Cover image courtesy of Columbia Pictures
by Jeffrey Davies
"Remember, it's both a candy and a gum," Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) tells her best friend Matty (Mark Ruffalo) in the beloved romcom 13 Going on 30. Thanks to the film, the classic Razzles candy have become nostalgic for an entire generation of kids that were most likely not even been born yet when Razzles first launched in 1966.
Razzles were originally owned and operated by a now-defunct Philadelphia gum company called Fleer, who also owned Dubble Bubble gum. Razzles initially only came in one flavor, raspberry. The candies were also designed, at the time, to resemble raspberries. Legend has it that they were named after a fictional flavor called Razzleberry. The flavor never quite materialized, but the name stuck.
The inventor was a chemist named Robert C. Bucher, who acquired a patent in 1963 for something that had never been made before: a candy that was both a candy and a gum. Razzles were marketed with a combined slogan and jingle that went, "First it's a candy, then it's a gum. Little round Razzles are so much fun."
In the late 1960s, Razzles started contests open to children whereby if they sent their candy wrapper along with a short explanation of why they love Razzles, they'd be entered to win a walkie-talkie.
In 1986, Razzles was bought by Concord Confections. Tootsie Roll Industries in turn bought Concord in 2004, the same year that 13 Going on 30 hit theatres. Talk about some effective product placing! Today, Razzles come in a variety of flavors, including sour, tropical, and the original blue variety pack.