The Oldest Branded Candy in America

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The Oldest Branded Candy in America
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The Oldest Branded Candy in America

Try and read this without craving a box of the iconic pink and white sweet!

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Good & Plenty was created by the Quaker City Confectionery Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1893.

Image Credit: CandyWarehouse

There is debate whether another old-fashioned treat, NECCO Wafers, is the oldest branded candy in America. While the "hub wafers" were invented in 1847, the NECCO company did form until 1901. Hence, Good & Plenty, first produced in 1893, technically holds the reigning title.

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In the 1950s, a memorable commercial cemented the candy into popular culture.

Image Credit: Sandusky Candy

Thanks to the help of Choo-Choo Charlie, a singing railway engineer, Good & Plenty became a fixture to a generation of kids.

Image Credit: Flickr

The “Choo-Choo Charlie” jingle was written by an advertising execute named Russ Alben.

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Alben based his fun theme song on the popular song “The Ballad of Casey Jones.”

Image Credit: Candy Direct

Did you know that if a Good & Plenty goes stale, popping the candy in the microwave will soften it up?

Image Credit: Old Time Candy

According to scientist David Sugarman and writer Judy Dutton, the smell of a Good & Plenty is one of the top captivating smells to women.

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Good & Plenty is made of soft, chewy licorice and comes in iconic pink and white colors.

Image Credit: US 103.1

You may want to pass on a Good & Plenty if you are a strict vegetarian because the pink color is from “cochineal extract," which is made from dried insects.

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The infamous pink dye is called K-Carmine.

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You can celebrate Good & Plenty day on October 24th.

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The candy gets its flavors from a blend of anise and molasses.

Image Credit: Intl Candy Co

Good & Plenty contains wheat, so they are not fit for those with extreme sensitivities to wheat.

Image Credit: Karen Shapiro

The Good & Plenty is certified Kosher!

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The Quaker Oats Company officially trademarked the name Good & Plenty in 1928.

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Good & Plenty was sold to Warner Lambert in 1973.

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Warner Lambert sold Good & Plenty to Switzer in 1981. It was controlled by a subsidiary called Lead, which also made Jolly Ranchers.

Image Credit: Monica Wilkinson Photography

In 1983 it was sold to a Finnish company called Huhtamaki Oy, which also owned Milk Duds.

Image Credit: Bona Fide

The Good & Plenty was finally sold to Hershey’s in 1996, where it remains to this day.

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Once upon a time there was an engineer
Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear.
He had an engine and he sure had fun
He used GOOD & PLENTY candy to make his train run.
Charlie says, "Love my GOOD & PLENTY!"
Charlie says, "Really rings my bell!"
Charlie says, "Love my GOOD & PLENTY!

This Halloween, don't overlook a box of good ol' Good & Plenty.

This tasty candy is a surprisingly old American treat. You may be old enough to remember the "Choo Choo Charlie" commercials on TV, but Good & Plenty has actually been delighting kids with a taste for licorice since the 19th century.

Check out the slideshow above to learn what is really in Good & Plenty, how it became a fixture in popular culture and more.

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