Jolly ranchers, a hugely popular favourite in the USA, only more recently hit the public consciousness over the pond in the UK and Europe.
The company was founded by Bill Harmsen, originally the Jolly Rancher Company, back in 1949 as the American economy was recovering from the Second World War. In the golden age of American capitalism Harmsen managed to create and market one of the country’s favourite ever candies.
The Jolly Rancher Company actually produced and sold ice cream and chocolate too in the early days but quickly found that the harsh Colorado weather didn’t lend itself well to ice cream all year round and began to focus on candy, with three original flavours; grape, apple and Fire Stix. These days the candy comes in cheery, blue raspberry, grape, apple and watermelon with special flavours and editions released for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
Founding the company and struggling for a name, Bill wanted them to represent the spirit of the people of Colorado. The name, “Jolly Rancher,” was chosen to connote a “hospitable western company.”
Jolly Rancher have now branched out into lip gloss, shirts, home décor, jelly beans, seasonal specials, chewy candies and even candles.