Tuesday, April 26, 2016

More On Candy!

When I was growing up, I don't remember candy stores near me.  The shops has candies like M&M's, or Tootsie rolls.  Mostly, I would go to a store filled with canisters of dried lemon peel, dried cherry seed, li hing mui and other delicacies. When I did get a chance to visit candy stores, I wondered how they created some of the individual ones.

Fruit Jelly, Candy, Sweet, HeartDid you know that Tootsie Rolls have been around for over 100 years?  The story is that they were created and marketed back in 1896 when Leo Hirschfeld, an Austrian immagrant, made and sold them in his shop in New York City. The reality is that he was an employee of Stern & Saalberg at this time.

According to an article I read, Leo applied for and received several patents involving chocolate making.  In addition, he shared several patents with Stern & Saalberg who eventually received a patent for Tootsie Rolls in 1909.  The company marketed Tootsie Rolls selling over seven hundred million pieces of candy by 1913 when Leo was listed as one of three directors of the company.

In 1917, Stern & Saalberg became The Sweets Company of America. Although, he made a lot of money, Leo left Stern & Saalberg to start his own candy company in 1920 but he did not do well.  He died in 1922.  Eventually The Sweets Company of America became the Tootsie Roll Company.

I never cared that much for Tootsie Rolls growing up because they were always sticking to my teeth and I had to use a finger to pry them off. I didn't even like the Tootsie Roll Pops but did you know they were first released in 1931?  The story is that Luke Weisgram, an employee of the Sweets Company of America came up with the idea after having a taste of his daughter's lolly pop while eating a Tootsie Roll.  When the board wanted new ideas for candy he proposed it and the rest is history.

The animated commercial that made the treat super famous came about in 1969 when a young boy asked the question "How many licks does it take to get to the center"  After several times of being told to ask someone else, he asks an owl who takes three licks and then bites into it.  Believe it or not, this commercial spurned several university studies to answer that question but none of the results seemed to have come out close to each other.  However, after a bunch of analysis, the final results are as follows.
1. The one sided approach resulted in 195 +/- 18 licks.
2. The full surface approach resulted in 184 +/- 33 licks.
3.  Using a global minimum resulted in 130 +/_ 29 licks regardless of licking style.

I don't think I know of any other candy who inspired so many studies to answer a single question posed in a commercial.  Personally, I think that is cool.  Enjoy the day and enjoy your next Tootsie Roll or Tootsie Pop.

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