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The History of Nerds Candy

Nerds candy was created by the Willy Wonka Candy Company in 1983, just a few years after the film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory premiered (which was in turn based on the Roald Dahl book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Interestingly, the company itself was founded just before the movie premiered specifically to help promote the film. One of the original Nerds flavors was Strawberry & Grape; it remains one of the most loved options today. The other was Cherry & Orange, which has since been discontinued. Nerds caught on quickly and soon became so popular that in 1985, the candy was awarded the prestigious Candy of the Year award by the National Candy Wholesalers Association. That same year, the brand also launched Nerds cereal, but the product was short-lived. In 1988, Nestle purchased the Willy Wonka Candy Factory and took over the production of Nerds. In 2001, the brand introduced Nerds Rope, a long gummy candy coated in Nerds. In 2018, the brand rolled out Big Chewy Nerds and then introduced Gummy Clusters a few years after that. Under Nestle, the brand has also come out with various holiday-related products, including seasonal candy canes with unique flavors like “Road Rash Raspberry.” Today, the iconic crunchy, tangy, and sweet candies remain very popular — particularly the original Strawberry & Grape Nerds, which are often included in Halloween candy assortments and party favors.

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