The Wonka name here comes from the book that was written by Roald Dahl. If you haven't seen the Willy Wonka film and you like sweets, we highly recommend watching it. Wonka continue to make a wide range of products including rainbow nerds and everlasting gobstoppers that change colour as you suck them!
Nerds, the sweet of every Millennial childhood, is the product of some serious imagination at the Willy Wonka Candy Factory (originally owned by Quaker Oats, but bought by Nestle in 1988), and are still made under license from their owners, Nestle confectionery, the huge candy and chocolate makers based in Switzerland.
Whilst the Wonka chocolate bar has long fallen out of favour, what has remained are some of the most beloved sweets in the western world, American candy creations - Nerds.
Nerds are an American candy comparable to rock candy, as each one has a unique shape, and each box of these tangy sweets contains two contrasting flavours, separated by a cardboard divider. The sweets themselves are dispatched individually through a little funnel at the top of the packet.
Larger packets of this retro candy can have numerous flavour combinations and are typically known as ‘Rainbow Nerds’ for their vivid colours.
These curious little taste explosions were invented in 1983 and described by their creator as ‘delicious little characters’. By 1985, Nerds were so popular, they were recognized as "Candy of the Year" by the National Candy Wholesalers Association (NCWA).
Each Nerd starts life as a single sugar crystal, being spun in a huge barrel-like container with all the other sugar crystals, until they have received the requisite number of sugar layers to reach reach the optimum Nerd size.
When they’re first made, each Nerd is pure white colour, they receive their vivid colours (and ultimately flavour) later in separate barrels. The most popular flavour combination of all time, is strawberry and grape.
After five years at the top of the best non-chocolate candy lists, the Willy Wonka Candy Factory was acquired by Nestle and continues to this day to produce such classics as Fun Dip, Gobstoppers, Runts and Laffy Taffy, as well as the perennially popular Nerds, the wide range of tangy sweets that come in such vivid colours.