Life Savers are a brand of hard candy that traditionally come in mint or fruit flavors. This candy is best known for its distinctive ring shape and foil roll packaging. The name Life Savers comes from the shape of the candy, which is similar in appearance to lifebuoys that are used to save people who have fallen in the water. The first Life Saver flavor was peppermint, but in recent years a number of new products and flavors have been released. Since 2004, the brand has been owned by the Wrigley Company (who were bought out by Mars in 2008). They have been one of the most popular brands of hard candy for many years and 2012 marks 100 years since they were invented.
Who invented Life Savers?
Cleveland chocolate maker Clarence Crane invented Life Savers in 1912 while trying to make a summer candy that was far more resistant than chocolate to melting. After inventing Life Savers he punched a hole in the candy so that it would have a unique shape that was easily recognizable. It was at this time that he realized that they resembled life preservers and he came up with the name. He soon registered the trademark and began selling the candy in cardboard rolls.
In 1913 he sold the rights and formula to Edward John Noble for $2,900, who renamed the product Pep-O-Mint Life Savers and started the Mint Products Company. Noble also introduced the unique foil wrappers to keep the candy fresh and it was this innovation that led to the eventual success of this candy product. In 1921 the first fruit flavored Life Savers were introduced, but they did not have a center hole until 1925.
Did you know?
Many people believe the popular myth that Crane had a child that choked on hard candy and that Life Savers were invented to prevent children choking.