After seven decades of sweet, salty, and sour goodness, we have info on which candy came when. This segment will address candy from the Gen-X (1965-1980) and Millennial (1981-1996) generations. Although not quite as active in candy invention as during the Baby Boomer generation, these generations saw the creation of some pretty impressive new candy.
1966 – 100 Grand. Formerly known as “$100,000 Bar,” these chocolate bars were named after a popular game show in the 1960s and have been a fan-favorite ever since.
1966 – Razzles. These babies are the best of both worlds: candy AND gum, a combination that mystifies children. Although they were only offered in raspberry in 1966, today Razzles are available in a wide variety of flavors, including Gushin’ Grape, Luscious Lemon, and Tangerine Orange.
1970 – Snickers’ Munch Bar. Introduced in 1970, this candy bar is known today as simply “Munch” and has been a chocolate-peanut butter classic for decades.
1971 – Laffy Taffy. At their introduction in 1971, these fruit-flavored taffies were used as a way to promote a movie that was just coming out. However, because they continued to be popular once the movies left theaters, they have been produced ever since.
1974 – Pop Rocks. These bad boys were developed in 1956 by scientist William A. Mitchell, but weren’t released to the public until 1974. Using little air pockets of carbonation that melt in your mouth, these candies leave a mild crackling and popping sensation in your mouth (and can produce some pretty spectacular effects when mixed with certain sodas).
1976 – Jelly Belly. Though this company had been around for decades, it wasn’t until 1976 that the breakthrough recipe for Mini Jelly Beans allowed for these colorful beans to be produced. The original flavors included Root Beer, Green Apple, Licorice, Cream Soda, Lemon, Tangerine, Very Cherry, and Grape.
1978 – Reese’s Pieces. Created as a way to maintain popularity levels for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces were originally produced in 1978 and became extremely popular after being featured in the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982.
1979 – Ring Pop. These lollipop-inspired rings have been around for decades – and have even been featured in some weddings.
1980 – Big League Chew. Former Portland Mavericks left-hander Rob Nelson is the mastermind behind this unique, shredded gum. Baseball fans everywhere are still chewing on this, the #1 shredded gum in the world, every day.
1981 – Skittles. For over three decades, people have been tasting the rainbow every time they snack on these chewy, fruity candies.
1983 – Nerds. These tiny candies are offered in several fun flavors, like Grape and Apple Watermelon, and have been a beloved treat for years.
1985 – Sour Patch Kids. Originally called “Mars Men,” these little guys have been sour-then-sweet for decades – and have even inspired a few UFO sightings.
1986 – Airheads. Candy fanatics have been chewing on these long pieces of taffy-like sweets since 1986, and today they are offered in a wide variety of flavors.
1986 – Push Pop. No trip to the store with your parents was ever complete without purchasing one of these babies at checkout. For some reason, even though your fingers were eventually covered in sticky lollipop slime, these never grossed you out. The best part was putting the cap back on to save the rest for later.
1993 – Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème. This fan favorite combines two incredible flavors into one cookie bar. White chocolate surrounding tiny cookie bits is a combination even the healthiest eaters can’t resist.
1995 – Starburst Jellybeans. Modeled after the OG Starburst candies, these jellybeans were released only two decades ago and quickly became a favorite – especially around Easter.
Stay tuned for Part 3, which has more birth year candies (and if you missed it, Part 1, Baby Boomer candy).
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Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.
Excerpted and adapted from Shana Lynch in Redbook Magazine.