Today I’m taking a crack at a big-time favorite among many of my readers – Sour Patch Kids. I’d previously touched upon Sour Patch for my Halloween post on Sour Patch Zombie Kids (awesome bit of packaging there). My reason for posting today is that I recently noticed they’d totally changed up the Sour Patch logos and mascots, and that’s a great time for a collector to take notice. So let’s do it.
Just so you can see what I’m talking about, here’s a comparison shot of the new packaging style, and the one it replaced:
Right now, you can still find the old style of packaging on some store shelves, but soon they will all be replaced by the snappy new versions. And those old packs will fade into candy history. But before I get to the topic of this years’ packaging change, I want to show you as much as I can of their history.
According to a few sources, the first Sour Patch Kids were sold in 1985. We can guess that the Sour Patch name took inspiration from Cabbage Patch Kids, which were popular at the time. But the candy itself was based on a product that confectioner Frank Galatolie created in the 1970’s called Mars Men. Galatolie’s company, Jaret International were also the first producers of Sour Patch Kids. [Edit: Luke Jaret wrote in to correct a detail here. Frank Galatolie was not an owner of Jaret International, but in fact an employee. Jaret International was owned by Robert Jaret and another partner.]
Though I don’t have any of those 1980’s packages to show, I do have this early trade ad from 1993. The package style here might be very close to what was used for those first 1980’s Sour Patch packs.
For reference, here’s a close-up of the Sour Patch Kids pack from the ad:
Jumping ahead a few years, the Sour Patch Kids logo would become a bit more animated and arched, and the kid would get a ball cap, which he would retain for quite some time.
From this point in the history of the brand, I hit a bit of a research gap, so I have to guess a bit. At some point in the late 1990’s, the brand (or perhaps all of Jaret International) was acquired by Cadbury-Adams. By that time, the pack style that we still had in 2010 was what was being used.
I want to show all of the changing packs, but first I’d like to show a few key pieces that reveal a little bit about how the current mascot came into play.
Here’s a Sour Patch Watermelon box from 2010, which shows that, in general, the packaging was still using the fruit mascots they had been. 2010 was also the first year that Kraft Foods was credited as the producers of the brand (after they’d purchased Cadbury):
But in the previous year, we get an early hint at the Sour Patch Kids candy mascot that would soon dominate all packs. Here is an Easter-themed box from 2009:
That 2009 box brings the candy-mascot to the forefront, but the style of illustration is not quite what we’d eventually get (his eyes are filled-in, he has an extra line around his body). I first noticed the new and current mascot on Sour Patch’s 2011 video game promotion:
The revised mascot must have really worked, because I recall that package catching my eye and attention. Before this, I hadn’t given Sour Patch Kids much thought… and hadn’t picked up any packages for my collection, either. So clearly they were doing something right with this new version (though I am quite fond of the old versions now, too).
This all brings us up to 2012, when the candy mascot first seen in current form in 2011 now graces all Sour Patch packaging. I’m going to share each flavor in 2011 version along with its 2012 package, so they can be easily contrasted. There are seven standard-size pack flavor variations.
Watermelon appears to be a popular flavor, as it’s one of the only versions also sold in theater sized boxes:
I also have a larger pack size for the Extreme flavor:
Last up on the assortment of flavors to be shown is the dedicated cherry-flavored pack. I saved it for last because from what I’ve been able to discern, the cherry flavor was retired along with the old packaging style. It has been replaced by a new flavor called Berries. Here they are:
Here’s the Berries that now replace Cherry as the seventh flavor pack:
Berries is a flavor that is certainly being promoted, and I found one of the larger packs featuring the flavor:
Another fun variant I found on shelves this week were Sour Patch Kids Xploderz. They’re juice-filled Sour Patch Kids, of course!
There’s also this Christmas-themed box that I just picked up last week up in Syracuse, New York:
My pal Cybele over at CandyBlog does a great write-up of a strange Sour Patch flavor extension that was out in 2009 for a short time. Sour Patch Kids Chillerz, which purported to mix a minty flavor with the fruit and sour. You can check it out here.
There have likely been many shapes and short-lived variants put out under the Sour Patch umbrella over the years that I failed to cover here. That just means I’ve got plenty of fun things to hunt for, for years to come.
One piece that I can happily say is in my collection now is the Canadian version of Sour Patch Kids Zombies, called Maynards Zombie Sour Patch Kids. The Zombie before the name makes all the difference. Thanks to my Canadian pal and fabulously-talented cartoonist Glen Mullaly, I finally have one of these neat pieces in my hands.
And that’s everything I’ve got to share today with regard to Sour Patch. I hope you guys liked my look back on this classic sour favorite! See ya next time!
I like the new mascot. Nice job putting this together.
Strange coincidence. Just two days I was thinking “I haven’t had Sour Patch Kids in years.” so I decided to grab some. Instead of buying a bag, I opted to get some in bulk from my grocery store. A day later, I come on here, and there’s your update on Sour Patch Kids. Funny that if I had bought a bag, I surely would have noticed the new packaging. Anyway, great update as usual, and I have to admit I’m curious about what the original 80’s Sour Patch Kids bags looked like.
It’s interesting that in Canada and the UK they are branded as ‘Maynards’ – it seems like Kraft/Mondelez decided to use one of the numerous brand names they acquired and add it to a product that was previously unbranded. Maynards are a brand long famous for its “Wine Gums’ in Canada and Britain and so it seems a good fit to have Sour Patch Kids, Wine Gums and Swedish Fish side by side in a store with complimentary packaging. As Maynards Wine Gums, or any other kind of Wine Gums for that matter, are not known south of the border it makes sense to leave Sour Patch Kids as they are here in the USA. In Australia and New Zealand however ‘Pascall’ seems to be the brand Kraft/Mondelez use for Wine Gums, so if ever they introduce Sour Patch Kids down under you can bet they will be called “Pascall Sour Patch Kids”.
I do find this enjoyable but just a slight mistake. Frank worked for Jaret international but it wasn’t his company. The company was in fact owned by Robert Jaret and another partner.
Luke, Thanks for the correction. I’ve added an annotation to reflect your insightful information.
Just as a matter of setting the record straight, Robert Jaret was one of four partners in Jaret International along with Jay Salomon, Jerry Salomon and Frank Galatolie (myself). Jay and Robert were senior members of the firm and Jerry and I were the two junior partners. As far as the original packaging of the Sour Patch Kids (2 oz. and 5 oz. bags) I personally designed the bags which was submitted to Canada that were refined by a commercial artist in Canada. That was in 1984. Just as a side note..The Sour Patch Kid logo was based on a characterization of my son Scott. At the time he had blond hair and a pony tail that is easily seen on the original box designs. In addition to Robert Jaret being a business associate, he was also a close personal friend. If you wish any other information about Sour Patch Kids and their history, I would be glad to accommodate you. I was associated with Jaret International from August 1958 until my retirement in 2002.
Jay Salomon is my grandfather and Robert Jaret was my great uncle.
I grabbed a bag of Sour Patch Kids yesterday that were packaged in the new packaging. The reason I came to this blog was to confirm that the CANDY has changed. Ya know, the part that actually matters. They made the pieces noticeably larger. They’re horrible. With the inside being much larger, the sour surface area is a smaller % of each piece, resulting in a less sour candy. Sour Patch Kids have always been my favorite candy and I’m about to throw this bag away. They’re too soft and not sour enough. Not worth eating them for a lack of enjoyment. I can personally say this will be the last bag I will buy until I buy a small bag in a while to see if they have changed back to their original recipe. God damn.
Billy G. Is correct. The new bag has a new sour ratio, and it is pure crapola. Cannot eat them, barf! Messed with the classic flavor. My favorite candy is dead! WHY, WHY, WHY???
I have new info. The 3.5 lb bag did not have the yucky flavor. It seems the smarter bag did. As long as I buy the big bag I get enough sour.
Phew, was scared there for a minute
Commenting in 2021! Was snacking on some sour patch kids watermelon and had the sudden realization that I couldn’t remember what the watermelon with faces mascot looked like. God bless the internet.
Thanks, Josh. Yeah, that’s why I do what I do!