From out of the 70’s – Deran’s Caramel Wilds!

CC_Derans Wilds TITLE PLATE

Back in the 1970’s the Deran Confectionery Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts had a line of flavored caramels sold under the name Wilds.   Deran’s Wilds disappeared from store shelves decades ago but today I’m happy to be presenting CollectingCandy.com’s exclusive coverage of them  – you won’t find anything written about these anywhere else online.  So let’s get to it and take a look at a sweet treat not seen since the 1970’s: Deran’s Wilds!

The earliest evidence I have of Deran’s Wilds comes from a 1972 candy trade ad.

Borden - Deran Confectionery - Meet the newest star - candy trade magazine advertisement - August 1972

Borden – Deran Confectionery – Meet the newest star – candy trade magazine advertisement – August 1972

Sold under their parent company Borden, Deran showcases a number of flavors here and it’s notable that “Wilds” is one of a few names utilized for them.  So you have Cherry and Grape Wilds but also Banana Splits and Mint Juleps.  Even though those other names are used, I consider the Wilds name to encompass the entire flavored caramel lineup.

Also of note from this first trade ad is that upon close examination it’s evident that the packages sport a different company name – Hildreth’s.  My guess is that Deran had only recently acquired the product lineup or that Borden had folded Hildreth’s operations and brands into Deran Confectionery:

Deran - Hildreth's Caramels Mint Julep - candy trade ad close-up - August 1972

Deran – Hildreth’s Caramels Mint Julep – candy trade ad close-up – August 1972

Deran released a follow-up advertisement to the candy trade just a few months later, showcasing two new flavors; Chocolate Wilds and Apple Sours.  By this point, the Hildreth’s name had been replaced by Deran’s on the packages:

Borden - Deran Confectionery - the flavors kids have been waiting for - candy trade magazine advertisement - November 1972

Borden – Deran Confectionery – the flavors kids have been waiting for – candy trade magazine advertisement – November 1972

I don’t recall trying Deran’s Wilds when I was a kid so I can’t say exactly what they were like but I assume they were a similar product and a competitor to the likes of Now & Later and even Starbust fruit chews.

I’m fortunate to have two wrapper examples to showcase today, coincidentally enough they are the pair of Wilds flavors introduced in that previous ad; Chocolate and Apple:

Borden - Deran - Chocolate Wilds - artificially flavored caramels - cellophane candy wrapper - 1976

Borden – Deran – Chocolate Wilds – artificially flavored caramels – cellophane candy wrapper – 1976

The next wrapper is for the apple flavor and it should be noted that in the 1972 trade ad, these were called Apple Sours but by the time this wrapper came out, the name changed to Sour Apple Wilds:

Borden - Deran - Sour Apple Wilds - artificially flavored caramels - cellophane candy wrapper - 1976

Borden – Deran – Sour Apple Wilds – artificially flavored caramels – cellophane candy wrapper – 1976

It’s always fascinating and fun to uncover a product like this, one that was around for a number of years but has since been almost entirely forgotten and whose history had seemingly been lost to time.

It appears that Necco (maker of Necco Wafers and so much more) acquired most or all of the assets of Deran at some point, as they currently produce Mighty Malts, which are also a former Deran Confectionery product.  Maybe Necco has more information on Wilds somewhere in their vaults?

Does anyone out there remember Deran’s (or Hildreth’s) Wilds?  If you do, please leave a comment as I’d love to hear what you thought of them.

For now, that’s all I have to share on this flavorful treat from out of the 1970’s – Deran’s Wilds!

See you next time!

CC_Deran's Wilds closing image B

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+
This entry was posted in 1970's and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to From out of the 70’s – Deran’s Caramel Wilds!

  1. Cheryl says:

    I remember the Mint Julep, Grape, and Banana WILDS. I have been searching for years trying to remember who made them. I loved the Mint Juleps, they are totally different from the current nostalgia taffy’s sold now. Thanks for providing this information.. I just wish I could find this product again.. brings back memories when I was a little girl in Chicago.

  2. OMG, I finally came across The Banana Split Wilds do you know where I can purchase them, these were my favorite!!!

  3. Mike Weaver says:

    I remember Grape Wilds. They sold them at the concession stand at our community pool back in the early 70’s. The sort of remind me of the current Starburst Fruit Chews, but not as strong. My brother and I loved them…although my brother did have an “incident” which involved eating about 4 packs of Grape Wilds and doing a belly flop in the pool. I would love to be able to get some now if only to give to my brother as a gag gift.

  4. Ron says:

    I used to work at Derans in 1972. I remember they would let you eat the candy as you worked. I couldn’t believe it! As a teenager I thought I died and went to heaven. They were smart though; after a day or two eating my fill, I couldn’t stand the sight of peanut clusters or any candy. They knew it would “cure” you fast if they just let you go ahead and eat to your fill.

  5. Angela says:

    Wow!!!! Wilds were the absolute best candies of that time, so chewy and flavorful. I loved all of the flavors except mint and chocolate. They beat “Now and Laters” by a long shot. Do they still make them at all and if so where can they be purchased?

  6. Jill Zschetzsche says:

    Can you tell me if you still make the Thin mints?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *