A Definitive Ranking Of Candy By Decade

A Definitive Ranking Of Candy By Decade

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If you had to pick any decade of candy to eat for the rest of your life which would it be?

We here at OldTimeCandy are all about sweets, but forcing us to pick our favorites is a tough ask. We inquired with our crew this week and had ourselves a few candy conversations that covered the realm of ranking the best decades of candy.

After some at-length discussions, we’ve come to a sweet conclusion that is by no means based on any facts, but rather personal opinions backed by sweet anecdotes from childhood—which might be the best ranking system of all time.

So without further ado, we’d like to give you our comprehensive ranking of candy by decade.

1. 1960’s 

Deemed a period of peace, love, and positive vibes, the sweets of the ‘60s are ones that hold a place in the hearts of every generation. The ‘60s was an era filled with tons of sweet experiences like the moon landing, Star Trek launching, and the greatest music festival ever—Woodstock!

From the 100 Grand Bar to Starburst and Lemonheads, the candies created during this period are ones that you can taste and immediately go back in time. We especially love the classic Swedish Fish that has always been a movie theater go-to in our books.

Do yourself a favor, take your tastebuds back in time and grab a few pieces of candy from our ‘60s aisle.

2. 1980’s

Everything changed in the ‘80s—fashion, music, culture, food, specifically candy.

While everyone was obsessing over the first cell phones, MTV, hair bands, and Michael Jackson, candy companies were pumping out some seriously awesome sweets that we still eat to this day. Allow us to list off just a few we know you’re familiar with—AirHeads, Big League Chew, Hubba Bubba, Nerds, Runts, and Skittles.

There’s a lot more where those came from if you tap right here and venture down our ‘80s candy aisle.

3. 1970’s 

What comes to your mind when you think of the '70s? 

For us, it’s a mixture of Donna Summer meets Willy Wonka, with a sprinkle of Star Wars characters in knitted flare pants. Though that combination would be the perfect image of the era, one that we definitely remember is the sweet taste of Bottle Caps, Everlasting Gobstoppers, and Jelly Bellys.

This period of time was another progression for confectionery companies, in that many of them transitioned into mass production and market exploration resulting in some pretty awesome additions to the confectionery kingdom.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve sucked on some ‘70s sweets, go ahead and get a few right here.

4. 1990’s

Let’s take a step back to the early days of the internet where most of us spent our time dialing up our technology game with Tomogatchi, Windows 95, the first Mac, and boomboxes.

While we were obsessing over all this new technology, candy companies were also stepping their game up with new treats like Baby Bottle Pops, Sweettarts, and Warheads. These were hard candies that tingled the taste buds of kids and caught their attention right away when they wandered down the candy aisle. 


Speaking of candy aisles, you should virtually walk down our ‘90s aisle if you want to get a taste of that rad decade.

5. 1950’s

We’re throwing it back from here, starting with the flashing ‘50s.

This period of time was marked with major historical changes like space travel, TV, and GIs coming back from war. While this was all happening, candy makers were slinging their sweets that were growing wildly popular with those in the service.

Treats like M&Ms and Hershey bars were flying off the shelves, while other snacks like Turkish Taffys and Charleston Chews were getting snatched up by sweet addicts of every age. For us what makes the ‘50s stand out the most is the invention of the PEZ. It was the perfect combination of candy and culture which we’re all about here at OldTimeCandy.

If you want to get a taste of the ‘50s in 2021, go ahead and grab yourself some sweets from this aisle

6. 1930’s

Keep turning the clocks back 20 more years and we land on the 1930s. Though this was a tough time due to the Great Depression, we still found ways to make life sweet through candy.

Candy Bars were all the rage back in the ‘30s as most kids used their allowance to run down to the general store and get their hands on a 3 Musketeer, 5th Avenue, or Heath Bar. Ohh, and don’t forget about snatching a few handfuls of LifeSavers and Hot Tamales from grandma’s candy stash on her coffee table.

While you might consider the ‘30s a rough time for Americans, we most definitely kept the sweet spirits up through the power of candy.

And you can continue to do so by clicking right here and heading over to our ‘30s decade aisle and getting your favorites.

7. 1940’s

The ‘40s were filled with some major changes across the world—WWII was in full swing, most people were trying to recover from the tough times of the ‘30s. While people were regrouping and starting anew, candy was there to offer support.

Treats like Almond Joys, Junior Mints, and Licorice were just a few of the many sweets that kids were sneaking when their parents weren't looking. And if you were lucky and had some spare change, you’d stuff your mouth with a few pieces of Super Bubble for those days when you wanted the sweetness to last a little longer than a second.

If you want to go back and see how big you can blow that gum bubble, grab yourself some ‘40s candy here and give it a try.

8. 1920’s

Let’s go all the way back 100 years and talk about old school candy.

We can’t ignore the fact that there are some legendary candies in this category. First, let us start with Baby Ruth, the classic candy bar that most thought was named after the baseball player but was in fact named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter.

Next up are two top-notch treats, Abba Zabba and Bit-O-Honey—both of which have found a way to pass the 100-year sweets test which is an accomplishment in its own right. Then we have to mention the Mr. Goodbar–a perfect combination of peanuts and chocolate that every adult and kid couldn’t resist when offered. 

If those got your sweet tooth going, get all of them right here in the ‘20 aisle.

Does ranking really matter? 

When we thought about it, we realized ranking these decades was rather silly. The fact of the matter is every single one of them has sweets that take us back to better days. Days filled with fun, relaxation, and fond memories—and those moments cannot be ranked in order. 

So whether you agree with us or not, we know you can agree on this...sweets are great, friends to share them with are even better, and we thank you for loving candy just as much as we do. 

Stay sweet!

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