What’s so fun about Fun Dip?
Fun Dip is a beloved candy that’s been around for more than 70 years.
The famous multi-flavored confection has stocked candy store shelves for decades, attracting children of all ages with its radiant packaging and unique combination of sugary powder and candy sticks that color your tastebuds with flavor.
As people who absolutely adore sugar, we had to know where the idea for a lick-and-stick candy like Fun Dip came from and who was responsible for bringing one of the most popular candies into the mainstream.
So we set out to uncover the history of Fun Dip and here’s what we found.
7 Sweet Facts About Fun Dip That You Should Know
1. The concept for Fun Dip candy came from a famous soda called Fruzola Jr.
Before there was Lik-M-Aid or Fun Dip there was Menlo Smith. Smith, an avid soda and candy lover, moved to St. Louis, MO in the 1940s to start making his own confections.
At the time, Smith and his father made a powder drink packet called Fruzola. This powder was meant to be mixed with water to create a soda that packed sour and sweet notes.
Smith noticed that most children were ignoring the directions and pouring the powder straight into their mouths resulting in a powerful punch of flavor and texture that they loved.
During this period, Fruzola was one of the only “penny candies” that kids could buy in the 1940s and 50s as most candy manufacturing was dedicated to supplying WWII efforts.
2. Sunline Inc was the first brand to produce the sugary powder that would become Fun Dip.
Sunline Inc was an offshoot of Smith’s father’s candy company and produced many of the famous candies that we know and love like Pixy Stix, Sweettarts, Spree, and Lik-M-Aid.
Sunline Inc, which would later be renamed Sunmark Corporation, is responsible for the invention and growth of Lik-M-Aid and Pixy Stix.
3. Before there was Fun Dip or Lik-M-Aid, there was Pixy Stix candy.
Armed with the knowledge that kids loved the soda powder Smith set out to develop his own sugar powder recipe that could be packaged individually and sold at local candy stores as penny candy.
As a result, Pixy Stix was invented in 1952 with flavors like Grape, Orange, and Strawberry and was served in short straws ready for consumption.
4. Lik-M-Aid was the original name for Fun Dip.
Lik-M-Aid was trademarked by Smith under Sunline Inc in 1952. The name came from the act of licking the packaging clean in an effort to taste every bit of sugar.
The powdered mixture was a combination of sugar and flavorings that candy lovers could consume on the spot simply by pouring the powder into their mouths just like Pixy Stix.
The only difference was that instead of sucking down straws of sugar, kids were now ripping apart packets that contained more of the tasty substance. These packets were sold individually and we’re a smash hit amongst candy lovers who craved them.
At the time, it came in flavors like Cherry, Grape, Strawberry, and Orange.
Note: Today Fun Dip can be found in a variety of flavors including cherry, grape, and orange as well as raspberry/apple—which goes from green to blue when it gets wet with saliva or water.
Fun Dip also makes Sour and Tropical flavors like watermelon, sour apple, sour lemonade, sandía, mango, and strawberry.
During Easter, it offers a Springtime Fun Dip that mixes watermelon and strawberry together.
5. The name Fun Dip was coined when Lik-M-Aid added sugar sticks to their famous powder packets.
Fast forward to 1973, Lik-M-Aid was rebranded into what we now know as Fun Dip. This transition came on the shoulders of another candy invention called Lik-A-Stix, a candy stick used to capture extra layers of sugar powder and deliver it straight to your taste buds.
Fun Dip consisted of two flavored sugar packets (originally Cherry and Grape) stitched together containing two Fun Dip sticks.
Fun Dip was embraced by candy lovers immediately, especially children who were drawn to the colorful packaging and unique combination of flavored sticks and powder.
6. Four different candy companies have produced Fun Dip.
Since its inception, Fun Dip has been produced by four different confectionery companies at one point or another.
Originally founded by Sunline Inc (which eventually became Sunmark Corporation), the brand was acquired by UK-based Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery in 1983.
Five years later, Nestle would buy out the brand and renamed it The Willy Wonka Candy Company, after the famous confectionery movie.
In 2018, The Ferrero Group purchased The Willy Wonka Candy Company and all its subsidiary bands including Fun Dip, Pixy Stix, SweetTarts, and Spree, which continues to produce them today.
7. Fun Dip, Pixy Stix, and SweetTarts have the same base recipe.
Yes, you read that correctly all three of these iconic candies are made with the same base recipe. The only difference is that SweetTarts has an ingredient that turns the powder into a solid for the shape molding.
It makes you wonder, what other candies are made with the same recipes but come in different forms?