The Untold Truth Of Ring Pops

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

When it comes to the most iconic candy from the '80s and '90s, what first comes to mind? Push Pops? Candy buttons? Baby Bottle Pops? We think there's one type of candy that worked its way into the popular imagination even more, and that's the Ring Pop. Ring Pops are basically just lollipops, but instead of being on a stick, they're attached to a ring — you can wear it and eat it at the same time.

Did that lead to some messy candy mishaps? Absolutely. But if you were there when Ring Pops first came around, you know what a sensation they were. It's less about the taste and more about the experience, so it's no wonder that Ring Pops continue to be popular in some contexts today. From raves to wedding proposals, Ring Pops keep popping up when we least expect it, even after they've been around for decades at this point.

But what do you really know about this candy? Even if you still buy Ring Pops all the time, there's still a lot you likely don't know. If you want to learn more, let's take a closer look at the untold truth of Ring Pops.

A man created Ring Pops to help his daughter stop sucking her thumb

When Ring Pops first came out, candy jewelry had already been a thing for a few decades at that point. We already had candy necklaces, but candy rings? Forget about it. That is, until a man named Frank Richards had a problem to solve (via Food and Wine). His daughter wouldn't stop sucking her thumb, and he wanted to get her to stop. Therefore, he came up with an idea: What if he gave her a piece of candy to suck on instead?

Thus, the Ring Pop was born. Was it really any healthier for his daughter to suck down a bunch of sugary, artificially flavored candy instead of her thumb? Maybe not. But did the idea result in one of the best candies of all time? Absolutely. According to Candy Favorites, the Ring Pop was invented in the late 1970s, and since then, countless children have enjoyed these fun, sugary accessories.

Ring Pops make gummies now

If you haven't had a ring pop in a while, then you probably think of them as just one thing: the hard, nearly tooth-breaking candy atop a cheap plastic ring. Of course, you can still get those Ring Pops if you know how to look. But don't say the manufacturer of the candy, Bazooka, hasn't come up with anything new since then. These days, you have more options than just the hard candies — there are gummy Ring Pops as well.

According to The Daily Meal, Ring Pop Gummy Gems came out in 2018, and they aimed to fill a different sector of the market. Not everyone likes hard candies, after all, so these gummy gems were on the softer side. In fact, they sound a lot like Fruit Gushers to us. The outside is a soft gummy, while there's a drop of "juice" in the middle.

While these candies don't come with a ring, other Ring Pop gummies do. They're softer, easier to eat, and in our opinion, less fun.

You can make your own Ring Pops

Sure, Ring Pops are delicious, but when it comes to their ingredients? There's a lot to be desired. You're going to see a lot of names that you won't even recognize as food, and don't even get us started on all the food coloring in the mix. Because of that, you may wish that there were a way to enjoy your favorite candy without all that extra, not-great-for-you stuff involved. Well, if you're handy in the kitchen, you could always make your own Ring Pops.

There are a few recipes out there for making Ring Pops, and overall, the process seems pretty simple. You won't need many ingredients: basically just flavoring and sugar. Of course, you can always add food coloring if you like, but a lot of cooks may want to avoid that.

You can always save the ring part of your Ring Pops when you're done with them so you can reuse them later. But if you don't have any lying around, you may be looking for a different solution. Luckily, you can even buy Ring Pops molds online. Who knew it was so easy to make this classic childhood treat in the comfort of your own home?

Proposing with Ring Pops is not uncommon

When some people get engaged, they want the fanciest diamond ring they can find. Others want something that's nice but still on the simpler side. And still others simply want candy. That's why you shouldn't be surprised that engagements with Ring Pops are not that uncommon. You'll see couples exchanging the candy all over social media if you know where to look. While some may actually use the ring as their real engagement ring, though, most couples do not. Instead, they have another "real" ring they use after the fun moment is captured on camera.

Normal people do Ring Pop engagements, but it's not unheard of in the celebrity sphere, either. According to Screen Rant, there's actually quite a few of your favorite celebs who have pulled out a Ring Pop while popping the question. Harry and Francesca from "Too Hot To Handle" are one of those couples, but so are Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas as well as Lady Gaga and her former husband.

Therefore, if you decide you want to have a colorful and nostalgic engagement, you can totally take advantage of this trend as well. Just make sure it's something your partner would appreciate first — not everyone is going to be pleased with a Ring Pop in lieu of a real ring.

There's a company that makes grown-up Ring Pops

Sure, Ring Pops may have been fun back in the day when you were growing up. But now that you're an adult, you might feel weird popping one of these candies on your hand and sucking on it all day, even if you're enjoying it at a party or on your day off. If you want to relive those fun candy jewelry days, though, there's a grown-up option that you may just love.

Refinery29 reported on these adult Ring Pops, and we have to admit, they're pretty great. These don't look like the Ring Pops you had when you were a kid. Instead, they're designed to look like giant crystals — almost like a real ring, but pretty oversized. The company that makes them is called Sweet Saba, and it produces "candy for adults."

While these rings are flavored with Campari (yes, we're drooling too), you're not actually going to get drunk from these things — the alcohol gets cooked off in the preparation process. Even without the booziness, though, these are a fun treat for all those who loved Ring Pops as kids but are interested in something slightly more sophisticated these days.

Ring Pops are vegan

If you refrain from eating animal products, then you probably already know how difficult it can be to find candies that fulfill your cravings without filling your stomach with some unnecessary animal body part. It's sad but true. Oftentimes, vegans must give up on candies entirely or else turn to brands specifically created for the veggies. And that's especially true when it comes to hard, non-chocolate candies. (Though Costco does make a pretty awesome vegan chocolate coconut bar.) However, if you want to eat something sugary that still adheres to your diet, you may be surprised to find out that Ring Pops are actually vegan.

Everything Vegan points out that there's no gelatin in Ring Pops, which is generally not the case when it comes to hard candies. The company doesn't mention where its sugar comes from, which may cause a problem for some vegans, but overall, this snack is considered good to go for all the animal lovers out there. So, vegans, feel free to eat as much of these things as you want. However, just keep in mind that just because something is vegan doesn't mean it's necessarily healthy.

Ring Pops are also kosher

Veganism is one dietary restriction to consider, but other consumers may have different concerns when it comes to what kind of candy they want to eat. And for those who keep kosher, it can sometimes be difficult to find mainstream candies that fit the bill. But again, Ring Pops come through for us: They're actually kosher as well.

OU Kosher reported in 2009 that Ring Pops have been certified by the Orthodox Union (you can look for the little OU somewhere on the packaging). This organization ensures that different food products have indeed met all the requirements to be considered kosher. That makes Ring Pops a viable choice for Jewish families who want to stick to appropriate foods.

Since there are a lot of candies out there that aren't kosher, Ring Pops have become a popular snack option in Jewish communities. We can't blame anyone for indulging in these timeless treats!

You can buy a massive Ring Pop

Back in the '90s and early 2000s, a strange food trend was sweeping the country. For some reason, everyone wanted massive version of their favorite candies. You have the giant jawbreakers so big that they fit in the palm of your hand. (No, nobody was biting into them — you just licked them instead. Yes, it was disgusting, but thankfully, times change.) There were also the huge gummy bears and, of course, the massive striped lollipops that you still regularly see in candy shops. Well, the giant food trend hasn't gone away. 

But what you might not know is the fact that you can find massive Ring Pops as well. These things come in at over a pound and a half, which is a whopping amount of candy. If you're wondering if you can wear this huge Ring Pop, you're going to be disappointed: It's way too huge to sit on your finger. It's also the kind of candy that you'll never be able to finish — you just have to lick it until it gets too gross to finish. Therefore, it's kind of a wasteful purchase. However, if you're going for a gag gift that has some shock value to it, a huge Ring Pop may just be the way to go.

Ring Pop Freezes haven't gotten the greatest reviews

In 2019, Bazooka tried to come out with a new kind of Ring Pop, perhaps to attract younger customers who have grown up with the classic for most of their lives. However, it's mostly been a bust. Enter the Ring Pop Freeze. Apparently, if you shake it, squeeze it, and then shake it again, it becomes cold, leaving you with an icy sensation in your mouth along with the classic Ring Pop taste you've come to expect. But it seems like this twist on the original candy was not a hit.

Visit the reviews for this product on Amazon, and you'll see right away that it did not go down well. One customer entitled their review "Destroy them all, I beg you," and wrote, "What an experience. My cousin and I bought these as a joke because the premise was so ridiculous, assuming that they were just regular Ring Pops with a placebo marketing trick. After the first lick, you think that might be the case — but then the bitter, bile-like aftertaste takes over the back of your mouth. By lick three your lips are numb and breathing hurts. They taste like an old, bitter mage cursed a candy-maker for not giving up her first-born child, forever dooming the world to contend with these monstrosities."

That is some ... strong language. As for us? You can count us out on the Ring Pop Freezes — we'll just stick to the original.

Ring Pops are sometimes associated with raves

When you think of Ring Pops' main demographic, you probably think of little kids or maybe nostalgia-starved adults who just want to taste a glimmer of their childhood. But it turns out that Ring Pops are also associated with a group you may not have considered: ravers. The Hartford Courant asserts that some partiers suck on the candy after, ahem, imbibing. The colorful candies definitely reflect the technicolor style that's common in the rave scene.

However, Ring Pop culture can also have a darker side. The Cuyahoga County Opiate Collaborative lists Ring Pops as an "environmental item" that may indicate drug use. (Though Ring Pops are not the only candy on the list — gummies and Jolly Ranchers are mentioned as well). But that doesn't exactly reflect the wholesome, childish view most people have of the candy.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should panic every time you see a Ring Pop — most people are probably just enjoying this candy innocently.

There's a Ring Pop cult ... kind of

These days on the internet, it seems like there's a group for just about everyone. No matter what you're into, it's probably not going to be that difficult to find a community of like-minded individuals that share your same passion. Even though it may be a niche passion, the same rings true for Ring Pop enthusiasts. Some people love this candy so much that they even started a cult based around it.

Okay, it's not exactly a cult — it's a subreddit called Ring Pop Cult. But we love that there's a group of people that are coming together to share their love for this iconic candy. As of this writing, there were only 25 members in the group, so it may not be a large cult, but it is a wholesome one. You'll find pictures of people's favorite Ring Pop flavors as well as links to Ring Pop history and Ring Pop merch any diehard fan would go wild for. If you need more Ring Pop content in your life, you now know where to go.

Mariah Carey has an iconic Ring Pop-inspired ring

It's true that Ring Pops really are one of the most iconic candies out there, so it should come as a surprise to no one that it's possible to find blinged-out versions of the popular foodie accessory. Perhaps the most lavish of these Ring Pop lookalikes is the Ring Pop ring that Nick Cannon gave Mariah Carey as an anniversary gift for their second anniversary. Let us just warn you: This ring is seriously over the top.

The ring is made of white gold that's accented by diamonds and sapphires. It also has the couple's names engraved on the bottom of the ring. It was crafted by ​​Jason of Beverly Hills jewelers, and it was specially designed to sparkle under the light.

The creative gift has an interesting backstory. When the couple got engaged, Cannon hid the real engagement ring in the wrapper of a Ring Pop. Not only is this a clever gift — it's a really sweet one too!

You may be able to snag a Ring Pop pool float

These days, kids and teens are romanticizing the '90s — a simpler time before they were born. Go on TikTok, Gen Z's go-to social media platform, and you'll see tons of videos of Y2K fashion and culture trends. And while Ring Pops might be a candy, they are also kind of a fashion item as well. That may be why this Ring Pop pool float exists. This five-foot float looks just like a Ring Pop, and the center of the "ring" is the perfect place to sit back and relax. If you feel nostalgic for the candy, then this is a fun pool float to bring with you on vacation.

Just be warned: It doesn't look like this pool float is widely available. You may be able to snag it on eBay, where at the time of writing, it was going for less than $20. It's a way to celebrate your love for this candy without suffering from sticky hands.