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.]
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.
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.
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.
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.
The one flavor extension I’ve found evidence of is this fruit wrapper:
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:
Also coming from these later years of the brand is this display box top:
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.
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: