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Popular candies that launched the decade you were born: Is your favorite on this list?

In honor of National Candy Day on Nov. 4, 2023, take a look at the candies launched in a variety of decades — from York Peppermint Patties to Warheads and beyond.

Some of these classic candies may have come out 80-plus years ago, but they’re just as popular today.



The 40s were a big year for the candy industry, with some of the top names in sweets making a debut


York Peppermint patties: 

The classic peppermint patties by York launched in 1940 and ushered in the new year in a chilly way.

“Each pattie had to pass the snap test. If it didn’t break clean down the middle, it wasn’t packaged for sale,” according to Hersheyland.

The York Cone Company, founded in Pennsylvania by Henry Kessler in 1920, merged with The Hershey Company in 1988, the chocolate site continued.

Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Rancher hard candies made their first appearance in 1949 and are still popular among candy lovers today.

Jolly Ranchers: 

The Jolly Rancher Company was founded by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen from Golden, Colorado, after failing to launch a successful ice cream company.





The Pez company may date back to Austria in the 1920s, but the first patented dispenser in the U.S. emerged in 1952, Pez stated on its company’s website.

Through the decades, the candy dispenser started to evolve and get more inventive with the characters and faces appearing at the top of the toy.

Pez dispenser

A Garfield Pez dispenser is seen on display at the Easton Museum of Pez Dispensers on Aug. 12, 2003, in Easton, Pennsylvania. The candy dispenser has offered an array of pop culture figures, cartoon characters, superheroes and more since the 1950s.

Peanut M&M’s: 

While the original M&Ms launched in 1941, the chocolate company enlarged the M&M family by adding peanuts to the mix.





SweeTarts date back to 1963, when they were created by the St. Louis confectionary company Sunmark Corporation.

The founder of the candy giant, Menlo Smith, also manufactured iconic candies such as Pixy Stix, Sprees and Nerds, according to St. Louis Public Radio


Starburst made its first appearance in the U.S. in 1967, but it was first released in the U.K. under the name Opal Fruits in 1960, according to

The original fruit flavors changed when the candy was renamed to Starburst in 1998.

Starburst flavors now include strawberry, lemon, orange and lime, according to Back Then History, a blog about the stories behind everyday objects.



Laffy Taffy:

Laffy Taffy has been popular among candy lovers since it was first introduced in 1971.

laffy taffy

Laffy Taffy is an American brand of taffy candy that’s available in a number of fruity flavors. In debuted in 1971.


The iconic popping candy launched in the ’70s, and in the first 18 months of its debut, Pop Rocks sold over 500 million packages, according to Pop Rocks website.

Its debut made it “the hottest selling candy … in history,” the candy’s site continued.

Pop Rocks candy

Though a form of “carbonated candy” was invented in 1956, Pop Rocks weren’t released until the 1970s.




Skittles are yet another confectionary that were brought over to the U.S. from the U.K.

The brightly colored fruit-flavored candies have been manufactured in the U.S. since 1982, after originating in 1974, according to an article published by Penn State.

Sour patch kids:

he sour-turned-sweet candy was first introduced to candy lovers in 1985.

The candy rose in popularity thanks to movie lovers who needed a sweet treat to enjoy at the theater.




If you want a sour candy, then warheads are for you.

Sour lovers have been fans of the pucker-inducing confection since it first launched in 1985, Impact Confections noted on its website.

Baby Bottle pop:

The recognizable candy is celebrating 25 years of confectionary success since launching in 1998, the Baby Bottle Pop stated online.

With its unique shape and fun flavors, Baby Bottle Pop has gone through several variations over the years, from “Message In A Bottle” to “Rattlerz.”



Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans: 

While Jelly Belly has been around since 1869, the well-known bean shaped candy saw the opportunity to launch a confectionary inspired by one of the most recognizable franchises.

“Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, inspired by the ‘Harry Potter’ series, are brought to life by the company’s candy makers in wild flavors like Black Pepper, Dirt, and Earwax,” according to Jelly Belly’s website


The beloved Kisses brand first debuted in 1907, but its most recent expansion came 17 years ago.

It was in 2006 that the addition of the special dark mildly sweet chocolates launched, the Hershey’s archives reported.

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