This Is How The Airheads White Mystery Flavor Is Actually Made

If you grew up in the late '80s and '90s, chances are you probably had your fair share of the sweet confection called Airheads. Airheads are long, flat, brightly colored strips of taffy-like candy. They come in a variety of flavors that range from cherry, strawberry, watermelon, grape, and blue raspberry to name a few (via Airheads). These sweet, sugary, fruit-flavored, chewy candies are the stuff kids and business-savvy dentists love, but obviously for very different reasons.

One Airheads flavor that gets young and old people excited when they see the silver packaging is the White Mystery flavor. This flavor was actually the result of a letter that Matthew Fenton, the Assistant Brand Manager of Airheads candy at the time, received from a teenager who made a number of suggestions, including making a "white bar with a mystery flavor." This was just the "genius idea" Fenton was looking for. Airheads introduced this White Mystery flavor to the candy market, a.k.a. kids, during the summer of 1993 and we are still eating and talking about it today. In fact, it's so popular, Taco Bell even turned it into a flavor for their popular slushie, the Freeze (via Matthew Fenton).

But have you ever wondered how Airheads makes the White Mystery flavor?

Mystery Airheads are actually leftover flavors without the color

The Airheads White Mystery flavor is made with colorless candy – just a plain white canvas that has the potential to be anything. But guess what. So are all Airheads. At least that's how they start (via ZOMG! Candy). The bright-colored dye assigned to the flavors isn't added until later in the process. But with the mystery flavor, it's the anticipation of what flavor it will be when it hits your taste buds that makes this candy so much fun. Sometimes it's cherry-grape, other times it's watermelon. So, how do the candy makers decide what flavor the white bars will be? 

It might surprise you to learn that Airheads uses a time-honored tradition that busy and frugal moms everywhere have employed since they had to cook for their families. It's called leftovers. The company takes whatever flavors are left over, and rather then throw them out, they mix them together to get a "mystery" flavor. The resulting flavor completely relies on what flavors they previously made but couldn't use to make a complete batch. So, if it takes a little like cherry and watermelon, that's the reason why.