Yes, kids also had a sweet tooth all the way back in the ’50s. And grownups did, too. There were tons of candies introduced in the 1950s, though the vast majority have long since gone on to that great candy shop in the sky.
Some of the confection classics dating back to the decade are still with us today, though. Take a look at the list below of candies introduced in the 1950s and marvel at their ability to endure. Then, feel free to further indulge your sweet tooth with our look at some of the most popular desserts from the ’50s and ’60s.
Iconic Candy from the ’50s
- Atomic Fireballs – These intense cinnamon-flavored hard candies are a type of jawbreaker, AKA gobstopper. They were invented by Ferrara Candy Company in 1954—at the height of Cold War nuclear fears, so the name certainly shows some ironic marketing genius.
- Certs – Although it tries to pass itself off as a breath mint—and many of its ad campaigns over the decades have centered around the debate over whether it’s a breath mint or a candy mint—there’s no denying that this confection is mostly sugar and corn syrup, and it contains no mint. Regardless, it debuted in 1956 and is considered the first nationally sold breath mint.
- Hot Tamales – Candy manufacturer Just Born introduced these oblong, chewy, intensely cinnamon-flavored confections in 1950. It’s the all-time best-selling cinnamon-flavored candy in the US. Which may or may not strike you as particularly impressive, given the highly limited amount of competition that’s been around as long. And the questionable nature of the category itself.
- Marshmallow Peeps – The small local Rodda Candy Company was producing these chick-shaped treats prior to the 1950s, but it wasn’t until candy manufacturer Just Born bought the company in 1953 that these went national and became an Easter classic. And the chicks had wings back then.
- Peanut M&Ms – Regular M&Ms were brought to market in 1941, and this flagship Mars product is sold in more than 100 countries and is undoubtedly one of the most famous candies ever. Then, in 1954, Peanut M&Ms made their debut, though only in the color tan for the first several years. Incidentally, it was the same year when they started printing the “m” on the candies in white instead of black, as they’d been doing since 1950.
- Pez – Everybody’s favorite candy that comes out of a mechanical plastic dispenser was introduced to Americans in 1952. However, it’s actually made by an Austrian candy company and had been available in Vienna since 1927. The original dispensers were intended to resemble cigarette lighters and contained breath mints for adults that were advertised as an alternative to tobacco products.
- Pixy Stix – In the 1940s, a guy who worked for a company producing a sweet and sour sugary powdered drink mix noticed his kids loved to just eat the powder straight. The Fruzola Company repurposed the mix as a candy called Lik-M-Aid. An affiliate company that would become Sunline, Inc. reimagined the product again in 1959, packaging it in the paper straws we know today and rebranding it Pixy Stix. Oh, and Lik-M-Aid is the same stuff that’s in Fun Dip.