The Return of A&W and Hawaiian Punch gum! Plus: The Secret History of Hawaiian Punch Candy!

CC_Hawaiian Punch and A&W Gum TITLE PLATE

Starting just over a year ago, Wrigley began introducing new beverage-inspired flavors to it’s Hubba Bubba lineup.   The first two to land in stores were Hubba Bubba Dr. Pepper and Hubba Bubba Orange Crush.  Now arriving early in 2014 are the new Hubba Bubba A&W Root Beer and Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch flavors.  Today we’ll take a look at those as well as a few earlier confectionery releases that carried these classic beverage brand names!

I’d like to start off by looking at Hubba Bubba’s A&W Root Beer flavor.  It’s great to see this as a gum flavor again as it was famously part of Amurol’s liquid-filled gum lineup from the early 1980′s:

Aumurol's 1980's beverage-inspired gum line

Amurol’s 1980′s beverage-inspired gum lineup [Slush Puppie gum is from a bit later.]

The new release is a soft chunk bubblegum, unlike its liquid-filled predecessor.  The new wrapper features the current A&W stylized logo as well as the Hubba Bubba beverage style packaging:

A&W Root Beer Hubba Bubba - old-school background

A&W Root Beer Hubba Bubba – old-school background

A&W Root Beer gum packs - new and old stacked

A&W Root Beer gum packs – new and old stacked

A&W Root Beer gum packs - new and old

A&W Root Beer gum packs – new and old

Here’s a look at both the 1980′s Amurol A&W wrapper as well as the new Hubba Bubba version:

Amurol - A&W Root Beer liquid center bubble gum pack wrapper - 1983

Amurol – A&W Root Beer liquid center bubble gum pack wrapper – 1983

Wrigley - Hubba Bubba A&W Root Beer - bubble gum candy wrapper - February 2014

Wrigley – Hubba Bubba A&W Root Beer – bubble gum candy wrapper – February 2014

A&W is a natural brand to find its way into the world of confection and I have a few other pieces in my collection from previous A&W candy releases.  The first is from Ferrara Pan:

Ferrara Pan - A&W Root Beer candy box - early 1980's

Ferrara Pan – A&W Root Beer candy box – early 1980′s

Next up are a pair of individual candy wrappers featuring the A&W brand.  The first would have likely held a classic root beer barrel hard candy:

A&W - Root Beer Barrel - cellophane candy wrapper - 1980's

A&W – Root Beer Barrel – cellophane candy wrapper – 1980′s

This next comes from Glenn Candies – folks best known for their wax confections like wax lips and their Wowee Whistles.  Unlike the other pieces I’m showing today, which feature the A&W Root Beer flavor, this one is for an A&W Cream Soda-flavored treat:

Glenn Candies - A&W Cream Soda - individual candy wrapper - 1980's

Glenn Candies – A&W Cream Soda – individual candy wrapper – 1980′s

I would like to note that Brach’s has released A&W branded root beer barrels candy in recent years, though I have none in my collection.

The last piece of A&W candy I have to share today is a root beer flavored lollipop that was given out at an A&W restaurant a pal of mine visited a couple of years ago.  While this is a very recent item, the cellophane wrapper sports a 1976 copyright date – so my guess is that these have been produced as an in-store giveaway for decades.  The wrapper features the A&W mascot “Rooty” or The Great Root Bear as he is formally referred to:

A&W restaurant in-store lollipop

A&W restaurant in-store lollipop

Now on to the new release of Hawaiian Punch branded gum!

Hawaiian Punch is a classic fruit drink brand and one I recall fondly enjoying during my youth.   Here are a pair of vintage can labels I have in my nostalgic packaging collection:

Hawaiian Punch - fruit juicy red - can label - 1970's

Hawaiian Punch – fruit juicy red – can label – 1970′s

Hawaiian Punch - Fruit Juicy Red can label - 1970's

Hawaiian Punch – Fruit Juicy Red can label – 1970′s

Similar to the story of Hubba Bubba’s A&W flavor, Hawaiian Punch-flavored bubble gum has seen earlier releases from other manufacturers.  In this case, there was a Hawaiian Punch flavor of Bubble Yum in the early 1990′s.  Here’s a look at the new Hubba Bubba version as well as two different packs of the earlier Bubble Yum variety:

Hawaiian Punch Hubba Bubba - Bubble Yum background

2014′s Hawaiian Punch Hubba Bubba with 1991′s Hawaiian Punch Bubble Yum background

Hawaiian Punch gum packs - new and old stacked

Hawaiian Punch gum packs – new and old stacked

Hawaiian Punch gum packs - new and old

Hawaiian Punch gum packs – new and old

It’s great to see Hawaiian Punch back on a big soft-chunk brand of bubble gum.  The 1990′s Bubble Yum packs are some of my favorites from that era, so this is a welcome return.

Here’s a look at a flat wrapper for one of the 1990′s Bubble Yum packs and the new Hubba Bubba:

Planters-Lifesavers - Bubble Yum Hawaiian Punch Fruit Punch - NEW - bubble gum candy wrapper - 1990

Planters-Lifesavers – Bubble Yum Hawaiian Punch Fruit Punch – NEW – bubble gum candy wrapper – 1990

Wrigley - Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch - bubble gum candy wrapper - February 2014

Wrigley – Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch – bubble gum candy wrapper – February 2014

As we covered some of A&W’s other confectionery history, so we can also do with Hawaiian Punch and starting with a bubblegum release from Amurol.

Hawaiian Punch was not a part of Amurol’s early 80′s liquid-filled gum lineup, but as shown here, they did get their hands on the license in the later 1990′s with this candy-coated bubblegum product:

Amurol - Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red Bubble Gum - bubblegum candy package - 1990's

Amurol – Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red Bubble Gum – bubblegum candy package – 1990′s

More recently, there have been Hawaiian Punch jelly beans sold under the Brach’s name:

Farley's & Sathers - Brach's - Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans - 11oz candy package - 2012

Farley’s & Sathers – Brach’s – Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans – 11oz candy package – 2012

Farley's & Sathers - Brach's - Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans - 6oz candy package - 2013

Farley’s & Sathers – Brach’s – Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans – 6oz candy package – 2013

As you can see, Hawaiian Punch has had a few crossovers into candy over the years.  But I promised you a secret history of Hawaiian Punch candy and I saved that golden nugget until the very end.

This last Hawaiian Punch candy item is one that may have never been produced, as the only evidence I have for its existence comes from an ad agency concept board.  I’ve never found this product mentioned anywhere else.

This advertising board [actually a photographic slide of it] was uncovered by my Flickr contact Jordan Smith and posted under his The Pie Shops Collection account – it dates all the way back to the late 1960′s:

RJ Reynolds Foods - Hawaiian Punch candy bar advertising concept board - circa 1968 - Image Source: The Pie Shops Collection

RJ Reynolds Foods – Hawaiian Punch candy bar advertising concept board – circa 1968 – Image Source: The Pie Shops Collection

The concept board describes the Hawaiian Punch candy bar as “A double candy bar, the color and flavor of red Hawaiian Punch and the consistency of taffy, on a cardboard tray in a glassine wrapper.”  Sounds pretty cool!

Does anyone remember this unusual Hawaiian Punch candy bar actually coming out?  If you do, leave a comment or e-mail.

And that’s everything I’ve got to share today on the return of A&W and Hawaiian Punch bubble gum!

See you next time!

Old and New Hawaiian Punch and A&W Root Beer gum packs - perspective

Old and New Hawaiian Punch and A&W Root Beer gum packs – closing image

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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One Response to The Return of A&W and Hawaiian Punch gum! Plus: The Secret History of Hawaiian Punch Candy!

  1. Brandon says:

    Awesome post! I love all the Punchy stuff especially.

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