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Pixy Stix were invented by Sunline Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri. The concept for this powdered candy originated in 1942 and was derived from a penny drink mix sold as Fruzola Jr. by the Fruzola Company in Salt Lake City, Utah. When J. Fish Smith found that kids were eating the sweet and sour powder straight from the package, he modified the formula and branded it as Lik-M-Aid.
An affiliated company, Fruzola Company of St. Louis, which later became Sunline, Inc., was founded in 1952 by Menlo F. Smith to manufacture and market Lik-M-Aid nationwide. In 1959 the product was packaged in color-striped straws and introduced as Pixy Stix. Several years later Lik-M-Aid was modified with a multi-compartment package containing two flavors and a candy stick used to dip the candy out of the package.
In 1962 Sunline, Inc. developed and introduced a new product with a similar sweet/sour taste sensation in the form of candy tablets under the brand name SweeTarts which have become highly popular with children and even some adults. In 1965 Sunline, Inc. acquired Breaker Confections Company of Chicago, Illinois and began producing a candy coated version of SweeTarts called Spree. All of these products have been marketed throughout the United States, Canada and various foreign countries.
In 1970 Sunline organized a new company called Concorde Confections which built a new plant to produce Tangy Taffy and other candy bar products. In 1972 the company entered into a joint venture with The Quaker Company to develop and produce an line of products sold under the Willy Wonka brand which were introduced in conjunction with the movie, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. In 1975 Sunline acquired Quaker's interest in the venture and established the Willy Wonka Candy Company.
Sunline, which later became The Sunmark Companies, was sold to Rowntree Mackintosh of the UK in 1986. Rowntree was in turn acquired by Nestlé. All of the Sunmark brands have now incorporated the Willy Wonka label.
- Maui punch
- Shelly Belly
In popular culture
- Sherbet - a fizzy powder similar to that found in Pixy Stix
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