Jolly Rancher

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Jolly Rancher
Jolly Ranchers.jpg
Assorted flavors of Jolly Rancher candies
Product type Fruit flavored hard candy
Owner The Hershey Company
Country United States
Introduced 1949
Markets U.S.
Previous owners Jolly Rancher Company
Beatrice Foods
Leaf, Inc.
Website Jolly Rancher at

Jolly Rancher is a brand of sweet, somewhat tangy or sour/sweet hard candy,[1] gummies, fruit chews, jelly beans, lollipops, gelatin desserts, gum, and sodas.[2] 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.[1] 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.[1]


Jolly Rancher was sold to Beatrice Foods in 1966 and to Leaf Brands in 1983. In 1996, Leaf North America was acquired by the Hershey Company.[1]

In 2002, Hershey closed the Wheat Ridge, Colorado plant and moved the manufacturing of the candy to Mexico to save costs.[3]


Bill Harmsen founded the Jolly Rancher Company in 1949 with the goal of having a name that seemed friendly and welcoming to customers. His candies were originally sold in Denver, Colorado, making his other products like ice cream hard to sell in the cold winter months. Since this became an issue, Harmsen decided to put his main focus into his hard candies. He figured that this would be something that could be enjoyed year-round, no matter the cold temperatures. [4]


Jolly Rancher candies original flavors were watermelon, grape, apple, and Fire Stix, later were cherry, orange tangerine, lemon, peach, 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, green apple and watermelon. There are also sour, berry, cinnamon, and smoothie varieties. In 2015, Jolly Rancher offered a "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 and wild berry flavors were discontinued by The Hershey Company.[citation needed]


Jolly ranchers are amorphous solids, meaning their molecular arrangements have no specific pattern. They are hard, brittle, rigid, transparent and have low molecular mobility.[5] Jolly ranchers are formed from highly concentrated sugar solutions (greater than 95% sugar) and have extremely high viscosity. Their “glassy” appearance is a result of the way they were processed. During processing, the sugar syrup is cooled so rapidly that no crystals have time to form. Jolly ranchers hold their solid shape when kept in temperatures less than the glass transition temperature (Tg). If the temperature is greater than the Tg, the hard, glassy like structure of the Jolly Rancher will become soft and rubbery material.[6]


Jolly Ranchers are manufactured by creating a solution of corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, or fructose syrup that is boiled to a temperature of 160 °C and cooled to create a supersaturated mixture that is roughly 2.5 percent water.[7] As the mixture is cooled, natural and artificial flavoring, artificial colors (red 40, blue 1, yellow 5, yellow 6.specific) is added to individual batches of syrup solution which is later mixed with malic acid to improve shelf life and add further flavor. Once the mixture begins to cool it is then extruded into long malleable strings that are cut to size and individually wrapped and packaged.[8]


The main ingredients of the original hard candy Jolly Ranchers are: [9]

- Corn syrup

- Sugar

- Malic Acid

- Natural flavor & Artificial flavor

- Mineral Oil

- Lecithin

Nutritional Information[edit]

1 serving of the original hard candy Jolly Ranchers contains: [9]

- 3 pieces

- 70 calories

- 0 g Saturated Fats (0 PDV)

- 0 g Total Fat (0 PDV)

- 10 mg Cholesterol (0 PDV)

- 0 g Proteins

- 0 g Dietary Fiber (0 PDV)

- 11 g Sugar

- 0g Vitamin C (0 PDV)


  1. ^ a b c d "Jolly Rancher hard candy". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  2. ^ Elizabeth Beverage Company. "Jolly Rancher". Archived from the original on 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  3. ^ Denver Business Journal. "Jolly Rancher plant Closes". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "A Jolly History - Candy Favorites". Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  5. ^ Ludescher, Richard. "Science of Candy" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Hartel, Rich (16 October 2014). "Candy Chemistry" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Search The MC - First Page Preview". Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  8. ^ Serna, Tamara E. (2010-01-01). Candy Making Made Easy. Lulu Com. ISBN 9781446113424. 
  9. ^ a b "Jolly Rancher | Original Hard Candy". Retrieved 2017-04-04. 

External links[edit]