Laffy Taffy is a brand of taffy candies produced by the Ferrara Candy Company, a subsidiary of Ferrero. The candies are small (about 45 grams (1.6 oz)), individually wrapped taffy squares available in a variety of colors and artificial fruit flavors, including banana, strawberry, green apple, grape, blueberry, watermelon, blue raspberry, and cherry. Rarer flavors include caramel apple, coconut, strawberries & cream, apple crisp, chocolate mousse, pumpkin donut, pineapple, guava, orange sorbet, and lemon raspberry. Discontinued flavors include fruit punch, mango, strawberry banana, peppermint oil, and hot cocoa.
The name "Laffy Taffy" refers to both the texture of the taffy as well as its embodiment of silliness: short, question-and-answer-style jokes are printed on the outside of each wrapper, such as "What do you call a cow with no legs? – Ground beef." Some jokes are pun-based, such as "What is Labor Day? – That's when mommies have their babies." Others are based on silly word play, such as "What's an owl's favorite subject? – Owlgebra." These jokes are usually sent in by children who are credited on the wrapper.
The brand was first produced in the 1970s by Kathryn Beich Candies of Bloomington Illinois as "Beich's [Name of Flavor] Caramels", though these were not in fact caramels but fruit-flavored taffy squares. The Beichs later changed the name of the product to "Beich's Laffy Taffy", which occurred some years prior to the acquisition of the distribution rights and the eventual purchase of the product line by Nestlé in 1984. Laffy Taffy was originally advertised as having a "long-lasting" flavor. Though it used to come in thick, square-shaped pieces, it is now sold in thinner, rectangular pieces. In 2003, the Willy Wonka brand introduced a variety called "Flavor Flippers", with each piece of taffy having an outer layer of one flavor and a soft center of a different flavor.
In January 2018, Nestlé announced plans to sell its U.S. confectionery brands, including Laffy Taffy, to Italian chocolatier Ferrero SpA, maker of Nutella, for $2.8 billion. Ferrero folded the acquired brands into the operations of the Ferrara Candy Company and will increase investment in
- Corn syrup and or sugar
- Hydrogenated coconut oil or palm oil
- Malic acid
- Monoglycerides and diglycerides
- Soy lecithin
- Artificial flavor
- Trans fat