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Pop Rocks were developed in 1956 by General Foods research scientist William A. Mitchell (pictured below) and introduced to the market in 1975 at .15 cents per pack. Then the Pop Rocks rage took off...and continues Today.
Tiny air pockets of carbonation (CO2) are released when melted in your mouth and has a mild crackling sensation and popping noise. The original flavors were Orange, Cherry and Grape.
Though Pop Rocks had been thoroughly tested and found innocuous, the exploding candy still startled residents in Seattle. The Food and Drug Administration arranged a telephone hotline to assure anxious parents that the popping candy would not cause children to choke. Mixing the candy with carbonated drinks would cause the stomach to explode, was the popular buzz.
Further, according to playground lore, an overly-cute kid who achieved fame in LIFE cereal commercials had died of this.
General Foods was battling exploded kid rumors as early as 1979, a mere four years after the product went to market. They took out full-page ads in 45 major publications, wrote some 50,000 letters to school principals around the country, and sent the confections inventor on the road to explain to all that Pop Rocks generate less gas than half a can of soda and ingesting them could induce nothing worse in the human body than a hearty, non-life-threatening belch. Despite all these measures, the rumors of the urban legend abound even to this day.
Around 1983, enough pressure become too much and Pop Rocks were taked off the market. Whats less known is that Kraft bought the rights to the product from General Foods in 1985 and then marketed it as Action Candy through a company named Carbonated Candy.
Pop Rocks are now back out in the open and are again marketed under their original name by Zeta Espacial S.A. and is distributed by Pop Rocks, Inc.
The Pop Rocks Candy website will provide more action, entertainment for your whole mouth, and dismiss hearsay. And allow refined and worldly consumers a place to buy hard-to-find POP ROCKS.