|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2011)|
Jolly Rancher is a brand of sweet, somewhat tangy or sour/sweet hard candy, gummies, fruit chews, jelly beans, lollipops, gelatin desserts, gum and sodas. It is currently owned by The Hershey Company. The product was originally produced by the Jolly Rancher Company, founded in 1949 by Bill Harmsen of Golden, Colorado. The Jolly Rancher Company made ice cream, chocolate and candy sold at several "Ranch Maid Ice Cream" stores in the Denver area. The name was meant to suggest a hospitable, western company.
In 2002, Hershey closed the Wheat Ridge plant in Colorado and moved manufacturing of the candy to save costs.
Jolly Rancher candies original flavors were grape, apple, watermelon, and Fire Stix, later were cherry, orange tangerine, lemon, and sour apple. Later, blue raspberry replaced lemon. In 2013, lemon was reintroduced in an all-lemon bag. Current flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, grape, sour apple and watermelon. There are also sour, berry, cinnamon and smoothie varieties. Jolly Rancher now offers a special "Fruity Bash" variety bag which includes strawberry, mountain berry, lemon, orange, and pineapple. They also offer a "red" bag, with flavors such as strawberry and fruit punch, along with other "red" flavors. As of 2012, the peach flavor was discontinued by The Hershey Company.