Life Savers are a candy that most Americans are quite familiar with and have been for at least the last 50 years. There are the original mint flavored Life Savers and of course the fruit flavored candies that were sold in a book, perfect for gift giving. Not too many candy eaters think about the nutritional value in a piece of Life Savers candy, but the information is public knowledge if you know where to find it.
In 1912, a chocolate maker by the name of Clarence Crane ended up making a mint candy in the shape of what we now know as a life-saver for water rescues. The very next year, he sold the rights to his candy to a candy maker named Edward Noble for $2900. This was a sizable lump of cash at the time, but little did either of them know the amount of popularity the candy would develop over the next few decades. Around 1929, the fruit candies were added as lemon, orange and lime disks, but were changed to the familiar life saver shape by 1935 with the added flavors of cherry and pineapple. These remained the Life Savers candies' flavors for the next 68 years, at which time the company was then owned by Kraft in 2003. In 2004, Wrigley's took ownership and has exploded the varieties of Life Saver candies.
Story Behind Life Saver Shape
The story goes that Mr. Crane was having problems with his chocolate during the hot summer months and decided to try a mint candy. About that time, he was in a drug store and noticed the apothecary making a round pill and thought it would be a novel idea for his mints since the mints of the time were mostly from England and were square in shape. Of course, he didn't want his candy to look like a pill, so he poked the inside with a pin and made the life ring shape as we know it today, hence the name Life Saver Mints. It was a great strategy since that was the year of the sinking of the Titanic and the life saver ring was on everyone's mind. Mint was the only flavor for 15 years until the 5 flavor pack was invented.
The ingredients in a Life Saver candy vary between flavors, but for the most part they are sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid and natural and artificial coloring. Originally the only flavor was the mint until 1935 when the five roll pack was introduced with the fruit flavors. It is a boiled sugar candy as opposed to other kinds that are a compressed product.
Since Wrigley bought the company in 2004, there have been two new mint flavors introduced, the strawberry apple and the cherry lemonade. Of course the other 30 flavors already being used are lemon, lime, cherry, pineapple (Five Flavor), tangy tangerine, tangy peach, green apple, strawberry and watermelon (Five Tangy Flavors), tangerine, mango melon, pina colada, fruit punch, banana (Tropical Fruits), spearmint, wintergreen, vanilla mint, peppermint (Chill-O-Mints), strawberry, black raspberry, red raspberry, cherry and blackberry (Wild Sour Berries), and butter rum, wild cherry, hot cin-o-mint, wint-o-green, cryst-o-mint, spear-o-mint, pep-o-mint (sugar-free mints).
The Life Saver candies are non-fat and low calorie when it comes to treats and has prevailed during markets that fluctuate with the diets of the American public. The Wrigley website boasts the nutritional information about Life Savers. The calorie value range from 20 up to 60. It is an American icon that has lasted for almost 100 years.
- Photo Credit http://www.agilitynut.com/09/6/lifesavers2.jpg
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