The Untold Truth Of Now And Later

Chances are, you've tried a Now and Later candy at least once in your life. Now and Laters are taffy-like, mega-chewy candies that have been around for decades (via Old Time Candy). They're known for their signature texture, which starts off kind of hard and then becomes softer the longer you chew it. They're also known for their bright, bold, and fruity flavors. Now and Laters belong within the ranks of other classic chewy candy varieties like Starburst, Laffy Taffy, and Hi-Chew.

As Halloween approaches and you're deciding which candies to buy to avoid getting toilet papered by disgruntled trick or treaters, know that we've thoroughly vetted Now and Later candies as a great trick or treat offering over on our sister site, Tasting Table. And, if you want to try these incredible candies, it's best to know as much about these classic treats as possible before trying them. Better yet, pop a Now and Later in your mouth right now: Go on; your tastebuds will thank you.

Now and Later candy was born in Brooklyn

This little candy was born in Brooklyn, New York (via Old Time Candy). Back in 1962, Now and Laters were created by the Phoenix Candy Company, which despite the slightly confusing name, is not actually, in fact, based in Arizona. These hard yet chewy taffies were individually wrapped and sold in sleeves with the idea being that you could enjoy some now and save the rest for later: A simple premise that has clearly stood the test of time!

Over the years, Now and Later has seen a whole slew of different owners as its parent company, Phoenix Candy Co., went from a small Brooklyn candy shop to a bigger candy enterprise. But nowadays, Now and Later candy is made by Ferrera Candy in Chicago, which also makes such iconic candies as Lemonheads, Nerds Rope, Famous Amos cookies, and even Girl Scout Cookies (via Ferrara USA.)

Tiffany Haddish has an interesting way of eating them

Now and Laters are the perfect candy to reach for when you're craving a sweet, tangy treat. But comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish has her own way of eating them that might surprise you: Haddish likes to enjoy this candy shoved inside a dill pickle. According to an interview with Delish, Haddish likes to enjoy her pickles with Now and Laters, Jolly Ranchers, or peppermint sticks down the middle, or even dipped in some Kool-Aid powder, as the combination of flavors is simply delicious. 

If that sounds like an odd flavor combo to you, just know that Haddish is not alone! Eating pickles with peppermint sticks inside is popular on the South Side of Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribute. And in North Long Beach, California, you can grab your own Now and Later-topped pickles at Wut-a-Pickle, according to the Signal Tribune, which also specializes in Fruit Roll-Up wrapped pickle slices. Apparently, the briny crunch of dill pickles pairs perfectly with the sweet, dense chew of a Now and Later!

There are several different varieties

Now and Laters have been around for a long time, but luckily the brand is managing to stay fresh by coming up with new, exciting Now and Later varieties. You can try Morphs, which feature two layers of flavors: You can try the cherry and mango flavor or the grape and watermelon combo. They're also available in two additional flavor combinations. Now and Later Morphs are not to be confused with Now and Later Splits, which feature two flavors sort of slapped together.

If the harder chew of a Now and Later is too much for you, they also make a Chewy variety. If you love torturing your taste buds with sour candy, you'll be happy to know Now and Later are sole in an Extreme Sours variety that comes in watermelon, cherry, and apple flavors. And then there is perhaps more controversial Shell Shocked Now and Laters variety, which features the classic Now and Later taffy inside a hard candy shell. They seem like a great idea, but one reviewer made it clear the smell is too artificial and that the only positive is their texture. Maybe the brand should go back to the drawing board on that one.

It's a cross between chewing gum and taffy

Now and Laters have a really unique texture that goes from hard to soft as you chew them, which makes them a lot chewier and longer lasting than Starburst or Laffy Taffy candies (via Snack History). In fact, that is intentional, as Now and Later's signature texture was meant to mimic chewing gum. This is perhaps why many people actually mistake this candy for gum. 

But obviously, Now and Later is not gum and it is, in fact, modeled after classic salt water taffy candies that were only available in the summertime (via Junk Food Blog). However, unlike salt water taffies, which tend to be on the softer side, Now and Laters can be a tad hard at first. One reviewer at One Lucky Penny analyzes the texture and shows that this taffy-like candy seems to have a very hard texture when you first unwrap it!

They are available in multiple different flavors

Now and Laters are known for their signature super chewy texture and their extra strong, long-lasting bursts of flavor. Candy fans will be happy to know that Now and Laters are sold in multiple different flavors, ranging from classic fruit flavors to tropicals to sours. They've got all the chew candy staple flavors covered, like grape, apple, strawberry, cherry, and of course, blue raspberry (is it even candy if it doesn't come in blue raspberry?) They even have a banana flavor, which is a sweet albeit controversial candy flavor.

Now and Later also offers some more fun and interesting flavors like strawberry kiwi, mango guava, watermelon, pineapple, and even tropical punch. The mandarin orange flavor is a nice twist on the classic orange, which is otherwise considered a dud of a candy flavor. But with so many options, there's a Now and Later for all taste buds.

It was once available in a softer variety

Now and Laters are unlike other chews in that they're, well, kind of hard to chew at first. While that might be part of the appeal, and the texture is probably crucial to their long-lasting flavor, it's easy to see how this could be a turn-off to some. In fact, some people have even claimed they used to microwave their Now and Laters for a few seconds to soften them up a bit (via Todo Candy.) Luckily, Now and Later took note and released a Soft version of their chews back in 2007, according to Candy Addict.

The soft chews seemed to be a hit for anyone who didn't like having lockjaw when eating candy. But sadly, they no longer are available on the Now and Later website. However, Now and Later does make a Chewy version that, according to some reviews, seems very similar to the Soft chews. So keep those Now and Laters out of your microwave and enjoy those chewy treats.

They are NOT dentist approved

So we've well established that Now and Laters are intensely chewy. Some might even say they're TOO chewy, but that really comes down to a matter of personal taste. But there is one group of people that would DEFINITELY tell you that Now and Laters are too chewy: Dentists.

According to Insider, chewy candies like Now and Laters are considered one of the worst candies for your teeth. Their chewy, sticky texture means they hang out in hard-to-reach crevices of your teeth, which sounds like a one-way ticket to cavity-ville. 

They can also pose a real threat to people with crowns or fillings since they can potentially rip them out! Suddenly, microwaving your Now and Laters sounds a lot more appealing. Other candies that dentists suggest avoiding are Starburst, taffies, caramels, gummies, and even sour Pixie Stix or Fun Dip due to their high acidity levels. So...basically, all the best candies.

Now and Later supports artists and historically Black colleges

Now and Later has done something really unique for a candy brand, which is to team up with HBCUs, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to celebrate and recognize leadership and entrepreneurs, according to an announcement on the Now and Later Instagram. The initiative was launched in 2021 and is called #RecognizeTheChew, with the CHEW standing for Champion, Hustle, Empower, and Win.

Last year, the #RecognizeTheChew program gave $10,000 grants to the Mass Media Arts department at Clark Atlanta University and the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University (via Bossip). It also featured virtual sessions for students at those schools with notable HBCU alum, like actress and entrepreneur Keshia Knight Pulliam, a Spelman graduate herself, and actor and philanthropist Terrence J, a North Carolina A&T alum. Now and Later also highlights Black artists like musician Alexia Riner on its website

They almost weren't available for Halloween 2021

If you like Halloween, here is a scary tale to get us in the spooky mood: Last Halloween was almost a Now and Later-less holiday (ZDNet). Terrifying, right? Now and Later manufacturers Ferrara Candy were hit with a ransomware attack in early October, right before Halloween, which is the biggest candy holiday of them all. SpoooOOOOky!!

This ransomware attack involved scrambling or encrypting the software that is essential for the factories to function, and then the attackers demand a ransom to stop the attack. And no one is more vulnerable than a candy factory in the days leading up to Halloween! Ferrera didn't share if they paid a ransom or not, but if it did, let's hope it was able to pay in Now and Laters. At the end of the day, the issue was quickly resolved, and trick-or-treaters were able to enjoy their Halloween as planned.