Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween Candy of Years Past

I laid aside my presentation research today to go purchase Halloween candy for the residents that will be included in the program on Sunday.

I was hoping to find those cute little traditional pumpkin candy containers that have been around for years, but none were to be found.  It appears black cauldrons are the thing this year!  Okay, those'll work!

Today's kids have very discriminating and sophisticated palates, so many of the candies that were given on Halloween in years past would probably be thrown away by them.  But since my program is for elderly seniors I wanted to give them candy that would take them down memory lane.  

The first on my list was peanut butter kisses wrapped in black and orange wrappers.  Any readers old enough to remember those?  They're a great combination of soft molasses taffy, with a pocket of crumbly peanut butter tucked in the center.  Necco [New England Confectionery Company] bought the rights to them in 1994 from the Glen Candy Company.  Call me old-fashioned, but I like them.  

Now before we get too far into this post, go make yourself a cup of fall flavored tea to sip while you read. I found a box of Bigelow's Pumpkin Spice tea today. But there's also Harney & Son's Cranberry Autumn or Cinnamon Spice, and so many other great fall flavors available, without any of the calories found in candy! 

Next on my list was Candy Corn.  I already wrote a post about this candy in 2015, so to refresh your memory go here to read that post.  Another bit of trivia I discovered in my recent research is the three colors of the candy represent the 'trinity' of native American foods - squash, beans and white corn.

The third and last candy is Pumpkin Mellowcreams.  These are referred to as candy corn's first cousin.  They became popular around 1950 and were made by Brach's Candy Company, which is now Ferrara Candy Company.

It is said these little candies played a role in the implementation of daylight savings time.  Since the 1960's candy makers tried to get the trick-or-treat period covered by daylight savings time, reasoning that if children had an extra hour of daylight, they could collect more candy [and they could make more money! ;-)]  During the 1985 U.S. Congressional hearings on daylight savings, the candy industry went so far as to put these little candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator hoping to win a little favor.  It wasn't until 2005, however, that daylight savings time was extended to the first Sunday in November, which finally included Halloween.

I think the residents will enjoy their little cauldrons of old-fashioned candy.

My research revealed that American's spent $8.4 billion on Halloween costumes and candy last year - the highest amount ever - and it's predicted the amount will be exceeded this year.  Costumes for pets have also become very popular, as well as home decorations. 

I don't know if it's a bewitched statement, but I read that Halloween has increased in popularity so much that it's second only to Christmas in terms of total consumer retail spending, as well as a favorite holiday to celebrate with family and friends.   


  1. Those cauldrons filled with candy pumpkins are really cute. Yes, I remember the peanut butter kisses in the orange and black wrappers - I loved those! I always had to buy candy corn and pumpkins for my children, but I haven't bought any this year. I'd end up eating them myself and I'm trying not to do that! I'm sure the seniors will enjoy the trip down candy memory lane.

  2. Thank you fro this enlightening post. I have purchased the pumpkins and candy corn. My twin sister buys the ghost and pumpkin peeps,since she is allergic to chocolate and peanuts due to asthma. I always enjoy your interesting posts. I did not know about the candy corn and the Trinity.


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