Do You Remember These Candies from the 1980s?

The 80s were an iconic decade that we still try to emulate today. Whether it’s with acid wash jeans, mullets, New Wave music, or walkmans, the 1980s has its fair share of legacies that may never go out of style.

Colorful candies

One such legacy the 1980s has bestowed is a diverse array of candy. Some of the most popular products from sweets monopolies like Mars Bars and Nestle came into being during the 80s. 

I had the pleasure of traveling back in time by sampling numerous 1980s candies to feel the sweetest kind of nostalgia. Many candies made in the 80s are still popular today!

1980s Candy

Read on to check out my list of the most popular 1980s candy you can find at your local grocery store or candy shop. 


Perhaps the most iconic part about Skittles is their incredible ad campaign.

skittles up close

If you grew up during the 80s and 90s, you are familiar with the zany “taste the rainbow” commercials.

You can taste the rainbow of fruity flavors that burst through the candy shell, transforming into a delightful chew. 

Runts Candy

Debuting in 1982 from the famous Willy Wonka line, Runts Candy is crumbly candies shaped like the fruit flavor to which they correspond.

runts candy box

Featuring mini bananas, oranges, strawberries, limes, and grapes, you get veritable fruit salad with every handful.

I always liked combining bananas and strawberries to create a Runts smoothie in candy form!

Nerds Candy

Another fruity, crumbly candy, Nerds Candy, is a Willy Wonka creation that remains one of the company’s top sellers.

nerds grape and strawberry boxes

Everything from the bumpy, crunchy texture to the unique, whimsical flavor combinations make nerds my personal favorite. 

Nerds boxes always have two compartments to separate the flavors. My favorite flavor combo is the wild cherry and watermelon, which had a great sour candy taste.

Big League Chew Bubble Gum

It used to be fashionable for pro baseball players to tote a wad of chewing tobacco in their mouth during games in the 40s and 50s.

big league chew gum

You can still feel like a pro with Big League Chew Bubble Gum, shredded like real tobacco and packaged in fake tobacco pouches. 

It may lose its super sweet flavor after a few minutes, but it’s always fun to stuff as much of it into your mouth as humanly possible. This was my favorite gum as a kid!

Skor Bar

A product of the Hershey Company, Skor Bar came on the US market in 1981.

skor bar

It was Hershey’s answer to the Heath Bar, consisting of hard-buttered toffee coated in a textured layer of milk chocolate.

Oddly enough, Hershey ended up buying the Heath Bar brand. 

I love how the chocolate layer melts away in your mouth as you bite into the buttery crunch of toffee.

Airheads Candy

Airheads are a chewy, fruity taffy that comes in strips. It is a creation of a Kentucky-based company called Perfetti Van Melle.


Airheads come in over 30 different fruity flavors, from Blue Raspberry to Apple.

Unlike saltwater taffy that often gets stuck in your teeth, Airheads start out chewy but have a grainy finish that ends up melting away. 

Candy Сigarettes

Another candy modeled after vices we once considered glamorous, Candy Cigarettes have existed in different forms since well before the 80s.

candy cigarettes

The most popular forms of Candy Cigarettes are powdery white candy sticks that melt in your mouth like peppermint caramels. 

The powdery white sugar creates smoke clouds when you blow on them. They come in fake cigarette boxes that even have tin-foiled interiors. 

Cow Tales

From the historic Goetze’s Confectionary company that originated in 1895, Cow Tales debuted nearly 100 years later in 1984.

cow tales candy

Goetze’s original product is the chewy caramel cream, which I always associate with the individually wrapped candies in your grandparent’s candy bowls. 

Cow Tales are more of a spherical shape that comes in flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. The chocolate Cow Tale tastes like a Tootsie Roll.  

Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks are all about the fun texture created by adding carbon dioxide bubbles embedded into the milk-sugar mixture.

pop rocks candy

You pour this fruit-flavored candy with the consistency of gravel into your mouth and feel a unique popping sensation that tickles your tongue and makes audible crackling noises.

Its flavor is secondary to its tactile and auditory qualities.

Twix Candy Bars

The best thing about Twix is you get two of them! These delicious chocolate bars are the product of Mars Inc.

twix candy bar

They debuted first in the UK in 1967 and didn’t make it to the States until 1980.

Twix candy bars have a crunchy cookie foundation with a layer of gooey caramel; all enveloped in silky milk chocolate.

In my opinion, they have the best texture profile of all candy bars.

Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape

Who can forget the bubble gum version of measuring tape? Hubba Bubba Tape is another product of Mars Inc that debuted in 1980 in the US after first debuting in the UK.

hubba bubba bubble tape

It gets its name from the “Hubba Hubba” affirmation used in the army. 

While Hubba Bubba disappeared from shelves during the 90s, they made a comeback in 2004. 


Razzles debuted in 1986. Packaged in a rectangular box, they are fruit candies in the shape of pucks that turn into gum as you chew them.


They used to only come in raspberry flavor but have since diversified into various citrus and grape flavors. I love the latest sour Razzles flavors.

Push Pop

Push Pops are essentially lollipops with a retractable dispenser instead of a cardboard stick.

push pop

Every kid wanted a Push Pop over a lollipop. There’s just something more fun about eating it.

Plus, there’s more bang for your buck. You push the fruity candy pop up through its plastic container like a lipstick applicator, and you can put the lid back on and save some for later.

Baby Ruth

Despite its similarity to the world-famous baseball player, Baby Ruth is named for President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth.

baby ruth

Baby Ruth originated during the 1920s but didn’t become a widespread phenomenon until 1980 when it debuted in the cult classic movie Caddyshack.

Baby Ruth is an extravagant peanut, caramel, and chocolate candy bar with a chocolate nougat center. 

Cry Baby Tears Sour Candy

So sour they’ll bring tears to your eyes, Cry Baby Tears Sour Candy are fruit-flavored, tear-drop-shaped sour candies from the Tootsie Roll Inc. company.

They are another candy that turns into gum. You might have seen them marketed as Tear Jerkers.

When I bit into these sour drops, my eyes didn’t water, but my mouth certainly did.  

1980s Candy

  1. Skittles
  2. Runts Candy
  3. Nerds Candy
  4. Big League Chew Bubble Gum
  5. Skor Bar
  6. Airheads Candy
  7. Candy Сigarettes
  8. Cow Tales
  9. Pop Rocks
  10. Twix Candy Bars
  11. Hubba Bubba Tape
  12. Razzles
  13. Push Pop
  14. Baby Ruth
  15. Cry Baby Tears Sour Candy

What’s Your Favorite Candy From Your Childhood?

If you were a kid in the 80s or 90s, you might remember these popular candies from the 1980s! Many, like Skittles and Twix, are still popular today.

Tell us your favorite nostalgic candy choices in the comments!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.