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Vintage Candy Delights: Sweet Nostalgia That Sells!


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The yearning for a taste of yesteryear is something that is uniquely human. As we’ve discussed in numerous other articles before, our tastebuds are strongly tied to our emotions and our memories. That means that some sweet vintage candy could perhaps be one of the best ways to transport ourselves back in time! Lucky for you, many of your favorite sweet treats and candy bars from your childhood are still here, ready to be consumed at any given moment.

While eating mountains of candy was a prominent and likely memorable part of most of our childhood years, odds are that our tastes have evolved somewhat over time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy some of your favorite retro candy from decades past. In fact, you’re more likely to thoroughly enjoy it if you sometimes find yourself longing for a trip down memory lane!

While today’s store shelves are dominated by modern candy classics, like Sour Patch Kids, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Skittles and M&M’s, it is still quite possible to find some of your favorite vintage candy, if you know where to look!

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For decades, many specialty candy shops and old fashioned soda fountains would be the only place you could find some of the vintage candy items from years past. But “retro candy” has become so popular in recent years, that you’ll find many convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores who are selling many of your favorite candies from the good old days.

So here’s a list of old fashioned candy you should be on the lookout for the next time you go shopping:

Abba Zaba Bar

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This soft and chewy taffy bar has a creamy peanut butter center and is the perfect companion for a trip down memory lane! Abba Zaba was introduced by Colby and McDermott all the way back in 1922 and it has delighted candy lovers ever since.

Annabelle’s acquired the product in 1978 and it made a perfect addition to their vintage candy lineup that also includes classics like Rocky Road, U-No, Look! and Big Hunk candy bars. If you’ve never tried Abba Zaba before, it’s definitely a unique candy bar that is like no other. Just one bite and you too will be saying: “Abba Zaba, you’re my only friend!”

Albert’s Ice Cubes

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These little chocolate cubes have been around since at least the 1930’s. Originating in Germany, Albert’s Ice Cubes used to be wrapped in blue and silver foil, to literally give them that cool, ice cube-y vibe. Though the recipe hasn’t changed, they are currently wrapped in a gold and red foil that gives these chocolate cubes more of a decadent persona.

With hints of hazelnut, these offer a hint of nutty flavor with a cooling effect that beckons back to the meaning behind the name. Some say that the cool feeling this “iced chocolate” has is from the coconut oil that is used in its production. This exceptionally-smooth chocolate has been long revered as an exquisite old fashioned Christmas candy, but it is quite popular year-round in Germany and parts of Sweden.

Astronaut Ice Cream

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The gift shop staple, “Astronaut Ice Cream” first made it to space during the Apollo 7 mission in 1968. This freeze-dried ice cream proved to be too crumbly for any practical application in a zero-gravity environment, but its popularity has persisted throughout the United States in decades since.

Astronaut Foods’ Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich is a great way to enjoy this futuristic candy from the past! This light and fluffy dehydrated ice cream tastes exactly like ice cream, only much drier and it won’t give you that dreaded brain freeze! Even if you aren’t going into space anytime soon, Astronaut Ice Cream is a perfect, lightweight companion for your next backpacking excursion, road trip or perhaps even your own imaginative space flight!

Candy Cigarettes

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If you want a real blast from the past, just ask any adult if they remember candy cigarettes. These were first developed by the Hershey Company in the 1920’s, a time when smoking was more commonplace and very little was known about the negative health effects of tobacco. With slogans like: “reach for a pack, just like daddy!” (which sounds absolutely insane by today’s standards) these risqué candy treats were seemingly harmless at the time when they first came out.

Now everyone knows how impressionable young children can be, and Candy Cigarettes are no longer called cigarettes, but rather candy sticks, or just candy. In their heyday, many candy companies would directly copy the packaging of leading brands of cigarettes, which led to a kind of marketing war between the candy companies and Big Tobacco. Luckily, today you can still enjoy a sweet candy stick, with classic retro packaging, and none of the guilt!

Tootsie Roll

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Perhaps the most iconic vintage candy of them all are the Tootsie Roll. Invented way, way back in 1896, the Brooklyn icon has had a long, rich history in American culture. They were the first candies to be sold individually wrapped, which was a major breakthrough at the time. They were part of US soldier’s rations during WWII, because the Army saw them a quick, easily transported dose of energy.

They were also Frank Sinatra’s favorite candy. He loved the chocolatey treat so much, it has even been rumored that a few Tootsie Rolls were thrown into his casket to accompany him in the afterlife. Talk about commitment!

With so many different candy options out there today, America still has a soft spot for the Tootsie Roll. It is widely-known that 64 million Tootsie Rolls are made each and every day. Now that’s a lot of Tootsie Rolls! Today, these chocolate-flavored taffy sticks are the perfect addition to gift boxes or a candy buffet, a versatile ingredient for baking sweet treats and even a great snack just all by themselves!

Today, you can get the Giant Tootsie Roll Bar with the nostalgic candy wrapper and all!

Idaho Spud Bar

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Sometimes loved, sometimes loathed, the Idaho Spud Bar has been tempting kids with potato-themed candy since 1918. Proudly proclaiming themselves as “the candy bar that makes Idaho famous” this marshmallow, chocolate and coconut treat still remains unique over 100 years after its invention.

Not only is the texture of the Idaho Spud unlike any other candy bar on the planet, it’s signature combination of flavors is something worthy of remembering. This candy bar is so good, it’s no wonder the Idaho Candy Company has been making it at the same downtown Boise, Idaho factory since 1909. Luckily for us, some things will never change!

Thank you for reading our blog about vintage candy products! We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the classic sweets people have been enjoying for generations. If you're interested in carrying some of these vintage candies for your customers, Redstone Foods is here to help!

As a premier distributor of specialty candy, retro glass bottle sodas, and fancy food items in the United States, we offer over 6,000 unique products that are sure to please. Our online ordering system makes it easy to shop, or you can always contact one of our friendly customer service representatives for assistance.

Redstone Foods is your one-stop shop for all your candy, snack, and soda needs. Sign up for an account with us online, and thank you for considering us as your candy wholesale provider!