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11 Popular Types of Candy in the 80s: Unforgettable Delicious Treats

In the 1980s, there were a lot of awesome sweet treats. Some people may not remember them all, and some might have just been too young to try them, but here is a list of 11 of the most popular types of candy in the 80s that everyone is sure to love …

Pop Rocks

This candy was first made in 1975 and last made in 2007. It was originally created by General Foods Corporation who sold it to Leaf Brands, Inc., which is now owned by Hershey’s Company. They are one of the few types of hard candy that fizzes when they come into contact with saliva or carbonated drinks due to an effervescent inside coating. The ingredients include sugar syrup; corn syrup; dextrose; citric acid (preservative); sodium bicarbonate (leavening); artificial flavor; butyl alcohol and propylene glycol.

The taste is hard to describe, it’s unique because of the effervescence, kind of like a pop rocks candy that you would suck on for an instant energy boost or something. It leaves your mouth tingly with a cool sensation.

WHATCHAMACALLIT Candy Bars 

Whatchamacallit made waves before it ever hit store shelves thanks to an innovative ad campaign including memorable, and catchy TV commercial. The name went through several revisions until settling on “Whatchamacallit” which eventually became “What’s In A Name?”

Reese’s Pieces

Introduced widely in 1982 in conjunction with the E.T. movie, Reese’s Pieces were a peanut butter-chocolate combination with a hard candy shell (like M & Ms). The product often came packaged in an E.T.-themed foil wrapper with the promotional slogan “The Official Candy of E.T.”

Kit Kat Bar

The Kit Kat Bar is a chocolate-covered wafer bar confection made by Nestlé and introduced in 1935. Its name comes from its similarity to the popular “kit” confectionery item of British origin, which consists of chocolates wrapped in gold or silver foil, typically given at Christmas time.

Runts

RUNTS are small, fruity and colorful hard candies that come in a variety of flavors. These days, you can even buy the fruits individually, with the bananas having gained an almost cult following among candy connoisseurs.

Nerds

Nerds were originally packaged in glass jars that resembled chemistry beakers, and each tube contained a single serving of three candies. Eventually, they moved into little boxes with spout openings and became the toast of the town for kids who wanted to get nuggets of sucrose jammed into their gums.

M&Ms 

Introduced in the 1950s, M&Ms are a chocolate candy with an outer layer of hard sugar coating. The product is available in dozens of different colors and flavors as well as variations such as peanuts or pretzels mixed into the candy shell. They come packaged either plain or wrapped in colorful foil wrappers.

Big League Chew

Introduced in 1980, Big League Chew was created by former Major League pitcher Jim Bouton, author of the book Ball Four. The product’s name, “Big League Chew,” is an obvious reference to baseball and Bouton’s status in the game. Each pouch contained a wad of gum with the texture of taffy that came in cherry, orange, grape and cola flavors.

Fruit Roll-Ups

Though not technically candy, Fruit Roll-Ups were wildly popular in the 1980s. The product was introduced by General Mills in 1988, and fruit-flavored chewy sheets of pureed fruit were wrapped up into a tube shape with an adhesive on one end. Kids loved Fruit Roll-Ups because not only could they play with them like Play Doh or silly putty, but also they could put them in their lunchboxes as a fruity and portable snack.

Rolos

The Rolo is a caramel-filled, round chocolate that was first made in 1912. It’s the only candy on this list introduced before the 1980s. The company making them now, Nestlé USA Inc., stopped production of their popular treat for several years but then brought it back in 2003 with more flavors.

Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Ranchers are delicious and still popular with kids today. They come in a variety of fruit and other (think cinnamon) flavors, and in multiple formats — rectangular “lozenges”, tongue-like “sticks”, and other layouts. All of them, though, can weld your teeth together like Super Glue.

(Like Candy in the 80s? Then you might like our article our article on Candy in the 1970s, click here.)

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