Have you ever thought to yourself how cool it might be to have a candy named after you? Imagine, for example, how proud Ruth Cleveland, daughter of the 22nd POTUS, Grover, must have felt when she grew up and found out the Baby Ruth bar was named after her.  

Then there’s Clara “Tootsie” Hirshfield who had the Tootsie Roll – second only to the Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll on our list of delicious rolls – named after her.

Ah, but then there’s the story of Salvatore Ferrara II, grandson of Ferrara Candy Company founder Salvatore Ferrara I. It seems that when Salvatore was born, he had to be helped along by a pair of forceps. When his father, Nello Ferrara, who invented Atomic FireBalls at Ferrara Pan Candy Company took a look at little Sal’s temporarily misshapen head, he suddenly got an idea of what he wanted to name the new candy he was working on – and that’s how LemonHeads got their name.  Poor little Sal was stuck with that story his whole life until his death in 2014 at age 64. Not exactly a Baby Ruth moment, but we digress. He took it in great stride however, even once naming a boat he owned “Lemonhead”.

Nello Ferrara & his son, Sal “Lemonhead” Ferrara II

First introduced by the Ferrara Candy Company in 1962, LemonHeads are a round, lemon-flavored candy with a sugar sweet coating, a soft, sour shell, and a hard candy core.  The candy was made the same way as their 1962 Red Hots brand using the cold panned process where layer upon layer of sugars and flavorings are added until the candy reaches the desired shape.

LemonHeads’ candy flavoring includes real lemon juice because that’s what gives them their “Real Lemon Pucker Power”.  Like their cousins, the Atomic Fireballs, they’re made in the 1 cm size that come in a box and the individually wrapped 3 cm. size. Ferrara makes about 500 million Lemonheads annually.

After the invention of LemonHeads, Ferrara made a variety of other similar fruit flavored candies like Alexander the Grape, the oh-so-not-politically correct Cherry Chan/Cherry Clan, and Johnny Apple Treats). However, some time in the late 80’s or early 90’s, Ferrara Pan, as the company is now known, decided to combine all of the fruits under the same (Insert Fruit Here)Head name. These include GrapeHeads, CherryHeads, and AppleHeads, as well as the same flavors available in a “chewy” LemonHeads candy version.

They are also being made in a new gummie version because as Ferrara Candy’s CEO Todd Siwak recently said “We are seeing a desire in millennials for cherry gummie candy, especially with sour, sweet, and intense flavors.”  However, traditionalist shouldn’t worry just yet as LemonHeads and their fruity brothers and sisters are still being made the same way they always have been since 1962. And you can still find them just about anywhere.

Life as a LemonHead is not always easy, however, because as one would expect from lemons, sometimes things can get a bit sour. For example, when Ferrara was doing television for LemonHeads ads back in the 80’s, all of the commercials centered on some sort of sports theme. However, when a player would make a mistake, a baseball player strikes out for example, his teammates would say something like “Way to go, you LemonHead!”  This was not taken well by the anti-bullying campaigns at the time and eventually the commercials changed their message by featuring star athletes alongside the LemonHead mascot.

And speaking of mascots, the company decided to rebrand the LemonHead mascot in 2014. Gone was the boyish-looking lemon-headed youngster that had graced LemonHeads packaging since its inception. In its place was a mature-looking 3-D anthropomorphic lemon that just kind of creeped everybody out. Some even went so far as to call it “terrifying”.  Fortunately, the good people at Ferrara Pan came to their senses and have since returned to its two-dimensional cartoon mascot.

God help us all!

More trouble came in 2017 when Ferrara  paid out a settlement of $2.5 million dollars to customers who filed a lawsuit against them for fraud, claiming that the opaque packaging made it look like they were getting more delicious LemonHeads than they actually were. Ferrara lost and along with paying the settlement, agreed to modify their quality control procedures.

Again, life isn’t all sour for the LemonHead, however. Apparently, the candy is also sometimes taken for medicinal purpose. For example, pregnant women swear by  LemonHeads, claiming that they help relieve the nausea caused by morning sickness. Likewise, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are given LemonHeads to promote salivation, as some of the side effects of the treatment are extreme thirst causing an even more extreme dry mouth and throat.

All of this has us thinking. You know, maybe all of this time Forrest Gump was wrong. Maybe life isn’t really like a box of chocolates. Maybe it’s really like a box of LemonHeads – sometimes its sweet, other times sour, but it’s all good for you in the end.

And speaking of good things, when’s the last time you stopped at your nearest Stuckey’s location and had one of our delicious and oh so good Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls? Why not plan a quick trip soon to pick up a few for home? While you’re there, grab all you need to fill up your candy dishes like our savory flavored pecans or Stuckey’s Toffee assortment. Don’t forget our deliciously mouthwatering Pecan Divinity Bars, Pecan Pralines, or Milk Chocolate Turtles, too.

In addition to our pecan log rolls and other fine pecan candies, other Stuckey’s merchandise like our branded Stuckey’s t-shirts, caps and mugs always make the perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Stop by your local Stuckey’s today or visit our website, stuckeys.com, for more information on how you can have Stuckey’s delivered right to your front door.

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