Table of Contents

Origins of Jolly Rancher

The Jolly Rancher Company

Jolly Rancher debuted in 1949, when Bill and Dorothy Harmsen established the Jolly Rancher Company – because, as they later explained, ‘every good Western company needs a friendly name’. The first Jolly Rancher Ice Cream Store opened in Golden, Colorado, and the company began selling other candies to keep sales moving through the winter, when ice cream sales flag.

Trademark and Expansion

Jolly Rancher filed for a trademark on 31 March 1958 and, according to government records, its first commercial use of the Jolly Rancher word mark was on 1 June 1960. Demand grew, and its hot cinnamon taffy stick was especially popular, prompting an expansion of its hard candy line.

Ownership Transitions

The company was sold in 1966 to Beatrice Foods, but remained under Harmsen’s management, and was then taken over in 1983 by Leaf, Inc, who purchased Jolly Rancher along with several other candy brands. In 1996, The Hershey Company bought Leaf, Inc’s North American confectionery brands, including Jolly Rancher.

The Jolly Rancher Today

Production Shifts

In 2002, Hershey outsourced the production to Mexico due to cost-saving reasons, and acquired the Ontario-based company The Allan Candy Co in 2014, moving the production of the candy to Granby in Quebec, Canada.

The Flavors of Jolly Rancher

Original Flavors

Some of the original flavours of Jolly Rancher included watermelon, apple and fire stix. Then cherry, orange tangerine, lemon, grape, peach and sour apple were introduced. Blue raspberry later replaced lemon.

Current Flavors

In today’s product line, flavours include cherry, blue raspberry, grape, green apple and watermelon, along with sour, cinnamon, and smoothie varieties. Special flavours include ‘unicorn’ and ‘PB Apple’ in the special variety bags ‘Fruity Bash’ and ‘Hotties’. There’s also a tropical variety bag featuring fruit punch, golden pineapple, lime and mango flavours that was recently (2020) introduced.

Jolly Rancher Product Variations

Jolly Rancher Hard Candy

The Jolly Rancher Hard Candy is a kind of sweet hard candy which can be mainly identified by its fruity medley aroma. It is being marketed as in the form of highly concentrated sugar solution, hence, the product is known for its crystallised and glass like form of the sugar.It is available in the market in packets containing the assorted kinds of the candy. The sweet is individually wrapped inside while the packet contains different varieties, colors and flavours.

Jolly Rancher Gummies

Made by Flavor Burst, Inc., Jolly Rancher Gummies are soft, chewy adorable gummy candies in the classic fruit: green apple, blue raspberry, cherry, grape, and watermelon flavours. They are made for car trips, beach bags, and office desk drawers.

Jolly Rancher Chews

A fun little variation on the Jolly Ranchers theme is a thing called a Jolly Rancher Chew. These Jolly Rancher obscurities seem to make your teeth do all the work:

Nutritional Information

Caloric Content of Jolly Rancher Varieties

The Jolly Rancher Hard Candy has 70 calories per serving, while the Gummies has 100 calories per serving. The highest for calories is the Chews at 120 per serving.


The same ingredients are found across the board: sugar and corn syrup for all varieties, with Hard Candy also containing malic acid, natural flavour, artificial flavour, and colourants; Gummies containing ingredients similar to those of Hard Candy, with the added ingredients of modified cornstarch, sodium citrate, mineral oil, carnauba wax, and limonene. Chews again contain similar ingredients, with the added use of palm oil, gelatin, glyceryl monostearate, and lecithin.

What's There Not to Like??! - Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers

From its humble beginnings to becoming one of the most popular candies worldwide, Jolly Rancher proves that innovation and adaptability can lead to undeniable success. Flavors and varieties of Jolly Rancher reach an extensive range of consumer preferences, from the young to the young at heart.


Who founded Jolly Rancher? 

  • Jolly Rancher was founded by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen in 1949​.

What were the original flavors of Jolly Rancher?

  • The original flavors of Jolly Rancher were watermelon, apple, and fire stix​.

What are the current flavors of Jolly Rancher?

  • Jolly Rancher currently makes flavours for: cherry, blue raspberry, grape, green apple, and watermelon, along with sour, cinnamon, and smoothie versions and some of the limited edition flavours, like the bag that turns colors with tropical flavours featuring fruit punch, golden pineapple, lime, and mango.

What are the different product variations of Jolly Rancher?

  • Jolly Rancher provide consumers with several types of products which includes Hard Candy, Gummies, and Chews. Other products include buttons, Donuts, and Minis. The Hard Candy comprises of sweet and flvourful candies, they are dried and hardened like the glass. Gummies are soft and chewy candies, which come in three fruity flavours: blue Raspberry, Green Apple, and Watermelon. Chews are also hard candies just like the candy provided, but they provide consumers with more than four flavours; for example: Pomegranate, Red Fish Berry, Berry Blues, Blue Raspberry, and Watermelon​.

How many calories are there in Jolly Rancher Hard Candy, Gummies, and Chews?

  • There are 70 calories in a serving size of Jolly Rancher Hard Candy, 100 calories in a servimg of Gummies and 120 calories per serving in Chews.

What are the ingredients in Jolly Rancher candies?

  • Jolly Rancher candies commonly contain sugar, corn syrup, followed by the Hard Candy, which has malic acid, and natural and artificial flavours with various colorants. Gummies include everything listed earlier, followed by modified cornstarch, sodium citrate, mineral oil, carnauba wax, and limonene. Lastly, Chews have added palm oil, gelatin, glyceryl monostearate, and lecithin.

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