25 Fun Size Facts About Classic Halloween Candy

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Yesterday we took an impromptu field trip to a magical place called Economy Candy on the Lower East Side. The place was packed with people, candy, and nostalgia. (In addition to the goodies below, I bought three packs of 1987 Topps baseball cards.) Here are some fun facts about candy you've likely handled on past Halloweens.

1. Candy Corn

If Brach's laid out the candy corn kernels it sells each year end to end, they would wrap around the Earth 4.25 times.

2. M&M's

The M&M in M&M's stands for Mars and Murrie. Forrest Mars, Sr., and Bruce Murrie launched the candy.

3. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

The Reese in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is Harry Burnett Reese, a former Hershey employee who created his famous candy in the 1920s.

4. Tootsie Pops

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? On average, a licking machine designed by engineering students at Purdue needed 364.

5. 3 Musketeers

When the treat was introduced in the 1930s, a 3 Musketeers consisted of separate chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry pieces, hence the name.

6. Milky Way

Milky Way bars weren't named after their home galaxy. The name comes from a type of malted milkshake that was popular in the early 1920s.

7. Mary Jane

Mary Janes were first manufactured in 1914 by the Charles N. Miller Company. The candy was named after the owner's aunt.

8. Fruit Stripe Gum

Fruit Stripe's zebra mascot is named Yipes.

9. Toblerone

Toblerone is a portmanteau of the creator's name, Theodor Tobler, and "torrone," an Italian word for a type of nougat.

10. PEZ

The word 'PEZ' comes from the German word for peppermint—PfeffErminZ.

Bonus PEZ fact: You can also buy these huge ones.

11. Jolt Energy Gum

Questions from Jolt's FAQ page include "Will Jolt gum help me have better sex?" and "Do you gift wrap?"

12. Sugar Daddy

Until the early 1930s, the Sugar Daddy caramel candy was called the Papa Sucker.

13. Circus Peanuts

"Cheerios + Circus Peanuts Candy" may not sound like a winning formula, but that's the combo that inspired Lucky Charms.

14. Candy Buttons

NECCO cranks out 750,000,000 candy buttons each year.

15. NECCO Wafers

In the 1930s, Admiral Byrd brought 2½ tons of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole for his men during their two-year stay.

16. Atomic Fireballs

Nello Ferrara got the idea for Atomic Fireballs after serving in post-World War II Japan.

17. Dubble Bubble

Why is bubble gum pink? When it was invented, pink was the only food dye on hand.

18. Charleston Chew

This one takes its name from the Charleston, a popular early-20th century dance.

19. Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly served up more than three tons of beans during Ronald Reagan's 1981 inauguration.

20. Hershey Kisses

"Hersheykoko" was the winner of Milton Hershey's 1904 name-the-town contest. When the post office rejected it, the town became Hershey, PA.

21. Jolly Rancher

According to the candy's website, the name Jolly Rancher was chosen "to suggest a hospitable, western company."

22. Tootsie Roll

During World War II, Tootsie Rolls were added to soldiers' rations because of their durability in all weather conditions.

23. Dentyne

Invented in 1899, the name Dentyne is a hybrid of “dental” and “hygiene.”

24. Candy Cigarettes

The FDA’s 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was misinterpreted by many media outlets, who erroneously reported that the act included a ban on candy cigarettes. In fact, the ban really just affected tobacco cigarettes that had candy (or fruit) flavorings. (Candy cigs were banned in North Dakota from 1953-1967.)

25. Junior Mints

The John Birch Society was founded by Robert Welch, Jr., one of the brothers who ran the company that invented Junior Mints.

Some of these facts have appeared in the Scatterbrained section of mental_floss magazine. (Got an iPad? You can download a free issue now!) The rest are from our Amazing Fact Generator.

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October 23, 2012 - 8:20pm
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