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The History of Smarties

Edward Dee, who hailed from a London candy-making family that settled in New Jersey, founded Smarties there in 1949. He began his business by turning out small fruit-flavored pressed-sugar tablets in a rented garage using a repurposed pellet-making machine from World War II. He then drove his candies by car to grocery stores throughout the United States and Canada (where, incidentally, they are called Rockets). Soon they caught on and updates were made to the manufacturing process. Today, Smarties is one of the only family-owned mass-production confectionery companies left in the United States. It is run by Dee’s three granddaughters. Under their leadership, the manufacturing process has evolved to utilize robotic automation technology with forklifts, conveyors, and robotic arms. Programmable machines also measure and mix the ingredients, arrange the candy into the iconic rolls, wrap the rolls, and pack them into boxes. Now, Smarties factories produce a total of 2 billion candy rolls each year and the product lines have also been expanded to include new flavors like X-treme Sour and a tropical-flavored assortment. Today, Smarties remain a beloved candy and are especially popular around Halloween.

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