Sunmark Corporation

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Sunmark Corporation (formerly Sunline Inc.) was a candy confectionery company based in St. Louis, Missouri. The company was founded by Menlo F. Smith in 1952 as an offshoot of the company owned by his father, Joseph Fish Smith. They invented many candy brands, some of which are still produced today, such as Pixy Stix, SweeTarts, Spree[1], and Lik-M-Aid.

Originally called Sunline Incorporated, it changed its name to Sunmark, Inc. It subsequently acquired Breaker Connections in 1975 (makers of the Wonka Bar, Skrunch Bar, and Oompas) changing the acquisition's name to Willy Wonka Brands in 1980. Additionally, the Sunmark Companies became a parent company to the brands Sunline Brands, Sunfield Foods, and David & Sons, as well as other subsidiaries that supported its manufacturing and distribution functions. In 1983, Sunmark introduced Nerds[2]. In 1986, it was acquired by Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery of the UK,[3] which was purchased by Nestlé in 1988. In 1993, Nestle renamed the company The Willy Wonka Candy Company. In mid-2006, many of Sunmark Co.'s last candy production plants, then owned by Nestlé, were shut down due to an overly competitive market.[4]


  1. ^ Madarang, Charisma. "Apparently Fun Dip, Pixy Stix, Kool Aid, and SweeTARTS are all the same thing". Foodbeast. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ Stroud, Jerri (April 2, 1984). "Sumark's Quite Happy To Have Nerds". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. C1.
  3. ^ "Investors Chronicle, Volume 77". Google Books. Financial Times Business Pub. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Nestle will shut three candy plants here, erasing 383 jobs Old Sunmark sites in Affton, south St. Louis to close by next summer". Highbeam Business. Cengage Learning. Retrieved 13 January 2016.