Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chuckles Ju Jubes

Chuckles Ju JubesChuckles Ju Jubes are gumdrops in the same flavors as the classic Chuckles jelly candies.

They’re a pretty simple candy and also rather hard to find. I picked these up at the Dollar Tree, but I haven’t seen them anywhere else in the past five years or so.

Chuckles are now made by Farley’s & Sathers but they were the brainchild of Fred Amend back in the 1920s. He was the fellow who go the bright idea to do a sugar crust on gum drops to keep them from sticking together and retain their jelly softness. The company was sold to Nabisco in 1970. At first it was a great marriage. Nabisco wasn’t known as a candy company yet they’d acquired the number one jellied candy brand. They even sponsored Evel Knieval’s attempted jump over Snake River Canyon in 1974. But Nabisco was going through its own growing pains, as it was itself acquired and apparently forgot to manage the brand. Then in a strange turn in the 80s, several former Nabisco executives bought the Chuckles brand and jelly candy company and tried to bring it back to its former glory by moving into gummis as the trend emerged.

I’m having a bit of trouble tracking the history from there. I believe that Chuckles were sold in 1987 to Leaf (Huhtamaki Oy) and then Leaf was sold to Hershey’s in 1996. Farley’s & Sathers acquired it in 2002 along with other jelly candy brands like Heide Jujyfruits and JuJubes. 

Chuckles Ju Jubes

About 2/3” in diameter and a 1/2” high they’re a small bite of candy. Each is shaped the same, a six pointed berry. They’re really very similar to Jujyfruits except they lack the variety of shapes.

The flavor array is identical to the classic Chuckles: Licorice, Cherry, Orange, Lemon and Lime.

The exterior is soft and dry - no sugary coating, no residual corn starch and no greasy mineral oil. The texture is very smooth, more like Dots than Jujyfruits. They’re soft and completely about the sweet and zest, not any tartness or tangy notes.

Licorice was a disappointment. It was mostly soapy and not much in the way or licorice or anise. Perhaps it got a little too much cherry near it. There’s also a bit of a menthol or minted note to it.

Cherry is quite bold. It reminded me of cherry LifeSavers, at least the smell of someone eating them nearby. Rather pleasant until the bitter Red40 aftertaste hit.

Orange is where things picked up. The citrus zest was strong, almost bitter but in an authentic way.

Lemon was also pretty zesty and fresh.

Lime was off the rails and into fragrance. I had a similar reaction to Chuckle’s green as well. It’s not the end of the world, I can eat around it.

They’re pretty and certainly pretty cheap. They do stick in my teeth in little globs and chunks pretty much like Dots.

I don’t see myself buying them again. I liked the orange and lemon, but I can just get Orange Slices if I’m in that sort of a mood. I can see these being used for decorating cupcakes or gingerbread houses, especially since they’re so inexpensive.

(The Chuckles company was one of the last companies to make the Pine Brothers glycerine cough drops I absolutely loved as a kid.)

Name: Chuckles Ju Jubes
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Farley's & Sathers
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
Price: $1.00
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 83
Categories: Jelly, United States, Farley's & Sathers

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:27 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. That seems really disappointing. This is the sort of product I wanted Farley and Sather’s to put out, but it sounds like a bit of a miss. Especially if they didn’t get the licorice (my favourite) right.

    Not to toot my own horn, but I tried to piece together the history of the ownership of Chuckles a few months ago. It was a nightmare, but in outline you’re right. The situation is *still* a bit complicated: while F&S now make Chuckles, I think I’m right in saying that Huhtamaki Oy still own the rights to the name. Or something like that.

    Comment by Richard @ The Bewildered Brit on 12/30/09 at 1:48 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Richard - the package does say that the name Chuckles is trademarked to Huhtamaki Finance BV. I completely forgot about your roundup of Chuckles! (I bought these back in October and was sitting on them until the candy holidays were over.)

    Comment by Cybele on 12/30/09 at 1:55 pm #
  3. where can i get bulk or boxed raspberry red hot dollars ive been looking for some time now, i would apreciate a responce as soon as posible, thank you very much, dennis pollom

    Comment by dennis pollom on 12/17/12 at 3:01 pm #
  4. Would love to buy chuckles ju jibes any time they also Easter and Xmas ju jibes

    Comment by Becky Heisel on 3/27/13 at 10:08 am #
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