SWEET TALK— Super Nut and Rinkles!

Rinkles and Super Nut for PresidentWas it Emily Post who said said politics and polite conversation don’t mix? Or was it Ann Landers? Conventional wisdom might suggest that candy and politics also don’t mix, but history has shown us otherwise. Today, the Candy Wrapper Museum offers this throwback to the Bicentennial when candy tossed its chocolate cap into the ring!

Uptight on 5th AvenueLuden’s Inc. from Reading, Pennsylvania, is well known for its cough drops, but it began as a candy company and sold a wide variety of candy throughout the decades, including Mellomints, Peanut Butter Plus, and the 5th Avenue bar. In the 1960s and 1970s, Luden’s aimed for the youth market, releasing far out pop music records promoting the 5th Avenue bar. With bands ranging from Archie Bell and the Drells, the Cyrkle, and Aretha Franklin, who could resist grabbing a candy bar and grooving in sweet harmony on the street?

In the 1970s, Luden’s kept on truckin’ with counter culture candy. They introduced the irreverent, scrappy underdogs, Super Nut and Rinkles, to compete against candy giants, Goobers and Raisinets by aiming straight at the youth market. As stated in their mission statement:

“Half of all U.S. consumers are under 25, 20 million in the 15-19 age group. And they have buying power. Super Nut & Rinkles turns them on.”

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but they sure turn me on! I mean–-just look at these guys!!!

Ludens Catalog

And sparing no drop of youthful spirit, Luden’s promoted their dynamic duo with a cool chick wearing hot pants and go-go boots!

Ludens Catalog

supernut-corolla-cwmThis was no half-baked campaign. Luden’s promoted Super Nut and Rinkles with T-shirts, pinbacks, and bumper stickers. My Corolla has never looked better!

Sadly, the inarguable fashion sense and endless optimism of Super Nut and Rinkles failed to sufficiently catch the public’s attention to win the election. They did, however, continue to be sold in stores up until the 1980s. Hershey purchased Luden’s in 1986, and only  the 5th Avenue bar survived. However, Super Nut and Rinkles live on in the annals of U.S. political history.

Rinkles and Supernut PromosThis was not the first, and probably not the last time that candy and politics mixed. Check out the gallery to see more fun political candy artifacts from the Candy Wrapper Museum.



For more candy memories, visit The Candy Wrapper Museum.



Darlene Lacey

About Darlene Lacey

Darlene is the author of "Classic Candy: America's Favorite Sweets, 1950-80" and curator of the Candy Wrapper Museum, which is comprised of her personal collection which she began as a teenager in the 70s. The CWM has been featured in numerous TV shows, magazines, newspapers and blogs, and made its art gallery debut in 2010 at the Scion Space's "Palate" show.
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