There is one candy that is associated entirely with Halloween. If it’s even available at other times of the year, I haven’t seen it. THE Halloween candy is candy corn. Have you ever wondered how candy corn came to be?
Candy corn was actually invented way back in 1880. We don’t know who the first person was to actually make candy corn. We do know that the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia was the first company to commercially produce candy corn.
But the company that is most closely associated with candy corn is the Goelitz Confectionery Company. The founder of the Goelitz Confectionery Company was Gustav Goelitz. He was a German immigrant. He began producing candy corn commercially specifically for Halloween in 1898 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Candy making commercially at the turn of the century was not a year-round job. Commercial candy making was seasonal. Commercial candy making began in March and ran through November. Remember that refrigeration wasn’t readily available and candy making was not mechanized.
Candy corn was sold in bulk containers like most foods of the time. An individual portion of candy is a relatively new concept. Candy corn was packed in wooden buckets, tubs, and cartons and delivered by wagon or train over short distances. Remember, there was no refrigeration.
The candy industry as a whole as gone through many feast and famine cycles over the years. The Herman Goelitz Candy Company is now located in Fairfield, California, and has been since World War I. It has not been immune to the fortunes of the candy industry and has teetered on the verge of bankruptcy several times but candy corn has always pulled the company back from the brink of disaster.
Candy corn has remained unchanged for over a hundred years, and yet this year there will be more than 20 million pounds of candy corn sold. That would be more than EIGHT BILLION kernels!