Heide’s Red Hot Dollars!

CC_Red Hot Dollars TITLE PLATE

Back in January I covered the Heide confectionery classic Mexican Hats, and today I’d like to share a similar look back at another Heide favorite, and one that can still be found today; Red Hot Dollars!

Red Hot Dollars were introduced to the marketplace nearly a century ago, in 1925 or 1926 by the Henry Heide company.   Though the original company was sold long ago (first to Hershey, then to Farley’s and Sathers, which is now a part of Ferrara Pan) all Heide products still retain their original distinctive red-diamond branding.

It might be unexpected to learn that Red Hot Dollars are not, in fact, a cinnamon or hot-flavored candy — at least they didn’t start out that way.   For most of their 90-year history, Red Hot Dollars have been a raspberry flavored gummi-type confection.  The name came from the term “red hot”, which in the 1920′s was a slang for something that was new and popular.   So the name was not associated with the raspberry flavor and in recent decades that may have caused a little consumer confusion.

I was able to find a few early examples of Red Hot Dollars packaging in the archives of the U. S. Trademark Office.

This first one is stamped “1925″ so this would have been found on the very first Red Hot Dollars display boxes (it would appear that these were sold in bulk at 2 for 1-cent):

Heides - Red Hot Dollars - candy display tag label - 1925 - Source US TEademark Archives

Heide’s – Red Hot Dollars – candy display tag label – 1925 – Source U.S. Trademark Office Archives

The next two pieces from the USTO Archives come from the 1950′s and 1960′s [Note that in 30 years, the price had not changed]:

Heides - Red Hot Dollars - candy display tag label - 1954 - Source US Trademark Office Archives

Heide’s – Red Hot Dollars – candy display tag label – 1954 – Source US Trademark Office Archives

Heide - Red Hot Dollars - cello package - 1950s-1960s - Source US Trademark Office Archives

Heide’s – Red Hot Dollars – cello package – 1960s – Source US Trademark Office Archives

That last 1-pound cello package shows the earliest example of a Red Hot Dollars individual logo that I could find, and the bouncing letters from that logo can be also found on the earliest example from my own collection.  This next Red Hot Dollars box dates back to the early 1970′s, and is the one I remember most from my own childhood:

Heide - Red Hot Dollars - candy box - 1970's

Heide – Red Hot Dollars – candy box – 1970′s

As you may have noticed, by the 1970′s and for the first time Heide chose to indicate the raspberry flavor right on the front of the box.  This flavor-clarification would become a feature of all of the package design evolutions that would follow.

Next up I have a trio of fascinating images from my pal and creator of Mr. Toast and Friends, Dan Goodsell.

In the following pics is not only a full mid-70′s Red Hot Dollars display box, but an unusual Tops-n-Ten shipper box that contained an assortment of five different Heide product display boxes as well as a bonus of 10 boxes of Jujyfruits.

Heide Tops-n-Ten deal shipping box - mid-1970's - image courtesy Dan Goodsell

Heide Tops-n-Ten deal shipping box – mid-1970′s - Image courtesy Dan Goodsell

Next up are the Red Hot Dollars display box images.  [Note: The display box features the new logo style that Red Hot Dollars individual boxes would soon have, while the contents were still the old-logo style of box.  This was not uncommon during transitional phrases of package design.  Rather than trash the already-produced old look boxes, Heide would use up the remaining print run of the old style while the new display boxes were already in use.]

Heide Red Hot Dollars full display box closed - 1970s - Image courtesy Dan Goodsell

Heide Red Hot Dollars full display box closed – mid-1970′s - Image courtesy Dan Goodsell

The smiling-face graphics seen on this display box were something that I believe was used on individual theater-sized boxes for the entire Heide line.  Even though I’ve never found any of these smiling-face style of individual theater-sized Heide boxes, I know they’re out there, and I will continue my hunt.

Heide Red Hot Dollars full display box open - 1970s - Image courtesy Dan Goodsell

Heide Red Hot Dollars full display box open – 1970s - Image courtesy Dan Goodsell

By 1978, Red Hot Dollar boxes would feature this dramatically different and striking updated look (it’s notable that even in 1978, this box still lacked a UPC code):

Heide - Red Hot Dollars - Win a TV set- candy box - 1978B

Heide – Red Hot Dollars – Win a TV set- candy box – 1978

The type style seen on that 1978 box would be a recurring feature on Red Hot Dollars boxes for the next thirty years.

By 1980, the box design would change yet again, and for the first time Red Hot Dollars boxes would get a mascot.  It’s important to note that this was a unifying look and design across the Heide line at the time – nearly all of the boxes had similar mascots and rolling logo shapes:

Heide - Red Hot Dollars - Coins of the World offer - candy box - 1980

Heide – Red Hot Dollars – Coins of the World offer – candy box – 1980

Here are a pair of other Heide boxes featuring similar mascots and logos from this period:

Heide - 1980 mascot box comparison - Jujyfruits and Chocolate Babies - Early 80's

Heide – 1980 mascot box comparison – Jujyfruits and Chocolate Babies – Early 80′s

I’d estimate that the mascot style of box for Red Hot Dollars lasted well into the 1980′s, so the next style of box I have to show likely dates to the late 1980′s or early 1990′s:

Heide - Red Hot Dollars - fun size candy box - late 80s early 90s

Heide – Red Hot Dollars – fun size candy box – late 80s early 90s

From here I’m going to jump forward to the 2000′s, and what I consider the “modern age” of Red Hot Dollars.  By the time the 2000′s came along, Heide was a brand owned by Farley’s and Sathers, and once again the boxes had a new look (though they would bring back the logo type style first used on mid-1970′s boxes).

But the most dramatic thing to happen to Red Hot Dollars in the modern era was not the look of the packaging, but the product itself.  You see, after what was likely a few decades of bouts of consumer confusion over a “red hot” product that was raspberry-flavored, Red Hot Dollars would be split into two different products.   “Red Hot Dollars” would now be a hot cinnamon flavored candy, while the original product would be sold under the name “Red Raspberry Dollars”.

Farleys & Sathers - Heide Red Hot Dollars - candy box - 2009

Farleys & Sathers – Heide Red Hot Dollars – candy box – 2009

Farleys & Sathers - Heide Red Raspberry Dollars - candy box - 2010

Farleys & Sathers – Heide Red Raspberry Dollars – candy box – 2010

Farley’s and Sathers even introduced a third product as spinoff of the original called Black Licorice Dollars.  These were discontinued around 2009, and while I don’t have a box for these in my collection (if anyone finds one, let me know) I do have a box photo in my files to share:

Farleys & Sathers - Black Licorice Dollars - candy box - mid-2000s

Farleys & Sathers – Black Licorice Dollars – candy box – mid-2000s – Image source unknown.

This brings us up to today.  I believe that Red Hot Dollars are still being sold, though I have to admit that I haven’t seen any boxes of them (or Red Raspberry Dollars for that matter) around lately.  In 2012 there was a huge merger that resulted in Farley’s and Sathers becoming a part of the now-much-larger Ferrara Pan candy company – so perhaps we’ll be seeing Red Hot Dollars again soon.   I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for them.

And that’s everything for today.  I hope you enjoyed my look back at this near-century-old confectionery classic with the sometimes-misleading name.

See you next time!

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 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, Boxed, Gummies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Heide’s Red Hot Dollars!

  1. Brandon says:

    I believe I’ve seen some of these recently in small boxes within assorted Halloween candy bags (or some other holiday).

Leave a Reply

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

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>