The untold truth of Jolly Rancher

Snack History describes Jolly Rancher as an American candy brand that produces sweet and tangy hard candies. These treats come in a variety of flavors and are brittle, unyielding, and transparent, and they can be enjoyed for quite awhile as you can't really chew them up. They explain the hard candies are created by boiling a mixture of corn syrup and a variety of sugar compounds. This sweet base is then combined with flavoring, artificial colors, and a preservative to extend the candy's shelf life. As the candy cools, it is formed into long ropes and cut into small pieces, which are wrapped individually.

The Jolly Rancher Company was founded in 1949 in Golden, Colorado by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, according to wholesale candy retailer Old Time Candy. The pair chose the name Jolly Rancher to attempt to appear friendly and inviting to customers. Originally, Jolly Rancher Company sold ice cream and chocolate alongside the hard candies they are now known for, but they quickly decided to turn their focus toward the hard candies only. Candy Favorites says this decision was in part due to the cold temperatures in the Denver, Colorado area during the winter months, where the company primarily sold its products. They state that Jolly Rancher hard candies initially came in grape, apple, and "fire stix" flavors, and soon added cherry, lemon, and pineapple.

Jolly Rancher is the most popular hard candy brand

History of Candy reports that in 1951, the Jolly Rancher Company moved production from its original home in Golden to Wheat Ridge, Colorado. The brand was then sold in 1966 to Beatrice Foods, which became part of Leaf Candy Company in 1983. In 1996, Jolly Rancher was finally purchased by its current parent company, The Hershey Company, who moved production out of the United States and into Canada and Mexico. 

Under the Hershey Company, Jolly Rancher has expanded its brand to include lollipops, jelly beans, gummy candies, and more, as listed on the Jolly Rancher product page on the brand's website. They also expanded their hard candy line to include new, more novel flavors and assortments like Cinnamon Fire, Fruit 'N' Sour, and Tropical. According to marketing data analysis website Statista, Jolly Rancher is the most popular hard candy brand in the United States, selling 88.8 million dollars worth of the sweets in 2017.