder of the Curtiss Candy Company. For five years, he has been trying to make it popular among people, and he has succeeded. Eventually, the Curtiss Candy Company was taken over by Nabisco. In 1990, it was transferred to Nestle. In 2018, Ferrero acquired Nestle’s brands, including our Baby Ruth chocolate bar. A candy bar producer is currently the Ferrara Candy Company. 

The chocolate bar consists of caramel, peanuts, and nougat and has the flavor of milk chocolate. The filling is covered in compound chocolate. At first, the candy was named Candy Kake. However, in 1920, the Curtiss candy company upgraded it and renamed it “Baby Ruth.” The cost of candy was just five cents. Who would not love to eat a delicious treat as an energy bar for just 5 cents?

Some think that the candy bar was named after the famous baseball player. Nobody knows for sure, but the creator was claiming that the candy bar was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter.

The marketing campaign around Baby Ruth Bar was exceptionally surprising. This retro candy became much more famous, when the creator, Otto Schnering, did something unique. He chartered the plane and dropped thousands of candy bars from there. Each of them had a little parachute. He did it in a couple of cities in over forty states. It happened in 1923 and remains a very memorable promotion of candy. 

Peanut Chews

peanut chews

People love the peanut flavor, and it has been so for decades. People’s love for peanuts was well recognized and used by the confectioner Harry Goldenberg, who was the creator of famous Peanut Chews.

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Peanut chews are truly a vintage candy from the 1920s. It is one of the few that managed to stay on the market for a full 100 years. 

At first, it was introduced in 1917. However, it was not packaged. Back in time, when World War I was ongoing, peanut chews were used in soldiers’ daily rations. The ingredients caused the candy to be the source of energy. 

This candy consists of peanuts and molasses that are covered in dark chocolate. Originally, the candy bar was vegan friendly, because it did not consist of milk or eggs. However, after some modifications, Milk Chocolate Peanut Chews and Retro Peanut Chews appeared. 

Harry Goldenberg designed the packaging and began selling the candy in stores in 1921. At first, the candy was bite-size. In 1930, it was modified into a full-sized bar. Currently, this vintage candy bar is manufactured by the company “Just Born”.

5th Avenue Bar

5th avenue

It is impossible to talk about vintage candy and not mention the 5th Avenue Candy Bar. Candy was introduced in 1936 by William H. Ludden at Luden’s company.  Luden’s was a subsidiary of Food Industries, located in Philadelphia. Later on, Luden’s was sold to Hershey’s corporation. 

 5th Avenue Bar was especially popular in the 1930s. Candy was named after New York’s famous street. 5th avenue was especially popular and very fashionable back then, which is why the candy was named after it. 

This vintage candy was made from crunchy peanuts dipped in milk chocolate. It had a skinny rectangular shape. The original candy had almonds on top. However, today it comes without almonds. The candy consists of the following ingredients: sugar, peanuts, cocoa butter, palm kernels, etc. 

The candy bar is very similar to the Clark Bar and Butterfinger. It has a strong taste of chocolate and peanut butter. The original candy had some crunchiness to it, caused by the roasted peanuts and almonds. The packaging of the 5th Avenue Candy Bar is brown in color. It has a yellow letter outlined. The original candy packaging was made from cardboard boxes and had red coloring.

Heath Bar

heath bar

The Heath bar was invented in 1915 by the Heath Brothers, Bayard Heath, and Everett Heath Confectionery. They actually brought the recipe from the salesman.  Soon, they started selling bars for daily truck deliveries. It quickly became so successful that it gave birth to the Heath candy company. Soon after, they got rich and had a split. Eventually, the company broke up and created Leaf, Co. 

Heath Bar candy was first sold to the public in the 1920s. However, it was introduced internationally in 1932. Currently, the Heath Bar is manufactured by the Hershey Corporation. Candy was especially popular in the 1930s

This vintage candy is made out of coffee, which is covered in thick milk chocolate. Candy was handmade until 1942. They used to make it using a copper kettle, stirring paddle, marble slab, and rolling knife. In that year, some parts of the candy-making process were mechanized. 

After it got mechanized, the United States Army ordered a large amount of Heath Bar Chocolate. It was longer-lasting than other confectionery. So, it became part of the soldiers’ daily routine. 

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Heath English Toffee advertised itself as “America’s Finest.”They promoted products that were of the highest quality. 

The Great Depression was a huge stress for US citizens. Heath Bar became one of the affordable treats of that time. After the depression ended, more and more people liked the bar. The company opened its first shop at Ben & Jerry’s ice cream base.

Almond Joy

almond joy

Almond Joy is another vintage candy that was first introduced in 1946. It was actually a replacement for the Dreams Bar from 1934. It was pretty unique among other candy bars and soon became one of the most popular candies from the 1940s. Traditionally, combinations of peanuts and chocolate were used in the candies. However, in Almond Joy, coconut was the main ingredient. 

Milk chocolate consists of milk chocolate, almonds, and coconut. The center of the chocolate candy is soft, the coating is milk chocolate and almonds, which gives the candy its shape and consistency. 

Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company was the manufacturer of Almond Joy. However, it was not sensational chocolate. Before that, something similar was also made in 1920. Candy was named Mounds and has been on the market since World War II. 

The Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company was created by immigrants from Armenia in 1919. Eventually, it was merged with Cadbury Schweppes in 1978. The new company was based in England. It was the Hershey Foods corporation that brought the candy to the United States. Hershey Food Corporation paid $300 million for the rights to manufacture Almond Joy.

Demand was so high that the United States military bought around 80% of the whole production in 1944.

Bazooka Bubble Gum

bazooka bubble gum

Bazooka Bubble Gum was introduced in 1947 in the United States. The chewing gum was the product of “Bazooka Candy Brands“, owned by The Topps Company, Incorporated. 

The gum was made soon after World War II. And eventually, the name becomes associated with it. The chewing gum was named after a rocket-propelled weapon. The weapon was used by the United States Army. 

Bazooka Bubble Gum was different from other chewing gum products. It had many different flavors. Apart from the original one, the flavors include Grape Rage, Strawberry Shake, and Watermelon Whirl.

Another unique feature offered by candy was that it had collectible wrappers. There were “Bazooka Joe Comic Strips” on them. It must’ve been very popular among the kids. Especially those who enjoyed amassing collections. It certainly became a memorable candy from the 1940s.

Candy is now sold in many countries. Mostly, the comic strips are translated into different languages, so all people have the opportunity to enjoy them. For example, in Canada, they are written in two languages: English and French.

Candy Cigarettes

Candy Cigarettes

Since its appearance, Candy Cigarettes have been a sensational product. Even though it was created back in the 1930s, it was very popular in the following decades too. Candy Cigarettes is one of the fanciest vintage candყ on the market. 

Candy was first made in the 19th century. Originally, it was made from either Chalky Sugar, Bubblegum, or chocolate. The candy was then wrapped in paper and packaged. It resembled cigarettes. Some Candy Cigarette products had powdered sugar inside, which created the imitation of smoke. 

Candy cigarettes had a difficult time finding a market. At first, when smoking was not considered to be a health problem, it was just fine. However, later on, it received a lot of criticism and was even banned in many places. That’s why the manufacturers changed names and took “cigarettes” out of it. 

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Candy becაme especially popular among teenagers. They thought it was cool to smoke, so whoever had it was considered a cool person. Actually, tobacco companies and manufacturers of Candy Cigarettes cooperated. Tobacco companies gave the rights to the names to promote their products.

Atomic Fireballs 

atomic fireball

Atomic Fireballs were made in 1954 by Nello Ferrera, the former CEO of Ferrara Candy Company. The “Hot pan method” was used in the production. At the beginning of production, they could only make 200 cases each day. However, people liked it so much that it soon went up to 50, 000 cases a day. 

Candies are round and have the form of a jawbreaker. It has a spicy cinnamon flavor. Atomic Fireballs have a bright red color coating. Inside they have a white filling. Apart from their unique taste, people liked them a lot because they were long-lasting.

An interesting fact about the candy is that it was adopted by flight controllers in Nasa’s Mission Control as a “Console Candy of Choice”. Candy comes in different packaging. There are some in a tub with a lid and also individually wrapped ones.

Candy is unique because of its spiciness. That’s why it became very popular, especially in the 1950s. This vintage candy really is associated with a lot of memories, childhood, and laughter.

Nik L Nip

nik l nip

Nik L Nip is a candy made by Vinny Cavallo and was introduced in the 1950s. This vintage candy was marketed by Tootsie Roll Industries.

Candy is unique because of its shape and taste. In the package, there are small bottles with the juice in them. The top of the bottle has to be bitten off. After the bite, one can drink a fruit-flavored sweet juice. The “wax bottle” can be chewed like a piece of gum. However, it is only meant to be chewed and not swallowed. 

The name of the brand comes from the original cost of candy. At first, the price of Nik L Nip was a nickel. The method of opening the small wax bottle by biting the top off—”nipping”—was used in the second part of the name. So, a unique name, Nik L Nip, was created. 

Some concerns were raised about the healthiness and safety of chewing the wax bottles themselves. However, it turned out that the bottles were not toxic and food-grade. So, it is absolutely safe to chew it like bubble gum. 

There were various flavored juices in the bottles, such as cherry, orange, lemon, and lime. The candy mainly consists of refined wax, water, corn syrup, and artificial flavors.

Conclusion On Vintage Candy

Some things are not affected by the flow of time. If we look back in history, we can find vintage candy that created confectionery history. Many retro candy and companies have come and gone for decades. However, most of them managed to stay around and have been on the market since their appearance. 

Some of the candies mentioned above may have been a huge part of our childhood. Bringing back some sweet memories always creates a feeling of comfort and coziness. In the comment section, share which vintage candy is your favorite and what memories are triggered by it.

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

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