Early last year I published a piece on the souvenir candy packaging that is often available at Disney theme parks. It was a lot of fun showcasing the pieces I had for that and it reminded me that there has been quite a lot of Disney candy over the years licensed for sale at standard retail. One of the companies that was in the licensed Disney candy business for decades was American Candy Co. Today I’ll be looking at American Candy’s Disney hard candy lineup first launched in 1977.
Initially previewed for the candy trade during the American Bicentennial in 1976, American (then American Candy Manufacturing) published the following advertisement. The ad played on the company’s name as well as seeming to want to leverage the popularity of the Bicentennial celebration. It did not feature any actual product photos:
Just a few months later in March 1977, American Candy would showcase their actual product with the following ad:
Finally, in October of that same year, another ad would roll out to the candy trade focusing on consumer satisfaction. It features a pretty great quartet of 70’s kids enjoying the treats:
I’m fortunate that over the last couple of years I’ve picked up packaging examples for every one of these American Candy Disney treats and added them to my collection. Here they are:
That’s all four of ’em.
I did some research to try to determine what became of American Candy or if they’re still around and I couldn’t come up with anything conclusive. They certainly don’t appear to be in business anymore. In going through my archives I did learn that American Candy was still in the licensed Disney candy business as late as 1996:
So it would appear that American Candy’s partnership with Disney lasted two decades at the very least.
And that’s everything I’ve got to share today on American Candy’s lineup of Disney hard candies from the 1970’s. See you next time!
I’d be fascinated to hear about it if you’re able to track the lifespan of those Mickey’s Mouseketeer Pops in more detail in the future. I have vague memories of them from my own childhood, well after they were introduced in the 1970s (I was born in 1987), but maybe I’m just remembering suckers with Mickey Mouse packaging, rather than specifically Mouseketeer branding. Either way, I’d completely forgotten them before reading this.
I’ve no doubt that these could have been around for many years. As you point out though, it’s equally possible that what you remember is a different product or an updated one.
I think it’s safe to assume that American Candy continued to produce Disney licensed candy throughout the 80’s, based on them still being a licensee in 1996. Without hard evidence of what they were up to in the 80’s, we can only speculate and I think your own speculation is as good as any. If I ever unearth anything new, I’ll endeavor to write a follow-up.
But thank-you for sharing your personal memories of these (or not these). 🙂
I assumed that Goof Balls were gumballs, but I was wrong. What sort of candy were they? Compressed dextrose? Were they like Runts?
I remember Luv Pops. They always reappeared in my schools around Valentine’s Day. Good memories!
Funny thing – I also always assumed that Goof Balls were gumballs. I rather now suspect that they were something like Charms sour balls.
Hi, Wanted to say thanks for this article. I am one of the four children featured in the October 1977 ad; specifically, the girl with Goofy Goof balls. I still have my original copy of this ad too! But, I have learned there was possible a 30 seconds TV ad produced as well. Wondering if there is a copy or not. I am really searching for a copy of the jingle that went with this marketing campaign. Thanks again,
Hey, that’s awesome!
Thanks for commenting and sharing a snippet of your story here.
While I don’t recall ever coming across a commercial spot for this brand or campaign, I will keep an eye out for it and maybe someone else who sees this article will know about it.
Does anyone know the year(s) the American Candy Manufacturing Co. Christmas tins were sold? I have a Volume I and the only information I’ve found is on Etsy and eBay. Some say 1970s, some day 80s. I’d love to know for sure.