Snaps®: Two And A Half Cents Each

From the American Licorice Company website:

            Snaps® bite-sized chews is the candy with the licorice center, pastel-colored candy coatings, and unique taste. Introduced in the 1930?s, Snaps® brand candy is the nostalgic confection with a legion of rabid fans. Many consumers remember Snaps® candy in their 2-cent classic red boxes, especially eating them on the playgrounds of their youth.

            Though attempts have been made to duplicate its proprietary formula, nothing matches the original. With its licorice center, unique flavor and colorful pastel candy coatings, the look and taste of Snaps® candy has remained unchanged since the 1930?s, making Snaps® brand a true classic.

Well, good news. Snaps® are back. Sort of.

You’ll recall (or maybe not) that I wrote about Snaps® back in December. Reported that they had been recalled because the California Department of Health had discovered trace amounts of lead in American Licorice Company’s black licorice products. Snaps® had been voluntarily pulled from the market, along with all the company’s other licorice products, while the company tested everything in its plant to try to find out where the lead was coming from.

Although the company was up-front about this on its website, it never did tell us what the problem was, only that it’s been fixed and their candy is available again. They promised on their website in early December that Snaps® would be available by the end of the year. Well, they almost made it.

I love Snaps® and was eagerly anticipating their return. So when Lillian and I left on our two month winter trip, I told her we’d be stopping along the way at various places that sell candy so I could stock up on my Snaps®. Well, let me tell you, we traveled through 22 states, and we stopped in all the likely suspect places, but no Snaps®. I was one disappointed boy. I developed some back problems along the way. Got so bad I couldn’t walk more than a hundred yards without sitting down to ease the pain. I thought perhaps it was because I had been months without Snaps®. One possible explanation, anyway. Pretty much pooh-poohed, though, by most medical experts.

Well, not so fast, modern medicine! Shortly after we got home, I had to go to the mall for something, and I stopped back in at the candy store, Northwoods Candy Emporium, and Bam! Right there on the shelf by the checkout counter: Snaps®!

There they were, in their bright red box with pictures of hundreds of little Snaps®. It was the theater box, 4.5 ounces, for $2.49. Bought one. Didn’t go overboard until I could taste them and make sure that taking the lead out didn’t ruin them. Well, let me tell you, I almost made it out of the mall before I got that box ripped open, and sure enough, there they were, those tasty little pink and green and orange and white licorice bites, coated in sugar (but no high fructose corn syrup, I might point out). I poured a few into my hand, rolled them around, caressed them as I squeezed gently to make sure they were fresh, and then popped a white one into my mouth. Let it just sit there on my tongue for a few seconds, to let the taste begin oozing throughout my mouth, then bit down firmly, and sure enough—my Snaps® were back! Oh, the joy!

Shortly after that, my back started to feel better. Might’ve been the exercise program my doctor had me on. Or it might’ve been the Snaps®. Yesterday, I walked two miles with no pain. Just to be safe, I’m not quitting the Snaps®. Or the exercises, either, I suppose.

I’ve been back to the mall twice to resupply. I don’t gobble them down, popping three or four into my mouth at once, like I used to. Now, just one at a time, sucking just a little sugar off before chewing. I’ve become a much more frugal Snaps® eater. For a couple of reasons. One, it is much more of a hassle to get them now. Instead of just hopping into the Cenex store when I’m buying gas, I can only find them at the mall, which takes a bit more time. Two, they’re a bit more pricy than they used to be. But still a bargain.

There are about a hundred in that theater box, so they’re about two and a half cents each. Remember, we used to buy a whole box when we were kids for two cents—a smaller box, but still . . .

So, I got the idea I’d try to find a way to buy them in bulk. The 4.5 ounce box at the mall is $2.49, or about 55 cents an ounce. I went to the American Licorice website to see about buying bigger packages. They sent me to, of all places, Amazon.com. Went there. Sure enough, there they were. But when I clicked on the product, the site said “Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we’ll deliver when available. We’ll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.”

Darn. But I did find them at other candy websites. Thought for sure I had died and gone to heaven at OldTimeCandyCompany.com. They advertised a two pound package for 11.99. Jackpot! I sat here at my computer, closed my eyes, and joyfully envisioned two pounds of Snaps® in my hands all at once. I couldn’t type fast enough to fill out the order form on the screen, grabbed my billfold for my credit card, clicked on “purchase,” and up popped the shipping charges: $10.40. Whoa, now I’ve got to do the math. I’ve always been a comparison shopper, even more so since I became a senior citizen on a fixed income. $10.40 plus $11.99 is $22.39. Divided by 32 ounces is . . . 70 cents an ounce. All of a sudden, this is not a good deal. The little boxes at the mall are 55 cents an ounce.

Back to square one. Found another website: CandyFavorites.com. There, I found, to my amazement, I could buy five pounds for $30. Five pounds of Snaps! Imagine that! Well, it was fun dreaming for a bit longer as I filled out their order form, and came to the same problem. The shipping charges put them at about the same price as the mall. I decided I’d rather shop at a local store if everything else was equal, and it was.

So, I’m going to become a more regular mall visitor. Anybody needs anything from there, just let me know, and I’ll be glad to pick it up for you.

Oh, and by the way, in case anybody reading this thinks I’ve slipped off the deep end just because I am fixated on Snaps®, let me assure you, I am not alone. There’s a blog on the American Licorice website where all kinds of people write in about Snaps®. Let me just share a few entries with you (if you’re bored already, you can quit reading right now—I’ve made my point).

Jerry, Nov. 16, 2012: Come on now I am going through a Snaps® withdrawal. I get the shakes, can’t sleep, losing my hair. Please help and get Snaps® back to the market (or send me some)……………

            Sandy, Nov. 16, 2012: HURRY My husband is having a major Snaps® withdrawal (This could be Jerry’s wife). It’s his daily lunch for work. At least 1 bag a day. Thank you.

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!

            Janice, Nov. 28, 2012: Nowadays I just cannot stomach the pink Snaps®. May I suggest that you sell the colors separately? Thanks. I hope you issue coupons to loyal fans like me. I miss Snaps®, going through withdrawal, want to know more details about the recall, original recipe is best. Where are the stores in and near Orlando that sell bulk candies? I have purchased 25 lbs. (25 pounds!) of bulk, and froze into quart-sized baggies. A bag of frozen or stale candy softens nicely in the microwave for about 5-10 secs. My suggestions are: Please sell in separate colors. Please use re-sealable bags or containers. Thanks again.

            Diane, Dec. 4, 2012: Please, please, when will Snaps® be back on the shelves in Naperville, Illinois??????? Major withdrawal in progress-please bring my Snaps® back!

            Randy, Jan. 18, 2013: Disappointed in Arizona that’s it’s taking so long for the Snaps® to get back on the shelves in the stores here that carry them. Worst part, I have called corporate and they have no answer other than its taking longer than figured. I have tried finding out where in the Phoenix area they have been shipped but no answer….Can you give me a better insight? Your distribution center has to have a warehouse to ship them to and the companies that are getting them…Then I can bug their corporate offices on why they aren’t on the shelves!!

See, it’s not just me. This is just a sample of folks from all over America. And they are more fanatical than me! I mean, 25 pounds at a time? Sell in separate colors? I called your corporate office? These people are desperate!

Yeah, I was getting a little desperate too. I have a five-day wilderness canoe trip coming up, and I sure feel a lot better in the morning if I get my regular daily dose of licorice—if you know what I mean.

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14 Responses to Snaps®: Two And A Half Cents Each

  1. Dean Schoeder says:

    Thanks Jim, I do enjoy some Snaps but haven’t seen them out here in CA. So I have been eating black Twizzlers. A young woman in the office spotted them on my desk and was stunned to learn that Twizzlers came in licorice flavor, not just strawberry.

  2. Bart Surmin says:

    Jim,
    I just bought a bag of Snaps, This is not the same candy that was sold b-4 the lead recall. The bag has a green box that states.”Same Great Flavor’s Softer Chewy Center”. I can’t even choke them down, way to soft, thicker coating and the after taste is really bad. I really hope they did not change a good thing (Remember new Coke). I’m 58 yrs old I remember what Snaps tasted like, and this is not the same product. Lost me as a customer.

    Bart Surmin

    • Linda Kline says:

      Me too!! I just bought three pounds of the snaps and happily waited until I got home to start my treats and noticed they looked “puffier”, boy was I surprised and upset when I finally had my taste. Spit it out!! Took the whole three lbs back to the confection store and got my money back.
      BRING BACK the original, do NOT like this soft, squishy and bad tasting new snaps!!

  3. J. Masek says:

    I’m no expert but I’ve been eating Snaps for 50 years too. I too bought a three bags of Snaps that said, “Same Great Flavor’s Softer Chewy Center”. Would that the flavor be true….. BUT IT ISN’T!!!! The flavor is less than marginal AND the “new” texture is just NASTY! First, how could the “center” be “anything” since its hollow! Clearly, the spin doctors(a.k.a. marketing folks) have no clue as to what they are marketing. Part of the joy in eating Snaps is the “toothy” chew. Not some mushy muck!! bad move!

    I’m fortunate to have numerous Walgreens where I am and I have gone around and bought all that I could find of the bag that don’t say “Same Great Flavor’s Softer Chewy Center”. (24 bags to be exact) These are just as they were before the recall!! You can even feel the hardness difference through bag.

    This “new Snaps” from the American Licorice Co. IS JUST AWFUL. Sad day for Snaps lovers like myself and my family. Sniff, sniff.

    • Avatar of Jim Fuglie Jim Fuglie says:

      The only place I can find Snaps in Bismarck, ND, is at a candy store in Kirkwood Mall. They only sell the theater boxes. There are no notes about them being :same great flavor” or anything at all about them being new. And guess what? They taste exactly the same as the original Snaps. I wonder if I’m getting lead?

  4. Avatar of Jim Fuglie Jim Fuglie says:

    P.S. The pink ones still aren’t very good. The white ones are great, the green and orange pretty good, but I could do without the pink ones, except that they make me appreciate the others even more.

    • cee em says:

      I bought them. too, & they were absolutely horrid. YUCK!

      & for the person who can’t stomach the (old) pink ones: those were my absolute favorites, above all others.

      they’ve now ruined snaps.

      • Avatar of Jim Fuglie Jim Fuglie says:

        These comments are all really interesting to me because the theater size boxes I’m buying at the local candy shop are exactly the same as the Snaps I’ve always bought. I wonder if they’re still selling me the old ones? Oh, well,I’m 65 and they haven’t killed me yet.

  5. Brad says:

    Yesterday I purchased two bags of the new chewy Snaps and I must say I was very disappointed from the first bite. Firt of all, they do not taste the same. I have purchased Snaps for YEARS and I simply can’t believe you would change the formula and texture of the Snaps product. I am very disappointed and will never be purchasing Snaps again.

  6. Laurie says:

    I also purchased 2 bags of Snaps and am soooooo disappointed. The chewy texture is awful, the after taste horrible and the orange went right out the window!! Yuck!

    I noticed the different words on the package so went to a second Walgreens to see if I could find some earlier stock, but no luck.

    Bring back the real original recipe!

  7. Faith says:

    The “new” Snaps are totally disgusting. I liked to put them in the freezer to get them nice and “crisp” and now they are just globs of sugar. Unless they go back to the original flavor, I will not be buying them again.

  8. Richard Mezera says:

    The “NEW” SNAPS are nothing like they were in the past. Someone with a half-baked idea to save a couple bucks must have made the poor decision to make this change.
    Unless they revert to the old recipe, they have lost me as a customer too.
    Hopefully they will have at least enough sense to get ride of the person with poor judgment and bring back the “classic” SNAPS!!

  9. Star says:

    Hey Folks…
    So glad I am not alone in my Snaps addiction!
    After running around to hoard all the bonafide original Snaps, I have made a terrible discovery………..BEWARE!! The new bags no longer have the green banner on them.
    The bags look like they used to but filled with the new nasty product! The package says “Original” but the candy is NOT! I call that FALSE ADVERTISING!
    Snaps…R.I.P

  10. Annette Weaver says:

    I’d like to share a SNAPS incident of my own. I was watching TV one Friday night and eating pizza, and like what happens so many times, the molten cheese burned the roof of my mouth (this fact will make sense in a little bit). Anyway, when I was done with pizza, I opened a package of my favorite candy (SNAPS), and by the end of the movie, I’d eaten the entire package….yes, the whole package. Well, I brushed my teeth before I went to bed like I always do, and I brushed them when I got up, and then I went to work. Later that morning I had a dental appointment…so naturally I brushed again before I left the office. I arrive for my 6-month checkup…I’m sitting in the examine chair…the hygienist says “open please”…so I oblige. She looks at my teeth, my tongue, and the roof of my mouth (this is where that hot cheese comes into play). She very politely excuses herself and then returns with the dentist. He says “open please” and the hygienist directs him to the roof of my mouth. Next thing I know, the hygienist has a camera and asks me to open wide so she can get a picture. E-v-i-d-e-n-t-l-y, where the scalding mozzarella melted away some of the skin, there was a very, bright pink stain. When they finally told me what they were so concerned about, I immediately told them about the candy I’d eaten the night before, but being in the dental profession, they had no idea what I was talking about. So, they scraped a sample of what skin was left and said they were sending it to the lab, and so naturally I asked “why?”, and that’s when they admitted it looked like ‘cancer’…uh, what?! So, at my follow-up appointment a week later, they told me the results were negative…ya think? SO…the moral to this story is: IF YOU HAVE A DENTAL APPOINTMENT TOMORROW, DON’T EAT THE PINK SNAPS TONIGHT.

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