ZotZ candy is a unique and really fun candy that is made with a fizzy and sour center encased in a hard candy shell. These candies are fruity and delightful and the center is sour and bubbly. The contrast of the two kinds of experience makes ZotZ memorable.
ZotZ comes in cherry, watermelon, grape, orange, raspberry, apple, and strawberry. ZotZ is the official candy of American Endurance Racing and it is much beloved by kids and adults alike. Many people liken these treats to pop rocks as well as other fruity and sour hard candies.
People are often polarized about what is the best way to enjoy these candies. Much like Tootsie Roll Pops, ZotZ lovers are divided into those who savor them and those who bite them in half. The fun of ZotZ is often the surprising burst of fizzy sourness at their center, and some people enjoy this part of the candy right away by biting them in half.
No matter which way you decide to enjoy your favorite ZotZ flavors, this delicious candy provides a nostalgic experience to the adults who bought them for pennies in the 1970s and offers a chance to share a memorable and fun treat with children. ZotZ are truly unique candies and they are still as fun to share with friends and family as they were when they were first brought over from Italy.
History of ZotZ
ZotZ were made in 1968 first by G.B. Ambrosoli SPA in Ronago Italy. The candy did not carry the ZotZ name at this time. ZotZ candies did not arrive in America until 1968 when it was brought to the US by Andre Prost.
Prost had worked his way up the ladder at Cuisinier which made fine liqueurs before World War I. This gave him skills and interest in fine foods and desserts. He lost this job during World War I and as a result, had to figure out a new career after the war due to prohibition.
He tried his hand at a variety of different food-based careers and sales and he started importing food items from Como, Italy. This is where he bought confectionaries made by G.B. Ambrosoli. At the same time, he had created the Andre Post Co to sell quality honey and honey products. The slogan for the company was originally, “Honey From Here, There, and Everywhere.”
This honey business along with the candy business became his new passion and he put effort into this project until his health started to fail him. He had a partner, Frank Landry, who helped him manage the company they built, the Andre Prost Co. They created marzipan and other delightful confectionary items that sold well in the US. They also imported honey and had good luck with this side venture as well.
Prost traveled to France to retire in 1964 and he died shortly after he arrived. The company was passed to Frank Landy. After the company was passed to Landry, he started taking trips to Italy to monitor the candy and honey companies. After one of those trips, he brought some candy home from one of his visits to Italy. Landry’s children went nuts for the yummy little fizzy candies and they begged for more of the “funny fizzy candy”.
Landry started importing more of the fun candies that his kids had loved and renamed them “ZotZ”. The name came from a 1962 William Castle film that starred Tom Poston and Jim Backus. Mr. Landry was known for saying, “Hey! Don’t give me the ZotZ!” and so the name became attached to the little candies that were growing in popularity.
How the Fizz is Made
The fizzy center of these candies is made with a mix of malic acid and tartaric acids. Baking soda is added to this and when these substances combine with your saliva, you get a fizzy and enjoyable explosion of flavor released from the center of the candy.
This same combination of chemicals is still being used to make these yummy little candies in Italy and the traditional flavors have never been changed. The fizzy and fruity mix of flavor that was well-known in the 1970s is still on sale today in the US.
Andre Post Today
Andre Post Co is still in business and they still make and distribute ZotZ. They have not changed the packaging much since the 1970s, and the cartoony and bright little candy packets are still largely the same as they were in the beginning. They still sell honey products in the form of Honees, quality throat lozenges.
ZotZ is still one of the most recognizable items that they sell and their name is mostly associated with these wonderful little candies. You can order a whole box of these little candies and get every flavor if you want to try them all. Most candy stores still sell them in strings of candies that are linked and you can pick up almost all the flavors at most candy stores that sell them.
The Namesake for ZotZ
The name of the candies, as mentioned before, came from a movie called “Zotz!” In the movie, Tom Postron was a college professor who discovered an ancient coin. The coin had three possible uses for each person who held it. You could point at someone and say “Zotz” to make them feel a sharp pain. You could also use it with the same command word to imagine someone moving in slow motion. The last use, which was more sinister, was to use the command word of “Zotz” to kill someone.
The movie creates a lot of mishaps and excitement related to the trouble that Tom Postron gets into, and apparently, this movie made a big impression on Landry. The impression that the movie made was enough for him to liken the shock of flavor and fizz at the center of the candies with the surprise of the “ZotZ!” curse.
This was partly aimed at the target audience who would want to enjoy the treats when they were sold in the US. This target audience was 8–9-year-olds who had probably been very impressed with the movie and its overall concept. The ZotZ name was partially coined due to Landry’s interest in the movie personally, but the name was very memorable for being related to this movie that was sure to have created a bit of a stir with those who watched it at the time.
What Are the Ingredients of ZotZ?
ZotZ is made of sugar, corn syrup, malic acid, sodium bicarbonate, tartaric acid, artificial flavors, and some artificial colors. This is a small list of ingredients and means that this candy is one of the most simple and healthiest options on the market.
ZotZ was always a simple and straightforward candy that was crafted to be a light treat. The ingredients show just how true this is.
ZotZ comes in these flavors:
- Blue Raspberry
Where Can I Buy ZotZ?
There are many stores throughout the USA that sell ZotZ. Convenience and candy stores all over the US sell these delightful little candies and often sell all of their many flavors. Store owners can still apply to be a carrier and distributor if they wish to do so. This classic candy is still as popular as ever and new stores are always looking to add this candy to their inventory.
You can also buy ZotZ online in both boxes of strings and the much sought-after 100 count bags. This can be a better price in some cases and you will get a large bulk amount all at once. There is always the risk that shipping will damage the candy as it is a bit delicate. Broken ZotZ are never as enjoyable as candies that are whole. You might want to consider finding a local candy store to get your ZotZ from for this reason.
Buy ZotZ Online
ZotZ has used slogans like “Where the Fizz Izz”, “Big Fizz Candy” and “Exploding Pop”. This summarizes the experience of eating and enjoying these yummy candies and they are memorable precisely because of the fizzy center and the sweet and sour nature of the candy.
The colorful cartoonish wrappers are much the same as they always were, even in the 70s. Buying strings of these candies will instantly recall the original buying experience that many adults remember from when ZotZ first arrived in the US.
What Other Candies Are Like ZotZ?
There are not many candies on the market that are as unique as ZotZ. The closest equivalent are Poprocks. These are also fizzy and popping candies that also melt in your mouth with sour and sweet deliciousness and fun at the same time!
ZotZ Candy Commercials
There have been numerous ZotZ campaigns over the years and these are some of the clever and also silly ZotZ commercials that people might remember.
This video comes from the Andre Post Co and shows how ZotZ are made: