How Our Favorite Candies Got Their Name

When you’re satisfying your sweet tooth with a chocolate bar or bag of gummy worms, it’s hard to really focus on anything else. But have you ever picked up that empty wrapper and thought about the name of your favorite treat?

How Our Favorite Candies Got Their Name


So where does this name come from? Was the chocolatiers’ intent to make you snicker as you bite into their decadent chocolate bar? In fact, the delicious treat was fondly named after the Mars family horse. Behind the empire of Mars Incorporated was Franks Mars and his family, who shared a love for making various candies. Originally marketed as a “Marathon” bar in Europe, Mars decided to revert back to the name Snickers to honor his family’s favorite horse.

Baby Ruth

You probably guessed this one correctly. With candy production gaining popularity during the height of The Great Bambino’s career and Yankee’s-inducing color scheme, Baby Ruths definitely had an appeal to baseball fans, but few consumers actually know know the full complex story. Without the athlete’s consent to use his name, Baby Ruth defended their candy’s name by claiming the makers named the bar after Glover Cleveland’s granddaughter, Ruth, who previously visited the Curtiss Candy factory. Despite this claim, reports have cited many instances in which the candy company tried to associate the candy with Babe Ruth. Which story do you think is more accurate?



The name of these delicious chewables has a more complex history. Some sources on the web credit the name to an Italian confectioner named Flavio Skitella who moved to England to operate his own candy store. Some of these sources claim that Skitella was forced to hand over the rights to the candy, but there have not been enough accounts to legitimize that story. Other sources claim the origin to come from the English word “skittles,” which was the name of a game that resembled bowling.


Starbursts were not always called Starbursts. Can you imagine walking into your local market and picking up a stack of Opal Fruits? While marketed under the Starburst name in the US, the candy was originally introduced as Opal Fruits in the UK and Ireland. In efforts to globalize one brand, Mars Inc decided to phase out the name Opal Fruits and rebrand the candy’s image under one name.

What are some fun candy facts that you know? Please share in the comments below or tweet them to me @SwtnessnDelight.