Bub’s Daddy – A 70’s stick of bubble gum goodness.

If you weren’t around in the 1970’s, you might think that Bub’s Daddy is a strange name for bubble gum.  If you were around then, you’ll likely recognize it as a colorful mainstay from the candy shelves of memory.

Produced by Donruss, the earliest dated evidence of Bub’s Daddy I can find is a 1971 trade ad.  Trademark evidence points to Bub’s Daddy having a 1967 or 1968 release.

[Note: Trademark info for Bub’s Daddy shows a filing date of 2/2/1967 and a registration date of 1/30/1968.  Interestingly, the trademark shows as being renewed in 1988 and appears to currently be held by the Hershey Company.]

Donruss - Bub's Daddy bubble gum trade ad - 1971

I’ve speculated that Bowman’s BUB bubble gum could have been a predecessor to Bub’s Daddy, but this would appear to not be the case.  I can find no linkages between the brands or Bowman and Donruss.

Bowman - BUB bubble gum wrapper - 1950's - Courtesy Dan Goodsell

Bub’s Daddy was a popular product throughout the 1970’s and into the 1980’s, but if it lasted past that decade, I’ve found no proof of it.

Produced as a long cylindrical stick of gum, Bub’s Daddy made for a sharp package design. Unlike the softer gums that would follow, Bub’s Daddy took some work to start, so a stick could last a while.

Due to the kind of the plastic used, over time Bub’s Daddy wrappers tend to become brittle and easily damaged.  This has made surviving examples difficult to find.  Even so, a few full watermelon Bub’s Daddy display boxes have made their way to collectors, providing an ample source of at least one flavor wrapper.

Bub's Daddy Watermelon 10-cent display box - mid 70's - Courtesy Dan Goodsell

Bub's Daddy gum photo - Courtesy Tom Edler

Originally sold in five different flavors, one more would later be added to make it six.  Those first packs sported a printed-on 5-cent price, but would transition to 10-cents, before removing pricing from the wrappers entirely.

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Apple - 5-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - early 1970's

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Apple - 10-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - 1970's - Courtesy Dan Goodsell

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Apple un-priced pack wrapper partial - 1977 - Courtesy Dan Goodsell

My assumption with Bub’s Daddy wrappers is that the 5-cent packs came first, followed by the 10-cent variety, finally concluding with non-priced packages.  However, the cherry wrappers I’ve found make me question that.

The 5-cent variety has an all pink/red color scheme, while the 10-cent pack goes for a dramatically different yellow and crimson, leaving a non-priced package with the original colors.  I’d be surprised to see the packaging color scheme change, only to change back.  So I’m uncertain on precisely how the packaging evolved.

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Cherry - 5-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - 1970's

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Cherry - 10-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - 1970's - Courtesy Dan Goodsell

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Cherry - no-price bubble gum pack wrapper - 1970's - courtesy Dan Goodsell

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Grape - 5-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - 1970's

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Grape bubble gum pack wrapper partial - 1977 - courtesy Dan Goodsell

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Red Hot - 5-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - 1970's

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Red Hot - gum pack wrappers - 1975 and 1978 - courtesy Dan Goodsell

Donruss - Bub's Daddy Bubble Gum - Watermelon - candy gum package - 1970's

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Watermelon bubble gum 7-8 oz pack wrapper partial - 1977 - courtesy Dan Goodsell

The one flavor extension I’ve found evidence of is this fruit wrapper:

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Fruit- 10-cent bubble gum pack wrapper - 1977 - courtesy Dan Goodsell

The classic Bub’s Daddy design lasted until 1978 or 1979, when it was given an updated look that would seem to have carried it to the end of its run:

Bub's Daddy late-run wrapper partials - 1979-1984 - courtesy Dan Goodsell

Also coming from these later years of the brand is this display box top:

Donruss - Bub's Daddy - Grape 15-cent bubble gum display box lid - 1979 - courtesy Dan Goodsell

Donruss became a part of the Leaf company in 1984, and at least for a time after that Bub’s Daddy continued to be produced.

Though no longer around, I’m told that Donruss used this exact formula for their other big gum product Super Bubble.

Donruss - Super Bubble 2-cent bubble gum wrapper - 1970's

Super Bubble is still produced, so if you’re looking to recapture part of that Bub’s Daddy experience, or you’re curious as to what I’ve been talking about today, track some down.

Wrapping up today with a great image from at 1984 Leaf Brands trade ad.  [This was during a time when Leaf had merged with or acquired Switzer-Clark, Jolly Rancher, and Donruss – becoming one of the largest candy companies in the country.]  This image presents a fun gathering of these divergent brands:

Leaf - Bub's Daddy and more - trade ad - 1984

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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54 Responses to Bub’s Daddy – A 70’s stick of bubble gum goodness.

  1. Tom says:

    Bubs Daddy was another favorite, again because you could make it last so long. Apple was my favorite. I can still taste it.

    • Stacie says:

      I’ve submitted an inquiry with Hershey to find out whether they do hold the patent. Similarly, I’ve been looking for Bubs Daddy since the 80’s and ran across a woman from MD, while in FL this past week who was also trying to track it down. With such a widespread following, whoever holds the patent has an instant market with all of us. My grandfather used to buy this for my sister and me in the local general store in Wilson Creek, WA. We used to beg for it to be our Christmas gift. I loved the Red Hot version and completely forgot about it until reading this. Maybe we will all get lucky and someone will be smart enough to relaunch it!

      • D.Rome says:

        It’s on the market as super bubble, they bought the recipe from Hershey

        • Julie says:

          Well then Hershey’s marketing dept better get with it and start producing Bub’s Daddy rope gum the right way. The Super bubble sticks to my teeth now, but if they would make it the right way 🙂 again, I would buy it and not care if it stuck!! Come on, Hershey’s!! Here we are waiting!

  2. Diana says:

    Tis was so interesting to me. I loved that gum growing up and recently tried to find it in a nostalgic candy store -with no avail, unfortunately. Guess I’ll have to try the super bubble. Thanks for the history.

  3. Teresa Cangiano says:

    My friends and I would buy all the flavors of this gum.Watermelon,Green Apple,Cherry…At the Old Country Store in Union Park,Fl. all the time.The best soft gum ever..I wish we all could buy it again.The memories back then were so awesome.I went to Union Park Jr.High in Orlando,Florida and those times were special!

  4. Jozie says:

    I recently bought a watermelon gum that reminded me so much of the flavor of Bub’s Daddy. It brought back some sweet memories!
    Here’s a link to the web site so you can see what I’m referring to. It is called “Prism”
    http://www.wrigley.com/global/brands/5-gum.aspx

    • Neena says:

      I agree! I tried the Prism flavor of 5 gum just the other day and the first taste took me back to Bubs Daddy. So similar. But after you chew the 5 gum for awhile the taste changes a bit. Not quite the same.

      I wish they would bring Bubs Daddy back – would love to share this childhood memory with my kids.

      Choco-lite bars and Marathon bars too.

      • Kurt says:

        Marathon Bars….they last a good looooooong time!!!They were my favorite candy bar. I recall they had a ruler on the back of the package so you knew it was as long as they claimed it was. If we could only go back for a day or two….

  5. Fatal says:

    My mom absolutely hated it when I had a mouth full of apple bubs daddy. I swear she could smell it a block it away and would start with the “What is that smell?”.. Ahh.. the joy of being a kid and making your mom crazy.

    • Eddie says:

      That is to funny, my mom said the same thing. Apple was my favorite flavor. Wish I was a kid again. Memories like this are never forgotten.

      • Kurt says:

        So true. Just reading these comments nearly brought tears to my eyes. My friends parents and my parents hated those things, but as kids we loved em’. They would always tell us our teeth would fall out if we kept chewing those things. How wrong they were…I lost my teeth playing hockey. The joke is on you Mom!!! Such fantastic and wonderful memories. I will always cherish them.

        • Dave says:

          My mom said the same thing about apple Bubs Daddy! She hated the smell. It was incredible gum. There still isn’t a gum out there that compares. Loved all the flavors. Oh if I could go back…C’mon Hershey’s!

      • Dennis says:

        My mom did too! She hated the Apple but the watermelon guaranteed an immediate “spit that gum out right now. It really stinks!” So of course my favorite was the watermelon! LOL.

        • Michelle says:

          My dad used to tell us it smelled like vomit and to chew it outside! I loved Apple, Watermelom, and Grape! Red Hot not so much!!!

  6. vicky hetrick says:

    I wish someone would get one of the companies to make it again they would be a instant hit at any price……

  7. Bill says:

    I loved Bub’s Daddy water melon and grape! I so miss them!!!!

    • Tiki Gatewood says:

      Grape and apple was my favorite. My girlfriends and I would try to get the whole piece in our mouth. It was impossible to do but fun trying. I’d give anything for the candy store where I lived as a child to reopen so I could get penny cookies and bubs daddy!!

  8. Tom Parker says:

    the corner sweet shop in cranford, NJ had the best bubs daddy in 1967. pleez sell it again………..timmy claire sold it.

  9. Tom Parker says:

    the penny shop in cranford NJ sold bubs daddy and the blue satellite gum balls as well in 1968 near the train station.

  10. Donna Martin says:

    I really wish that u would brig this gum back! I think the kids today would like it as much as i did!! it would be a BIG SALE if u did. It had a great taste & lasted a log time! Please think about bringing it back!!!!! Thank u!!!!!!

  11. Donna Martin says:

    P.S. I liked the Watermelon & Apple the best!!!!

  12. Kurt says:

    I absolutely LOVED reading these comments. I could still taste the gum the second I saw those wrappers. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. I was in elementary and jr. high in the 1970’s, and the memories are great. In elementary school when it was someones b-day, they would always bring in two boxes or so of Bubs Daddy’s to share with the class. I clearly recall riding our bikes up to the Tom Thumb store in our neighborhood to buy Bubs Daddy’s and Marathon Candy Bars. It was a much simpler time back then. Just wonderful, wonderful, memories that I will cherish forever.

    • Mark says:

      I agree with you , Kurt. I remember the
      Bub’b Daddy like it was yesterday. My older
      cousin and I liked it; I particulary remember
      the green apple. I loved it. I also miss the
      Charms pops in lemon and lime. Those have gone by the wayside as well. Wouldn’t it be
      great to go back for a day? I miss my grandmas and everything then. Childhood for
      me was great. My mother and I reminisce
      all the time about how it was then. It will
      never be the same again.

    • Laureen Edelstein says:

      Kurt…Thom Thumb….hmmm…..This wouldn’t happen to be a Kurt that went to Grace Chapel? Would it? I came upon this looking for BUBS DADDY. The memories of passing it out at school on someone’s Birthday…SPOT ON!! btw, my name then was Laurie V.

  13. Judy D'Andrea says:

    I agree with all the comments. I was in elementary school and one of friends would stop at the corner store everyday and get Bub’s Daddy, and it didn’t matter what flavor. Then she would try to put the whole stick in her mouth. She was the go to person for candy. On field trip days, she would bring in a small brown bag filled with nothing but penny candy’s, you name it she had it. My mother hated the watermelon flavor smell. She would smell it blocks away. While she was washing dishes I would stand there chewing this gum. I love it and miss it as well. Great Gum! I visited this candy place in Cleveland, Ohio who claims they have the old candy, and this was not one of them. In fact, a worker told me, they didn’t make this gum anymore in the United States, she thought Canada. I wish also the gum would come back. Great memories.

  14. Gary Cotroneo says:

    Please bring back Bubs Daddy so we can share its awesomeness with our kids! There is no gum like it……whoever brings it back will make a killing !

  15. Andrea Smith says:

    I remember this bubble gum well! I just don’t remember that name, but it was a long time ago. I would go to the newsstand with my Dad every Sunday morning, and I remember picking this out a lot! Don’t remember all those flavors either. I remember the red hot & grape & maybe the fruit.

  16. Randy Perkins says:

    The 70’s Jake’s Jolly Cone, Anderson, California.

  17. Stacie Hill says:

    I contacted Hershey about a year ago to inquire as to whether they held the patent or owned the recipe. They indicated they do not have either.

    I say we all get together, raise some funds, buy the recipe and rights and start making it again. It would have to be a hit since so many of us still yearn for it!

  18. Tracie says:

    Would wish they would bring this gum back watermelon was my faviort then cherry and grape I heard hubba bubba bought the rights to it who ever has it bring it back

  19. Jerry says:

    I vividly remember chewing Bub’s Daddy when I was in the 3rd grade, which was the 1968-1969 school year. It quickly became my favorite gum. It was a challenge to get a whole piece in your mouth, but my friends and I were up to that challenge! The green apple was my favorite flavor. No need to wonder about the pricing; the nickel price came first – practically all gum cost a nickel for decades; then the price went up to a dime during the sugar shortage of the early 1970s. Inflation has been the rule ever since, with higher prices and smaller products. Those were the days!

  20. Jennifer McCormick says:

    My mother worked for Bub’s Daddy back in the 60’s. I was too young to remember but my cousins said that when we came to Arkansas to visit them, she would bring a garbage bag full of Bub’s Daddy gum. They were so excited everytime. They told everyone that their aunt made candy.

  21. Mark says:

    Yes, Jerry..green apple was my favorite as well. What was neat was that there
    were so many flavors to choose from..and the flavor seemed to last quite a while.
    My older cousin loved it and I probably chewed it just because she did and it was
    the in thing!!

  22. Scot says:

    I remember riding my bicycle to the closest general store with my quarter in my pocket to buy my 5 bubs daddy sticks. My favorite flavor was watermelon. What a great piece of gum. What a shame it’s not still produced for the kids today.

  23. Misfit Mom says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! You are awesome! I have actually been searching the internet for awhile to find anything on Bub’s Daddy. This was my ABSOLUTE, ALL-TIME FAV gum! There was a little market on the corner by my house where they had Bub’s daddy. We’d walk down there all the time to get some! The grape was my favorite. Oh, seeing these pictures brings back a lot of memories!!! Thanks for the heads-up on the Super Bubble. I’m going to try to find it, but do you have a link at all???? Thanks so much again!!!!

  24. Julie S says:

    For a while now I thought it was all a dream; the mile long rope of Bub’s Daddy gum. Okay it wasn’t a mile, but the best gum ever did exist. In summer I would ride my bike to Ted’s. Ted’s was this teeny tiny store (and I mean walk-in closet type small) by the lake that had everything (Everything!) including my gum. Watermelon and apple were my favorites. I can still taste it…

  25. Veronica West says:

    It’s so funny to see these comments! I keep telling my kids about how great it was to be able to ride your bikes around the neighborhood & play & not have to be home until the streetlights came on. How we would make up games, outside of all things, no computers, “arcaic” video games, tv shows had a schedule & tv went off at a certain time every night! We use to go to the bike shop, of course run by the cutest bike riders & skaters, and in the back was literally a closet full of candy. You could go in with a little bit of change and come out with a brown bag full of gum & candy! The watermelon gum ropes!!! Yes!!! Whenever it was someone’s bday at school, we would get a bag of candy to share with them! Such little coin brought so much happiness! I wish my kids could have the same experience! What fun, what memories!

  26. Neena says:

    I have been trying to explain to my kids about Bubs Daddy Gum but could not do it justice. These pictures bring back such great memories. They always had the ropes of this gum draped near the registers at our local FoodLand. I wish they would bring it back – whoever has the recipe please come forward!

  27. Monica says:

    Was this gum turquois in color when chewed? If so I think this is the gum I remember buying as a child in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s that was so good.

  28. Julie says:

    That’s the one. Several flavor were different colors.

  29. Elaine says:

    The ones I got never changed colors

  30. Mark says:

    The gum didn’t change colors; but different flavors came in different colors. I remember
    my favorite; green apple. It,of course, was green. I loved that gum.

  31. Stacie says:

    I believe the grape may have turned blue when chewed. It came as a long skinny roll about a foot long, and a bit thicker than a tootsie roll.

  32. David Peters says:

    After my paper route collections in Indianapolis in ’72-73 I would head to Binkley’s for a cherry coke fountain drink, a Zero bar and Bub’s Daddy gum. The two gas stations on the corner were selling gas for 29.9 cents per gallon during the gas wars.

  33. Julie says:

    That’s a wonderful memory to have.

  34. Elaine says:

    I loved the re wd hot flavor I used to buy it everyday before school.

  35. William says:

    So glad to have finally found a web page with info about this gum. Today’s kids will have every conceivable thing they ever did or saw cataloged online for them when they get old enough to be nostalgic. Not so for us 70’s kids and earlier decades. Many of life’s little gems have been lost to time, including Bub’s Daddy. I couldn’t even be sure I was remembering the name correctly. I just remembered it being in tube form and coming in intense watermelon, grape, and cherry. I had forgotten the red hot version. I too bought it at a small gas station in my little hamlet where I went to school. Maybe they only marketed to small gas stations? Anyway, walking there at lunch time in high school and buying some or getting some from older kids in elementary school was a treat that I never realized would be short lived. Before long, Hubba Bubba and Bubblicious dominated the market and Bub’s Daddy disappeared completely. I too wish someone enterprising would bring it back for at least a limited time so that we could indulge our taste buds again with something that reminds us of the best parts of our childhood.

    • Sharon says:

      There’s nothing like getting caught chewing bub’s Daddy cinnamon bubble gum at school and the teacher making you put it on your nose….. who cares I chewed it every day back then in Kingston Pennsylvania and later in Waverly New York…. but who was the competitor who made the flat version of the gum? Also who made the yellow banana flavored gum in baseball cards???

  36. KD says:

    I loved Bubs daddy bubblegum! I lived in a small town in California’s Central Valley and Bubs daddy gum was sold at the local liquor store. I remember walking with my cousin barefoot to buy this long rope of the best bubblegum ever! In the late 1960’s I would have a nickel earned from cashing in a pop bottle and Bubs daddy gave me a lot of gum for the price! The only flavor I remember is the fruit flavor and the giant bubbles I could blow. We would have bubble blowing contests and Bubs daddy beat Boozka hands down! How I miss those days gone by.

  37. Brian Myers says:

    Love all the comments guys. The Prism gum is sugar free. No way could it be like bubs daddy. I remember bubs daddy having tiny little sugar cubes and a slight gritty texture until you get it going. I assume from the sugar crystals. The flavor didn’t last as long as the new fake sugar-free guns but, I do remember it lasting as long or longer than others of that time period. I have tried “Super Bubble” in my option it’s close but not quite a perfect match. That could be nostalgia talking but it’s off a little. I would definitely add my name to the list of people that would buy a 2016 version of the original formula. In my option I think that there are numerous people willing to invest in a start-up for a chance to buy the real thing. Keep us posted. I’ll check back periodically to see if any of your readers has any new news. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  38. PJ says:

    Back in the early 70’s my friends and I would ride our bikes to a little store called Farm Fresh located in Belleville Il. and load up with Bubs Daddy. There was something about the awesome flavors, that I couldn’t stop chewing it. We would chew the whole sticks while riding our bikes and playing baseball. Great memories. Been looking for it ever since. Cherry and Apple were my favorites but Grape was right up there.

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