From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fruit flavored gumdrops
Main ingredientspectin, granulated sugar, flavoring
VariationsSpice drops

Gumdrops are a type of gummy candy. They are brightly colored pectin-based pieces, shaped like a narrow dome (sometimes with a flattened top), often coated in granulated sugar and having fruit and spice flavors; the latter are also known as spice drops.


Dots, a gumdrop brand introduced in 1945 and acquired by Tootsie Roll Industries in 1972.

Gumdrops first appeared in the 19th century United States, purportedly as early as 1801, although at that time they likely referred to small, hard sweets also derived from fruit gelatin.[1] The name "gumdrop" is not found in print until 1859, appearing in an advertisement published by the Decatur, IL Illinois State Chronicle for a candy shop owned by a George Julier. By that time, a gelatin-based, rubbery candy akin to modern gummies went by the gumdrop name, but also a pastier candy with a potato starch base.[2]

One of the oldest types of gumdrops still produced are "spice" gumdrops, using traditional spices including clove, anise, allspice, spearmint, cinnamon, and wintergreen for flavoring.[3][unreliable source?][4]


Gumdrops, spice drops, and their variations are used in baking for decorating cakes. Around Christmas, they are sometimes used to decorate gingerbread houses and other confections.

In popular culture[edit]

The Apollo 9 Command module was nicknamed "Gumdrop".[5]

The board game Candy Land includes a "Gumdrop Pass" and "Gumdrop Mountain".

The use of the expression "goody gumdrops" as an alliterative exclamation of joy was first recorded in the 1959 novel Strike Out Where Not Applicable by British crime author Nicolas Freeling: "Buttered toast, and cherry cake, as well as Marmite. Goody, goody gumdrops".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ayto, John (2013). The Diner's Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199640249.
  2. ^ The Invention of the Gumdrop
  3. ^ Gumdrop Fun Facts
  4. ^ "Spice Drops | Brach's Candy".
  5. ^ Evans, Ben (August 25, 2010). Foothold in the Heavens: The Seventies. Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration Series. New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-4419-6341-3.
  6. ^ Ayto, John (2013). The Diner's Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199640249.

External links[edit]