Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Good & Plenty (Fresh from the Factory)

Fresh Good & PlentyLicorice pastilles have been made for hundreds of years in different varieties and recipes by just about every country in Europe. America has their own very popular brand, Good & Plenty.

They’re simply a little nibble of licorice covered in a thin sugar shell. Rather like a Jordan Almond, the shell is added in a process called panning, where a sugar syrup is added to the little licorice bites and tumbled and dried and then colored. Good & Plenty come in only two colors, pink and white. (Most other licorice pastilles come in pastels or bright colors, like the version made by Jelly Belly Confections.)

Most licorice pastilles are expensive, but Good & Plenty are surprisingly affordable, probably because they don’t have as much of a candy shell as some others.

The flavor of Good & Plenty is more complex, I think, than some of the European pastilles. First, the sugar coating doesn’t completely contain the licorice flavor so when you stick your nose into a movie-sized box of Good & Plenty and you get a woodsy whiff of anise. The sugar shell isn’t very crunchy, in fact, it’s a little grainy, but it works pretty well for Good & Plenty, letting the flavor permeate. The licorice itself has a high sweet overtone and then the molasses hits, dark and slightly burnt and with a light salty bite. After it’s gone there’s a lingering sweetness and clean licorice/anise flavor ... until you pop the next few in your mouth.


For this review I tried both the new Fresh from the Factory Good & Plenty and a rather fresh box from the convenience store near the office. There were a couple of differences. The molasses flavor seemed a little more pronounced in the FFTF&P and the sugar shell seemed a little softer. The still-fresh-in-the-box Good & Plenty had a mellower, more licorice-intense flavor and a slightly stronger shell. (It might have been my imagination, but the FFTF ones also looked a bit plump.)

While some of the other Fresh from the Factory offerings seem a bit steep in price, the Good & Plenty version, in a 4 pound tub is a bit better deal for $25 ($6.24 per pound). The window to order has closed at the moment (though I believe they’ll cycle through again). Good & Plenty in bulk on the internet is $3.90 a pound for 5 pounds ... or $3.24 a pound for 10 pounds, so it’s not like there aren’t deals out there.

I’ve found the sealed plastic peg bags sold at the grocery or drug stores are the freshest, the boxed Good & Plenty can be tough. But then again, I like mine tough, the candy shell is more crackly and of course it takes longer to eat. While I love Good & Plenty and it’s one of the few candies that I still purchase on a regular basis even with all the other stuff I have to get through, sometimes I prefer the crisper shell of the European varieties (but not the steep price).

Good & Plenty is one of America’s oldest continuously produced candy brands, here are a few moments in their corporate history:

Good & Plenty

  • 1893 - Good & Plenty introduced by Quaker City Confectionery Company (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1973 - Good & Plenty sold to Warner Lambert
  • 1981 - Warner Lambert sells Good & Plenty to Switzer of St. Louis where it’s later all rolled in to the brand Leaf (a subsidiary of Beatrice) which already includes Jolly Rancher candies
  • 1983 - Leaf and its brands is sold to Finnish company Huhtamaki Oy

  • 1996 - Leaf and all its brands including Switzer Licorice, Whoppers, Milk Duds and Good & Plenty sold to Hershey’s
  • 1997 - St. Louis manufacturing for Good & Plenty moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Though the company has changed hands a few times and even moved factories (at least three different locations that I know of), the packaging has stayed pretty much the same. A little box with Good & Plenty candies pictured on the the outside and the name inside a circle ... when I was a kid it had a black background, now it’s a purple one. The black, pink & white color combination is often known as “good & plenty” in crafting and decorating circles. Somewhere along the way it dropped the more formal “and” in favor of an ampersand, probably when they became part of Hershey’s.

    For many years Good & Plenty was also known for their cartoon mascot, Choo Choo Charlie. I found this video on YouTube of an old commercial:

    These sorts of ads are probably not going to be around any longer, advertising candy to children is going away. Though candy offers empty calories, it does have some highlights. Candies like Good & Plenty make it easy for kids to share, learn portioning and resealable boxes reward self-restraint. Many boxes were also pretty versatile ... you could shake your box as a percussion instrument when it has candy in it and when empty, you can blow into it like a reed instrument. The current boxes don’t have the tucked tab design that do that ... the day they got rid of those was the day the music died.

    Good & Plenty is made with wheat flour so is unsuitable for those with wheat allergies or gluten-intolerance. It’s also colored with Carmine derived from insects and therefore not suitable for vegans. Good & Plenty are certified Kosher.


  • Candy Addict’s FFTF Good & Plenty review
  • Patti’s Candy Yum Yum review
  • Candy Addict’s Twizzler’s FFTF review (I totally agree with everything he said)

  • Good & Plenty is listed as one of the top arousing scents for women (yeah, if you’re looking for some lovin’ splurge for the super-scented Fresh from the Factory).

    Name: Good & Plenty
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hershey's
    Place Purchased: samples from Hershey's
    Price: $25 plus shipping
    Size: 4 pounds
    Calories per ounce: 94
    Categories: Licorice, United States, Hershey, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:39 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  • Comments
    1. Interesting fact: The pink Good & Plentys get their color from cochineal/carmine, so they’re not vegetarian. And actually renders them kind of gross.


      Comment by kfan on 6/19/07 at 8:21 am #
    2. I still miss my Good and Fruity—the center had much more firmness than the more popular (and still manufactured) Mike & Ikes.  I like Justborn candies, but Good and Fruity had its own identity.  And I like them a bit old and harder, and Good and Fruities always seemed to be more firm, as they apparently didn’t sell all that well.

      Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 6/19/07 at 8:28 am #
    3. As long as we’re talking educational benefits, don’t forget color recognition! Well, pink and white. Because, you know, those are hard to distinguish… :^)

      Comment by Tricia on 6/19/07 at 9:42 am #
    4. oh. my. gosh.

      i am ALL OVER this one. yay!

      Comment by liz on 6/19/07 at 9:55 am #
    5. Doesn’t having 4 pounds of something defeat the purpose of it being fresh from the factory? I mean, I can’t imagine it staying fresh for very long.

      Comment by Ace on 6/19/07 at 10:43 am #
    6. I just ate some Good & Plenty today while I was shopping. They are one of my favorite “grazing” foods while pushing a cart around a store.

      I love black licorice, and I just adore Good & Plenty. I also am partial to the licorice Scotty Dogs from Trader Joe’s, but they are far more expensive.

      Comment by Kim on 6/19/07 at 12:26 pm #
    7. ‘...the day the music died’
      so eloquently written. well done. i felt a tear or maybe it was the skittle that went down the wrong pipe when i read that line ^^

      Comment by Sunny on 6/19/07 at 12:40 pm #
    8. I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve always had a serious aversion to all things licorice, even anise. I’ll have to try these again sometime, but I’m wondering if it is genetic, like the folks who think that cilantro tastes like soap.

      Comment by Abi on 6/20/07 at 9:09 am #
    9. I’ve always wanted to try those.

      Comment by Alyssa on 6/20/07 at 10:16 am #
    10. i think you’ve put the wrong link in for the FFTF Twizzlers, it keeps going to the organic mints&tarts; review you did.
      & wow, i have to try the FFTF stuff now(:

      Comment by Emily on 6/21/07 at 10:14 am #
    11. I’ve never liked Good n Plenty - not a licorice fan - but I loooooooooooove that old ad!

      Comment by Amy on 6/22/07 at 4:04 pm #
    12. Very thorough! You even mentioned the musical properties of both a full and empty box of G&Ps;. Funny to see the old ad again, a classic of late 50s/early 60s animation design - that stylized background and the flat plane. It may just be me, but I think I detect certain inuendos in that ad that as a child I didn’t understand. Just what is Choo Choo Charlie bragging to the young lady about that “really rings the bell?”

      Comment by Bill Brown on 6/24/07 at 3:54 am #
    13. I’d like to second the nostalgia for Good and Fruity candies.  I used to buy big boxes of them all through high school in the late 80s; sometime around my middle school years, they revised the formula to both flavor the inner chewy bits and make them a bit more tender.  Unfortunately, for some reason in the early 1990s they switched the flavorings, making them taste a lot more like jelly beans and adding grape to the lineup.  I stopped buying them, and they went off the market a year or two later.  I wish they’d bring them back, they were great.

      Actually, is there any chance that they are still produced outside the US?  Australia or Germany, maybe?  I’d pay for shipping…

      Comment by David A. Spitzley on 6/26/07 at 7:06 am #
    14. Well, this is interesting:  someone on Flickr is claiming to have found Good and Fruitys in production again.  If the photo is to be believed, though, it appears they are the jellybeany flavors…


      Comment by David A. Spitzley on 6/26/07 at 7:14 am #
    15. My favorite candy is/was Good and Fruity’s but I can’t find them anywhere. Are they still Mfg’d?

      Comment by Tom Gallagher on 10/31/07 at 3:45 am #
    16. Didn’t G&Ps; used to come in two shades of pink, light and dark, as well as the white? I was a color-obsessed child (don’t get me started on the joys of Crayola) and distinctly remember a candy that featured two pinks.

      Comment by Liz on 11/04/07 at 6:33 pm #
    17. I am in a digital art class right now, and we are doing a candy wrapper project in Adobe Illustrator. The candy I have chosen is Good and Plenty, but for the life of me I can’t find the font they use for the logo! It is driving me nuts. Anyone know what the font is?

      Comment by Alex on 1/22/08 at 3:47 pm #
    18. Alex,

      The old logo uses some old condensed serifed font which would probably be hard to find unless you have access to old typography books and are willing to scan, then cut and paste.

      The new logo looks like a font from the 60s or 70s. So, I’m looking in a type book from the md-70s. The logo appears to use something in the Futura family, though none of the ones I see has that distictive diagonal line in the “e”. Cable Heavy has one like that, but is a bit too bold (if there is a Cable Medium, that might be closer) and does not have the rounded corners of the logo font. Horatio Bold has the rounded corners, but not the diagonal on the “e” and other letters are not similar.

      It may have been a custom-design font. In fact, the more I look at it, the more I’m convinced of that. The shape of the “y” is very unusual and seems designed to fit within the circle, The rounded ends of all the strokes seem designed to reflect the shape of the candy pieces, too.

      Your best bet it is to scan it off a box of G&P, I think. When you’re done, you can send the box to me - full of course.

      Comment by Bill Brown on 1/22/08 at 4:27 pm #
    19. Black licorice is one of those things that people either love or hate. I am in the love category. My dad always ate it when I was growing up and I took to it right away.
      I remember for a short time in the 70s when they also made Good & Minty and Good & Hot candies. They did not last long.

      Comment by Victor Stapf on 4/15/08 at 7:24 am #
    20. Help us settle an argument. Which color is the ‘Good’ and which is the ‘Plenty’? I say there is no difference. My wife insists otherwise. There are an equal number of each on the box. And I can’t count the number on a box because I eat them too soon.

      Comment by Matt on 5/31/08 at 8:34 am #
    21. My Pastor wants to know if you sell any candy bars that can be sold as a Fund Raiser.
      Repectfully, Donna

      Comment by Donna on 6/25/08 at 4:50 pm #
    22. I tried a box of these recently and I decided I didn’t like them, despite liking licorice—I think the problem is that I ain’t all that crazy about the candy covering. I think the two together just get too overwhelmingly sweet.

      Well, at least I can cross “licorice pastels” off my list.

      Comment by doug on 7/27/08 at 6:21 pm #
    23. I bought some good and plenty on a trip to the states recently. Is there anywhere in Canada that carries this Candy???Its my fav!!

      Comment by lYNN on 3/27/09 at 3:06 pm #
    24. You can get Good n Plenty at a few drugstores, like London Drugs.  Also have seen Good n Fruity.

      Comment by Charlie on 9/16/09 at 10:42 am #
    25. I SWEAR there used to be a type of Good n Plenty with red licorice (maybe not the GnP brand)? Am I crazy? I remember them from when I was young and one day I just couldn’t find them anymore! I’ve searched everywhere on the internet and can’t find anything! They were my favorite! Someone tell me I’m not crazy!

      Comment by Kristi on 11/04/09 at 5:20 pm #
    26. I used to buy these candies when I was a kid but I’m sure they were called something else in Canada in the 60’s and maybe even early 70’s.  Please help…it’s driving me crazy

      Comment by Shanna on 4/06/10 at 9:11 am #
    27. Cybele's avatar

      Shanna - they’re called Goodies in Canada. They used to be a completely separate product but recently I’ve heard that Hershey’s replaced them with Good & Plenty but didn’t change the name.

      Comment by Cybele on 4/06/10 at 9:12 am #
    28. I love Good & Plenty and guess what - they changed their candy content!!!  The boxes up until now had licorice essence in them, and now the word “licorice’ is gone and you’ll see ‘anise’ almost at the very end of the content list.

      Good & Plenty USED to be good, but apparently now it is mostly sugar with hardly any licorice satisfaction whatsoever.  And if you eat, say, half a box, expect some diahhrea.

      Comment by pam on 10/29/10 at 8:22 am #
    29. During Chemo, I lost all taste in my mouth.  The only thing that I could taste was my favorite childhood candy - Good & Plenty!  I was hooked all over again.  Now my sister and I put it on our christmas list each year to celebrate!

      Comment by April Streeter on 12/09/10 at 2:22 pm #
    30. Always have loved G&P. I have a 7 yr. old child I know who I introduced them to. Well to my surprise she loved them too. We gave each other a box at Christmas.
      Good & Plenty is an all time Classic.

      Comment by Jim Shepard on 2/28/11 at 6:17 pm #
    31. Always been curious about licorice! I read about Pernod, an anise-flavored liqueur and based on your candy recommendations tried Good & Plenty. I enjoyed the slight molasses flavor that came through with the licorice and anise. However I think I shall have to go slow on cultivating my tastebuds; after four pellets I felt ill. Two a day is enough to satisfy for the moment! smile

      Comment by Aria on 7/18/11 at 12:30 pm #
    32. The REAL question is: did they change their recipe once Hershey bought them???? Personally, I think they did. Does anyone know…and if so, what were the changes? (Lemme guess…corn syrup?)

      Comment by Paddy on 11/17/11 at 3:32 pm #
    33. Cybele's avatar

      Paddy - they may have changed the formula, but what’s more likely is the process (how the candy shell is done) or sourcing cheaper ingredients.

      Corn Syrup has been part of their formula for at least 50 years. Here’s a box from the 60s. Corn syrup is pretty standard stuff and there’s nothing wrong with it ... it’s just glucose. (HFCS is something rather different when it comes to making candy.)

      Comment by Cybele on 11/17/11 at 3:39 pm #
    34. thanks for that! I’m convinced the candy and/or how the liqorice is made, has been changed. Literally, I ate my first G&P over 30years ago. I just bought a new box today and I thought….“ugh..something’s weird….”

      Comment by paddy on 11/17/11 at 3:43 pm #
    35. if i can get g&p fresh from the factory, can i get all pink ones. even though they’re not as good as they were when i was growing up, the pink ones had more sucking action back then, after sucking a while they went from pink to white, more of a sugar fix, now they go from pink to licorice, but still love them.

      Comment by vincent godino on 3/12/12 at 9:15 pm #
    36. I love Good & Plenty! Always been a black licorice fan. Just bought a box to snack on for the trip home from the beach and was shocked to discover EVERY piece was white! Is this a prize-winning million dollar box?! If M&M’s can do an all brown package…?!

      Comment by Michele on 5/27/12 at 3:53 pm #
    37. I am having a difficult time finding Good n Plenty candy at our local stores, Wal Mart, etc

      Comment by Rae Brown on 10/02/12 at 10:57 pm #
    38. A friend of mine claims that Good & Plenties were white and black, not pink and white, back in the ‘50’s. I told him he was wrong. Does anyone out there remember a time when they were not pink and white?

      Comment by Roger Gribi on 10/12/12 at 10:09 am #
    39. Good and Fruity…YUM. Eating some right now. smile I don’t know when they brought them back, but I’m on my second box, and I had one last year too. It is now 2012, so I don’t know if you guys know that they are back… And like Jim Kosmicki, I prefer them to Mike and Ikes. These are nice and tender, and fruity and flavorful through and through. Have their own texture, and they have kind of a cooling effect, too. Not like cheap jellybeans or anything… They sell them at my local grocery store, but I live in a village and the store isn’t a chain, it’s one and only by itself… it somehow connects to some other small/individual grocery stores, but I can’t say they sell the same products. Oh, and as for the flavors, David A. Spitzley… They’re Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Lime, and Blue Raspberry. All THE BEST. 6;
      Nevertheless, I wish you luck finding them, my friends! NOMNOM!!

      Comment by Mackrelmint on 11/29/12 at 4:24 pm #
    40. Oh, and as for Good and Plenty, (Eating some? Indeed I am.) they’re not so hard to find at all, where I live anyway… if you’re looking for them, I just suggest every place you can possibly find candy, because you really never know… I’ve gotten them at Target, but mostly get them in my local grocery store (see comment above), so I guess I just always get lucky…

      Comment by Mackrelmint on 12/02/12 at 9:06 am #
    41. Oh, and about my Good & Fruity comment.. I understand there is stuff being said about how they used to be candy-coated back in the day.. I understand your frustration, and would be absolutely thrilled if the came out with the original recipe again, though I myself wasn’t on Earth back in the day..:(
      And…. I love cheap jelly beans(but that is to be expected, for there is not a candy I do not love. wink)!!

      Comment by Mackrelmint on 12/24/12 at 9:53 pm #
    42. Growing up in New England in the early 50’s
      I used to buy Bolster Bars….No one today
      seems to know or remember them….Help! any info?

      Comment by Bill on 2/09/13 at 12:11 pm #
    43. Just had some courtesy of my son, appreciation gift from work.  I haven’t had in 30-40 years I’m guessing. I remember more molasses and anise, thinner coating.  Still good, but definitely miss the flavor if yesteryear!  Bring it back.

      Comment by E Dillard on 10/12/13 at 7:10 am #
    44. I need an answer.  Didn’t Good and Plenty make a penny licorice candy called “EATS”?

      Comment by Dorothy Gale Meyer on 11/30/13 at 6:19 am #
    45. well I would give anything to have a supply of Good & Hots.
      The cool hot white ones and the fiery hot red ones, both had a nice cinnamon gel strip inside.  I had a boring desk job and I would line them up in alternating colors inside my desk and parcel them out during the day
      anybody interested in hounding Good and Plenty to do a run?
      I notice they have taken all the hot cinnamon candy off most of the drug store shelves, not even Hot Tamales are common anymore.

      Comment by Nan on 4/30/14 at 9:51 am #
    46. I just came across your blog today after looking up 5th Avenue Bars and then came to one of MY favorite candies, i.e., Good And Plenty! I bought a box and had to throw the majority of it away as both the shell AND inside were too hard! (I’ve never done that before!)And Matt asked about which were which in name! Well… Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond had an answer for that! He said that the pink ones were the “Good” and the white ones were the “Plenty!” Why?? “Because there are more of them and they’re not as good!” He even had a name for the irregulars! “Cuties!” Ha! Hats off to you, Cybele!

      Comment by Kevin on 4/29/15 at 10:12 am #
    47. Went Dollar General to buy me some of my favorite candy ...Good & Plenty ...I opened the box up and what do I see… all of them were Pink not a white one in the bunch….What is going on here

      Comment by Rob Buttry on 9/11/15 at 5:42 am #
    48. I love the G&P. I did notice that pink ones have a different flavor as before. They were my favorite. My box had almost all white. I’m very curious to know if they are still made here in the states.

      Comment by Dotty Hoesly on 7/10/16 at 5:30 pm #
    49. Please-advise-where-I-can-purchase-GOOD-AND-PLENTY-in-Canada.

      Comment by Sandra on 9/13/16 at 5:10 pm #
    50. Microwave ‘em for about ten seconds, for a real treat!!!!

      Comment by Gregory Carter on 12/28/16 at 5:47 pm #
    51. Just bought a box of Good & Plenty, oldest candy in the U.S., right???
      LAST item written under the ingredients:
      Hilarious, ....I finished the whole box wink

      Comment by Richard on 2/02/17 at 7:42 pm #
    52. I love Good and Plenty. However for the last few months I have only been getting new boxes that contain very hard candies and i am not happy about this. These boxes are dated 04/17 and 07/17. I have purchased these hard candies at Kroger, Dollar General, Food Giant and Dollar Tree. Please tell me this is only a fluke

      Comment by James on 4/02/17 at 2:26 pm #
    Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

    Next entry: Poll Results - Movies & Summer Candies

    Previous entry: Skittles from the UK
















    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.


      For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

      Delivered by FeedBurner






    Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





    Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon


    Candy Season Ends

    -711 days

    Read previous coverage



    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
    •   Christmas
    •   Valentine's Day
    •   Easter




    These candies will be reviewed shortly: