Taking a bite out of your favorite candy bar can immediately transport you back to a time when you had to call the box office number to see what showtimes were playing, and you could pick up a bag full of candies with just a quarter in your pocket. Although you won't find these vintage candies in your local grocery store or gas station, you're definitely still seeing them in your dreams.
Altoids are one of the oldest mint candies still being sold. While we're much more likely to grab a pack of Icebreaker Mints or TicTacs than their much older chalky cousins, it's incredible that you can taste a mint with a recipe that's been going strong since 1780. Yet, in 2001, Altoid Sours were released, and everyone's opinions about the classic brand changed.
These small sour candies came in five flavors: raspberry, lime, apple, tangerine, and mango. Unfortunately, a general lack of national demand for them made Mars, the Altoid parent company, discontinue them in 2010. But, with desserts like viennetta coming back by popular demand, we just might see Altoid sours make their big comeback in the next few years.
Aviation gripped the nation in the 1910s and 1920s, and no one was a bigger celebrity in the aeronautics space than Charles Lindbergh. Noted for being the first pilot to cross the Atlantic in a nonstop flight and then later for the horrific kidnapping and murder of his young child, you could consider Lindbergh a Kardashian of his day.
He was so popular that an aviation-inspired candy bar called the Lindy Bar, which was copyrighted in 1927, was created after his heroic feats. Just like we used to collect box tops to receive mail-in prizes, kids could hold onto their blue and yellow Lindy Bar wrappers and send them in for a free "manila paper areoplane."
The perfect '90s snack was everyone's favorite bite-sized Butterfinger BBs. From 1992 to 2006, you could chomp down on these crunchy candies without worrying about spraying crumbs all over your lap or breaking a molar trying to bite into them. Despite being massively popular in the last decade of the 20th century, Nestle still took away their miniature goodness. But, their attempts to capitalize on its success with Butterfinger Bites just haven't taken off like the originals did.
When you sit and reminisce with your grandparents or great-grandparents, they might have mentioned missing some of their favorite candies. Fat Emma was one of the first real candy bars made in the style we know today. If you love Snickers or Three Musketeers, you'd have gone to town on a Fat Emma bar.
Despite a now-uncouth name, Fat Emma bars were pretty popular in the 1920s and 1930s because they were the first nougat candy bar ever. In fact, you have the Pendergast Company to thank for creating all of that nougaty goodness, as they invented this new puffy, airy version of the European dish.
In the mid-2000s, Hershey saw the Pringles can and thought "We sure can fit a lot of candy in there." What resulted was a pringle-shaped brick of chocolate, mixed with other toppings and ingredients. Many of Hershey's lineup got the swoop treatment with York Peppermint Patties, Reese's, and Almond Joys just to name a few.
These creative snacks were perfect for school lunches and field trips, but their novelty wasn't strong enough to keep them around for long. Hershey eventually discontinued them after only three years on the market, but they still live on in our hearts.
Pop Rocks are all about the experience and less about perfecting the fruity flavors. But, General Foods wasn't one to sit around and twiddle their thumbs in the face of this mid-century phenomenon, and so they put out their own powdery pop rocks - Cosmic Candy.
The acid-drawings that covered the sugary snacks couldn't be more 70s if they tried. But, it's this fine grain texture and hallucinogenic illustrations that made parents so wary of Cosmic Candy that it fizzled out by the 1980s.
If you grew up in the mid-20th century, you remember the sweet taste of Bit-O-Honey. There was nothing like these taffy treats to satisfy a non-chocolate craving. But they didn't stop with their popular honey and almond combo.
Instead, they decided they could improve on perfection and came out with the controversially flavored Bit-O-Licorice. Because all of our lives were obviously lacking without being able to buy little squares of black licorice in the vending machines.
Today the Mars lineup looks something like this: Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, M&Ms, etc. But, for decades, the Marathon Bar was one of their biggest sellers. In keeping with their caramel tradition, Mars's Marathon Bars were chocolate-covered braided caramel.
Remember walking through your local corner store and seeing these candies perched off the shelf's edge because of how big they were? It's just another thing they don't make like they did in the 1970s. Thankfully, if you want to relieve those childhood days, you can try Cadbury's similar Curly Wurly bar.
Coconut Grove Bar
While you've definitely heard of names like Nestle, Hershey, and Mars, the Curtiss Candy Company might not ring a bell. A Chicago-based candy maker, they're well-known for creating the Baby Ruth bar. One hidden hit from the 1950s was their Coconut Grove bar.
Take your love of coconut cake and the tropics and wrap it all up into one candy. Costing only 5 cents at the time, this bittersweet chocolate bar wrapped around creamy coconut. Unfortunately, the Curtiss Candy Company hasn't been in business since the late-1960s, so you'll have to settle for coconut goodies like Almond Joy and Mounds instead.
Slo Poke Lollipops
Slo Poke lollipops go down in a long history of caramel candies on a stick. Think Caramel Pops and Sugar Daddies. The Gilliam Candy Company mixed vanilla with caramel in a soft and sweet treat that came out in the mid-1920s. No matter how good these suckers were, you couldn't eat one without looking like a dog trying to lick peanut butter off of the roof of its mouth. If you want a trip back to the roaring twenties, you can still get this same recipe in the candy's bar form.
In the 1930s, people weren't filling up their mouths with 7-Up but stuffing their faces with Seven Up candy bars. Made by the Pearson's Candy Company, this candy bar came with seven individual little squares full of surprises. Who needs Valentine's Day when you could get a box of chocolates in one bar?
Each bite brought a new flavor: Brazil nut, buttercream, butterscotch, caramel, cherry, coconut, fudge, mint, nougat, and orange. While you won't find these vintage candy bars in stores anytime soon, you can settle for Necco's Sky Bar, which replicates this multi-flavor concept.
Mars was at it again with making awesome candy bars that they discontinued in the 1980s. Mars made PB Max in 1989, and layered milk chocolate, peanut butter, and cookie pieces to create a delicious, nutty treat. Yet, the company has some mythic aversion to peanut butter as an ingredient, because they quickly got rid of their late-80s creation. Nothing hits today quite like this Reese's and Keebler's cookies hybrid.
Another Curtiss Candy Company invention was the Buy Jiminy bars. Self-proclaimed old timers probably remember these post-war bars for the massive advertising campaign their manufacturer used to promote them. Costing just 1 cent and tasting kind of like today's Payday, Buy Jiminy peanut bars are truly vestiges of a bygone era.
Despite Hershey's reputation for being one of the most successful and prolific candy makers in the world, there is one bar they haven't quite cracked yet - the Rally Bar. Rally bars were made up of a simple combination of chocolate, peanut, and caramel nougat. But, what avid fans of them in the 70s know is that the delicious Hershey chocolate is what made them that much better than Snickers.
Although they're currently discontinued, Hershey is always bringing them back every few years. So, keep your eyes peeled for these candy bars in the coming decades, as they're bound to show up.
Which Favorites Would You Bring Back?
Sense memory is a fascinating thing, and taste is a gateway for so many people to unlock specific memories from their childhood and young adult years. It's what makes these vintage candies being discontinued all the more devastating. But, never say never! You just might find a modern dupe for your favorite candy bar sometime in the near future.