Zotz – Where the fizz still is.

Zotz - Where the fizz izz - promo sticker - 1970's 1980's

I have clear memories of Zotz candy from when I was a kid, both the packaging and the confectionery experience it contained.  The Zotz name and logo was like a comic book sound effect, and it accurately described the exclamation of eating one.  Years before Pop Rocks would arrive on the scene, Zotz was the first candy that made me suspect that some strange science was at work inside.  You see, this sour candy actually created a kind of fizzing when you ate it.

Zotz - Orange wrappers - 1970's

I received a brief description of the history of Zotz from the manufacturer:

The original Zotz Fizz Power Candies were introduced in 1968. Within one year they had quickly become the hottest selling kids candy in the business. What made Zotz unique was the flavored fizz center, kids found the effervescent center irresistible.   [Zotz is a high quality hard candy manufactured by G.B. Ambrosoli. G.B. Ambrosoli is wholly owned and operated by the Ambrosoli family in Como Italy since 1920.]

One of the coolest vintage Zotz pieces I’ve come across as a collector is this larger foil pack, which appears to have held a variety of Zotz candies inside.  Made of foil, it is unlike the typical plastic packaging I’ve encountered and features fun Zotz mascot characters I’ve never seen anywhere else:

Zotz - Fizzzz Power Candy - Lemon, Cherry, Orange - foil package - 1970's

Tracking down vintage Zotz packaging pieces has proven to be especially challenging, likely due to the fact that it’s tough to get to the candy inside without tearing up the wrapper along the way.  So, I don’t have any more vintage pieces in my own collection.

I do have this fun series of promotional stickers for Zotz, likely released in the 1970’s:

Vintage Zotz promotional stickers - 1970's

Clipped from a 1987 Zotz promotional flyer, here are some great images of items from the era.  My favorite is Zotz Dragon Babies:

Zotz - Dragon Babies news clipping. Color image courtesy Andre Prost Inc.

Zotz Pops - 1987 - Courtesy Andre Prost Inc.

Zotz Power Pack - 1987 - Courtesy Andre Prost Inc.

Lotz-A-Zotz - 1987 - Courtesy Andre Prost Inc.

Zotz Strings - 1987 - Courtesy Andre Prost Inc.

I do have one example of 1990’s Zotz packaging, which comes to me from fellow collector Dan Goodsell.  Looking similar to the 1980’s packs pictured above – this one has alternating flavors:

Zotz - candy strip - early 1990's - Courtesy Dan Goodsell

Zotz are still available, and still sold in packaging much like they were when I was growing up.   Here’s a set of six flavor packs I picked up last year:

Zotz current package examples - 2011

A strip of candies, each in its own compartment, and each strip a unique flavor – Zotz are still the same great confectionery treat they always have been.   A new Blue Raspberry flavor was recently added, so I’ll be looking for this one to try soon:

Zotz flavor assortments and new Blue Raspberry - Courtesy Andre Prost Inc

If you’re in the mood for some Zotz or have never tried them and are curious, you can typically find them at specialty candy stores.  They are also available online:

 

 

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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4 Responses to Zotz – Where the fizz still is.

  1. Holmes! says:

    These are probably my favorite candy; I’ve got a couple of strings of ‘em here at my desk as I type. If I’m remembering right, the Zotz Power Packs were great; they were just the fizzy part, without the candy shell, right? They were shaped like chow mein noodles, delightful little fizzy worms of goodness. I wish they still made ‘em, though it kind of gives me a stomachache to contemplate!

    Love the blog!

  2. Tom Smith says:

    Ha! I sold this candy in middle school around 1970 for a couple of years. Very popular and my markup was huge! Then I got to high school and switched to pot. Made even more!

  3. hold says:

    I do believe that in the last few months ZotZ candy has been changed to a bigger size with more fizzy goodness in the middle!

  4. ZotZ Columbus Ohio says:

    I love ZotZ!

    When I was young growing up in Adrian, Michigan, I’d beg my parents to buy the ZotZ Exploding Pops every time we went to Arbor Drugs(Now CVS Pharmacy). I’m now almost thirty and live in Ohio. I was recently surprised to find these at the Fudge Haus in front of Scmidt’s Sausage Haus in Columbus, Ohio. I picked up one of each flavor along with some other classics from the nice selection they had there. They even had homemade candy. Yum! As I was sitting here enjoying an Orange ZotZ, I decided to search the web for info on ZotZs and found this page. Ahh Nostalgia at it’s finest. I enjoyed the article, thank you!

    Also, If you’ve never been to the restaurant Schmidt’s and enjoy German food/Atmosphere or sausage, please, do yourself a favor and go!

    @hold -It does seem like the candy is bigger. Seems to fizz forever. I remember when Bottle Caps used to Fizz. Now, they just taste like lame SweeTarts :(

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