Top Candies of Each Decade from the 1900s to 2020

Candy has been a beloved indulgence for generations, evolving with each passing decade to capture the changing tastes and trends of the times. From classic favorites to innovative creations, the top candies of each decade offer a nostalgic journey through sweet memories and timeless treats. Join us as we explore the iconic confections that have delighted taste buds and captured hearts from the 1900s to the present day.

1900s: Tootsie Roll

The turn of the century brought us the enduring classic, the Tootsie Roll. Invented in 1896 by Leo Hirshfield, this chewy chocolate-flavored candy became an instant hit, enduring through the decades with its nostalgic charm and distinctive taste.

1910s: Life Savers

In 1912, the iconic Life Savers candy was introduced by Clarence Crane. Originally marketed as a "summer candy" due to its ability to withstand heat better than chocolate, Life Savers quickly became a year-round favorite, known for their ring-shaped, fruit-flavored candies in various colors.

1920s: Milky Way

The Roaring Twenties saw the rise of the Milky Way candy bar, introduced by Frank C. Mars in 1923. This chocolate-covered nougat and caramel delight became an instant sensation, offering a satisfyingly sweet escape during a decade of social change and prosperity.

1930s: Snickers

In 1930, the Snickers bar was introduced by Mars, Incorporated, named after the Mars family's favorite horse. Packed with peanuts, nougat, caramel, and milk chocolate, Snickers quickly became a bestseller, satisfying hunger pangs and sweet cravings alike during the Great Depression era.

1940s: M&M's

During World War II, Forrest Mars Sr. and Bruce Murrie introduced M&M's, originally designed for soldiers as a convenient and heat-resistant chocolate snack. The candy-coated chocolates became a post-war favorite, beloved for their colorful shells and melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey goodness.

1950s: PEZ

In 1950, the iconic PEZ dispenser made its debut, offering a playful twist on candy consumption. Originally marketed as an alternative to smoking, PEZ dispensers quickly became collectible items, with themed characters and whimsical designs captivating children and adults alike.

1960s: Nerds

The psychedelic era of the 1960s gave rise to Nerds candy, introduced by the Willy Wonka Candy Company in 1965. These tiny, tangy, crunchy candies offered a burst of fruity flavors and playful packaging, appealing to the adventurous spirit of the decade.

1970s: Starburst

Introduced in the UK in 1960 and in the US in 1976, Starburst candies quickly gained popularity for their juicy, fruit-flavored chews. Originally known as Opal Fruits, these colorful candies were rebranded as Starburst in the US, becoming a staple of candy aisles worldwide.

1980s: Skittles

In 1982, Skittles burst onto the scene with their slogan "Taste the Rainbow." These bite-sized, fruit-flavored candies offered a sensory explosion of vibrant colors and bold flavors, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon and a favorite among candy lovers of all ages.

1990s: Warheads

The 1990s introduced a new generation of candy enthusiasts to the extreme sour sensation of Warheads. These intensely tart candies challenged taste buds with their puckeringly sour exterior, followed by a sweet center, earning a dedicated following among thrill-seeking candy connoisseurs.

2000s: Sour Patch Kids

Originally introduced in the 1970s, Sour Patch Kids gained mainstream popularity in the 2000s, offering a perfect balance of sour and sweet flavors. These chewy, fruit-flavored candies became a go-to snack for movie nights, road trips, and anytime cravings for a tangy treat.

2010s: Kinder Bueno

Introduced in 1990 but gaining widespread popularity in the 2010s, Kinder Bueno became a global sensation with its crispy wafer, creamy hazelnut filling, and smooth milk chocolate coating. This indulgent treat offered a sophisticated twist on traditional chocolate bars, earning a loyal following worldwide.


From the nostalgic charms of Tootsie Rolls to the modern indulgence of Kinder Bueno, the top candies of each decade reflect the evolving tastes, trends, and cultural influences of their time. Whether it's the comforting familiarity of a Milky Way or the thrilling sour sensation of Warheads, these iconic confections continue to captivate candy lovers of all ages, proving that the sweetest memories are often found in a simple bite of candy.