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Nerds candy, a distinctive and beloved sweet treat, has a fascinating history that dates back to the early 1980s. With their anthropomorphic covers and unique dual flavor boxes, Nerds have made a lasting impact on the candy industry.
Origin and Launch
Nerds candy was launched in 1983 by the Sunmark Corporation under the Willy Wonka Candy Company brand. Today, they're made by the Ferrara Candy Company, a subsidiary of the Ferrero Group.
The process of making Nerds is fascinating. It all begins with a sugar crystal. This crystal is coated with more sugar, and the process is repeated until the Nerds are formed. Their original color is pure white, and they receive their colors in separate barrels. The candies are then transferred to boxes, which are divided into two compartments by a vertical partition so each half of the box contains a different flavor.
The primary ingredient of Nerds is sugar. The candy also contains dextrose and malic acid. The rest of the candy is composed of less than 2% of corn syrup, artificial flavors, carnauba wax, and artificial coloring. The artificial coloring varies by flavor. The allergy warnings of this candy state that Nerds are created "in a facility that also produces wheat and egg".
The Popularity Surge in the 80s
Nerds candy gained significant popularity in the 1980s, but it had some serious competitors, including Pop Rocks, Candy Buttons, and Mike and Ikes. However, the candy world was large enough to accommodate these sugary rivals, each with their unique characteristics and flavors.
Competitors and Cousins: Pop Rocks, Candy Buttons, and Mike and Ikes
Despite facing stiff competition, Nerds carved out their niche. Their unique flavors and interactive packaging set them apart from other candies.
The Birth of Dweebs
Interestingly, Nerds had a close cousin in the 80s—Dweebs. Dweebs were similar to Nerds but less sour, larger, and came in three flavors per more sugar. The candy is spun in large barrel-like containers, where they receive coats of sugar until the Nerds are formed. Their original color is pure white; they receive their colors in separate barrels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the ingredients in Nerds candy?
A: The top three ingredients in Nerds candy are dextrose, sugar, and malic acid. The rest of the candy contains less than 2 percent of corn syrup, artificial flavors, carnauba wax, and artificial coloring. The artificial coloring varies by flavor.
Q: What are some of the classic flavors of Nerds candy?
A: Some of the classic flavors of Nerds include Strawberry and Grape, Wild Cherry and Watermelon, and Double Dipped Lemonade-Wild Cherry and Apple-Watermelon.
Q: What are some of the spin-off products of Nerds candy?
A: Some spin-off products of Nerds candy include Sour Nerds, Chewy Nerds, and Nerds Rope, among others.
Q: What are some discontinued Nerds products?
A: Some discontinued Nerds products include Nerds Cereal and Nerds Gum.