PXL 20231118 0246485882Every Christmas, someone--often my Grandma--gave me a Life Savers Storybook. And as an elementary school kid, I thought, "When I'm an adult, I want to have 1 of every flavor of Life Saver there is."

Now, I wasn't thinking of having a roll of every flavor...I just wanted to be "brave" enough to save (ie, not eat) 1 candy of each flavor of roll. In a Storybook, that would have been 1 single Pep⭕Mint, 1@ of the flavors in the Five-Flavor, 1 Butterscotch (later, 1 Butter Rum), etc. I would save them in my navy-blue aluminum box with a combination lock. Sadly, at some point I would just decide I *really" needed to eat the saved candies, and the "goal" languished until 1987.


From here on, notes are from most recent to far in the past.

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Over the weekend, I found them: Life Savers in a roll--not in a clear plastic peg bag. A craft store called Michaels carries them near the register, as "retro" candy. I'm grateful to know that Mars still produces Butter Rum rolls.




PXL 20240719 043711557RAW 01COVER2Tonight I asked a friend to check with her Jamaican mother to see whether Life Savers had been sold on the island. Some history indicates that Life Savers had been sold in South America 100 years ago...so I will keep on checking around until I figure out where they went.

But I found out one thing that was interesting: there was an advertisement for Fruit Juicers featuring a Jamaican sound in 1988.

Fruit Juicers were sold between 1988 and 1995 (Justia, https://trademarks.justia.com/737/41/fruit-juicers-73741970.html).


I am a music teacher--have been lightly since 1986 and have been weekly since 2009. So if you want to surprise me in the Life Saver domain, music is clearly the way to do it! In 1935, there was the Life Savers Rendezvous Orchestra. The song, with the same name, was written by Ed Best and arranged by Lindsay McPhail. https://www.abebooks.com/sheet-music/Lifesaver-East-Ed-New-York-Radioscript/20960103507/bd

For more, see Marketing, and scroll to 1935


One of the treats I have for my music and arts students is Wintergreen Life Savers.

One of my students, A. R. asked me, "Did you know that they also have these other Life Savers that come in a lot of different colors? You should get some of them."

Little did she know...


Today I discovered that Life Savers was a significant sponsor of the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, 1939 to 1940--a nice story to add to the Marketing section:



One of the treats I have for my music and arts students is Wintergreen Life Savers.

One of my students, A. R. asked me, "Did you know that they also have these other Life Savers that come in a lot of different colors? You should get some of them."

Little did she know...


We have finally removed the construction icons from the Life Savers™️ Virtual Museum home page, because all of those links have been connected. Some of the newest content:



We will probably be adding information perpetually, as we, our resources, and our kind readers expand our knowledge about these tasty ⭕s.


One of our readers, LMG, asked:

"I was interested in your story about five-flavor Life Savers, one of the candies I remember from my childhood. I’m trying to verify that the Fritzsche Brothers, an essential oils and flavorings company in New York/New Jersey provided the flavors. The company reportedly was one of the best at extracting flavors from fruits and flowers, herbs and spices."

This post is our answer to that question.


The Art of Life Savers

Our 🆕 article is shared on Valutivity's home page, because it links together so many parts of our business.


If you scroll down into 1939 and 1945, you'll see how Life Savers were part of rations in World War II. But apparently contemporary soldiers like Life Savers as well! Over time, the Richmond, Kentucky battlefield visitors center has collected over 170,000 Life Savers to send.



IMG 20240402 WA00002I love that my family thinks of my bizarre Life Savers collection wherever they go. My sister Kasi threw me this lifeline from Outer Banks (OBX), North Carolina. If you've dug into Life Savers history at all, you'll know that inventor Clarence A. Crane had a bit of a connection to bodies of water. Early Life Savers packaging and advertisements demonstrated water, life-saving, and sailor motifs: 

  • This early package shows a fisherman in a jonny boat, rescuing an unperturbed woman in a pond.
  • This advertisement features a cute toddler swimsuit-wearing lifesaver, hawking Life Savers. A life-size candy life preserver is over the child's shoulder.
  • Life Savers happily float in the ocean in this ad.
  • This child is dressed in a sailor suit.
  • brass tin features a svelte swimmer, in a swimsuit and cap, diving into water-with-waves, punctuated with white life-sized life preservers that look like Life Savers.
  • On a much sadder note, Clarence Crane's son, poet Hart Crane, presumably drowned in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the New York Times on April 28, 1931:

MEXICO CITY, April 28 -- Hart Crane, the American poet, who was reported to have fallen or jumped from the liner Orizaba on the way from Vera Cruz to New York, had been severely affected by the death last year of his father, a candy manufacturer at Chagrin Falls, Ohio, according to friends here.

I believe the intended use for this Life Saver was to rescue a tiny, lost-at-sea Tinker Bell.

P.S. Like you, we don't believe in littering; we suspect that the person who lost this Life Saver was very disappointed to have dropped it.


There are certain flavors that are absolutely lovely in candies, and it really makes me wonder why Life Savers have never made them. 

Take a look at our Life Savers Definitive List to see whether your favorite flavor was ever made.

Here are a few of my recommended 🆕 flavors:

  • Maple - This is the most obvious flavor that can be imagined: Clarence Crane (the man who invented Life Savers) ran a maple sugar operation. Can you imagine how good these would be? Now, I literally want to figure out how to make these on my own.
  • Guava - I had my first guava candy probably 20 years ago at a Thai restaurant and loved it. Given how popular that flavor is around the world, I'm mystified it wasn't in the Tropical Flavors roll.
  • Lavender mint - Yes, I seriously love the flavor of lavender this much. I wouldn't want it to be as strong as Chowards Violet Mints, though. Of course, it is possible that lavender was one of the flavors in Life Savers Floral. I would truly like to know which flavors were included in that roll!
  • Rose 🌹(or for that matter, orange flower) - given how popular this flavor is in Middle Eastern cultures, I think it would be a huge hit!
  • Pine - I'm not sure how many cultures utilize pine in their flavor profiles, but for whatever reason, it is very appealing to me. I was surprised and thrilled when Starbucks briefly used it in a latte. I first experienced the flavor in the Italian candy, Gocce Pino. 


When you think of Breath Savers™️, do you think of them as a Life Savers™️ product or something totally different? I've always thought of them being different--but as it turns out, they were invented by Life Savers in 1973. While there could be other flavors, so far I have found the usual lineup: Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen, Cinnamon (discontinued), and Vanilla Mint (discontinued). They were briefly held by Phillip Morris Cos. Inc. (as part of 2000 purchase of Nabisco Inc.), after which they were purchased by Hersheys Food Corp. 

Source: https://money.cnn.com/2000/11/06/deals/hershey/index.htm




2024_03_17 🍀

My daddy's memories of Westhampton Baptist Church in Richmond , VA, and his grandmother:

"In church, Grandma had Five-Flavor Life Savers and Juicy Fruit in her purse, and she had a little hanky handy in case she needed to wipe someone's face. She always had little tiny scissors, sewing scissors. We had a Pastor Womack and a pastor with an earned doctorate, making him "Dr. Pepper," no joke. And Grandma was in "Neville C. Martin" Sunday School class. Mrs. Hedgepeth was a friend of hers. They had a children's church. Mom would always tell me I learned to whistle in children's church, which I can no longer do. And once I learned, I had a hard time stopping, no matter what I interrupted."


1000042702A pair of articles about Mexican Life Savers:

What should have been an article about Mexican Life Savers

The real article about Mexican Life Savers



This is news to me: 

Rowntree's UK had the rights to produce Life Savers during World War II. (They are very well known for Kit Kat™️, Smarties™️, Aero, and Rolo™️, among many other products.) They were labeled in a very no-nonsense packaging marked "MOF 1940", because many of the products normally used were requisitioned for the war effort.

This information has been shared in our timeline in 1945.

Source: Cyethansami, "British foods in 1940s, exhibit - Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence," HKMCD, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong, 18 April 2012 Cyethansami. 


1000042167Blueberry vanilla swirl...I finally have it! This is one of the favors I discovered back in November. I even put a bid on a package of Swirled Lollipops on eBay. But they wanted too much and the shipping made the cost prohibitive. I decided to keep an eye out each Easter...and it worked! Along with the Veteados™️, I now had the following Life Savers Swirled flavors:

  • Blueberry vanilla 
  • Candy Cane
  • Cherry banana (Cereza plátano)
  • Cherry vanilla
  • Orange vanilla
  • Strawberry vanilla

Swirls I still need come from a roll called Tangy Fruit Swirls:

  • Orange banana
  • Strawberry tangerine
  • Raspberry pineapple 
  • Stick⭕Pep

PS, if you discover there are other swirled flavors, let me know by sending me a message.


PXL 20240223 2127370433Have you ever had 🎵 musical 🎵 Japanese Life Savers? Okay, so maybe they aren't exactly Life Savers, but they look similar and can help you to "Get a hole lot more out of life" (one of the Life Savers slogans). Coris Whistle Candy was apparently invented in the 1970s. You can whistle while enjoying the following flavors: ramune soda (pictured above), cola, lemon strawberry, and grape. There's a 🆕 "taste-changing" version with hidden grape flavor I enjoyed putting these in my kids' Easter baskets or stockings. (We may even have a video or 2 of them making music.) Each pack also came with a tiny plastic toy, like you'd get out of a vending machine.

Note that Life Savers also made a cola, strawberry, and grape flavors. However, their's was a boiled candy (produces a clear, hard candy like Orange in the 5-Flavor pack), rather than a pressed granulated mint candy (like Orange Mint Life Savers and all Coris Whistle Candies).

Interesting side-story: in the 1970s, Spangler (which currently makes some Life Savers products) made whistling pops similar to the ones in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang--you know, that kids' musical written by none other than Ian Fleming, the inventor of James Bond.

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🆕 stuff!! I am pretty excited because this has expanded both flavors and countries: I now have Life Savers from Mexico (Veteados, which means "Swirled") and Canada (Caramel au Beurre, or Butterscotch).

Also, it expands time frames, because Wint⭕Green and Pep⭕Mint (each from the 1960s!) are now the oldest rolls in my collection. I already had a roll of the Australian flavor Musk, but now I have a different roll. Big thanks to Jason Liebig from CollectingCandy.com.


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Last fall, I considered breaking my rule. My Life Savers project is organic, conceived as a childhood idea. So I really would not prefer to put money into this hobby. So my rule was that any Life Savers I got would be the price I would normally pay from a candy shop, or I wouldn't get them.

During the fall, I realized that I didn't have any of the large Life Saver pops. I checked and realized that any that were out there had been sold out and weren't being produced. I briefly considered buying a very overpriced bag on eBay. Ultimately, I thought back to my rule and decided to take a chance on finding them at some point in the future. Spangler™️ delivered! Here are the 2024 Valentine's lollies: grape 🍇, cherry 🍒, watermelon 🍉 and pineapple🍍. This has worked out really well, because my students love them. And it knocked out Valentine's treats (because they came with handy stickers that I can apply to either these or any other candies I have around to give to the students).

I'm not sure when Life Saver Lollipops were first introduced, but 30 years ago, in 1994, a 🆕 product called "Cards and Pops" was introduced during Valentines. Retailers were invited to "Give your sales added pop with an addition to the traditional Valentine's lineup." Packages included Wild Cherry and Strawberry Vanilla Swirl pops.

Thanks to CollectingCandy.com for sharing this history:



I met candy historian Jason Liebig of CollectingCandy.com! Okay, it was only virtually, but this guy is really important in the candy collecting world. As it happens, I wanted to create some faux rolls, to put in the vintage Life Savers display I picked up last year. I asked him about that; he responded and is interested in a few items my collection.

That inspired me to look at my Life Savers™️ collection, to see whether there were any new flavors out there...either new, or as vintage rolls I had never seen.

Ever heard of Life Savers Molas-O-Mint? Crunchy Peanut? Root Beer? Candy Apple? Pine Lime? Fuzzy Soda? Pink Lemonade? Blue Rad (Sonic the Hedgehog 3™️)? Cola? Musk? Blueberry Swirl? Some of these come from other countries, like Australia and Canada. I like including those international flavors.



Screenshot 20231117 18513522022_02_28 

My son's university was a block or two away from an antique shop. It took me 3 years of visiting his school, to get around to walking into the shop's front door. But I found something I wanted very quickly. I'm not sure what year this Life Savers display was made (somewhere between 1930 and 1940?), but it definitely had that Art Deco feel I love. And it's relatively small, especially when compared to the larger volumes of flavors they had available in later years.

2020_10_29 (from Facebook)

The Life Savers stained glass project--✅. I started collecting Life Savers when I was 19. See a flavor you liked?

FB IMG 1700243510699

If you haven't heard my story, I ordered the Life Savers glass a decade ago, but it arrived broken. The seller gave me my money back, but I held on to the glass, just in case I could fix it at some point. This was the month!


From Linda Smith's (my mother's) memories during the 1950s:

Church during my younger years at Ida was the Ida Baptist church. I loved that church with its upstairs to the rooms around the balcony. I attended Sunday school, Church, vacation Bible School and Girl’s Auxiliary (G.A.s) there. Our teacher brought pillows and we sat around on the floor, drinking tea and eating Rice Krispy cookies. My friends in the first grade were some of the same ones I ended up going to high school with, Kay Carroway*, Cherry McDonald, Hope Ann Crain, Gwen Dupree, and Sharon Allison.

Part of the reason it was especially nice to go to church there was because Grandma Evans was always there, complete with Juicy Fruit or Life Savers. It was no wonder that my Mama’s favorite gum was always Juicy Fruit. And Grandma also had an ample lap on which to “nap” on.

* Yes, this is the same Kay who became Miss Kay on Duck Dynasty.

2011_02_08  (from Facebook)

I'm so sad...I purchased something glass from eBay, but the seller apparently had no idea how to pack something (no bubble wrap, no tape stabilizing it, not even a FRAGILE sticker...just cardboard. Unfortunately, it was rare - 50 or 60 years old, so not easy to find another (even assuming I have no worries getting my $$ back).

Yes, at some point I was able to find a really great price on just the silver and black embossed glass from a display. But it arrived crushed.


Chattanooga, Tennessee's plant was highlighted during the hundredth anniversary, in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.



Lessons I learned from Life Savers (in honor of their 💯th anniversary)

Let your ideas evolve. It’s okay to start an idea, then pass it on for refinement.

  • Clarence Crane made the 1st
  • Edward John Noble refined the packaging.

Get a partner. Whether it’s another company—Life Savers merged with—or another person (or hundreds of them), partnerships make the world go round.

Change with the times. A quick look at Life Savers' marketing and advertisements through the years demonstrates this strength.

But another example is their move from boiled candy to gummy candy. Chewy is a texture people want to eat--so they are delivering it.

Let it flow. Canadian companies can buy sugar more cheaply than companies in the United States can. Even York Peppermint Patties, which got their start in York, Pennsylvania, are now made in Mexico. Stop fighting the inevitable. Think globally, and many more options emerge.

Know what to keep and when to comp. Comp as in compromise.


From one of my essays in Organizational Theory (when I was working on my Masters in Science):

No matter how low a company can shift its prices within an regional context, it is still a slave to the external environment. As long as college-educated Indian employees are willing to tackle customer service at a price point significantly lower than American employees without comparable educations, the efficiency question is removed from American companies’ hands—whether or not the service quality is comparable. Similarly, if federal trade agreements stipulate certain commodities’ baseline costs as higher than those experienced in other cultures, business will naturally have to respond. For example, all Life Savers products are produced in Canada, because Canada’s tariffs on sugar imports result in lower overall prices (Candy 2002).

This was a topic that interested me from a business standpoint, as well as my little collection. I was rather disappointed--my hope was to write a small paperback in 2012 about the 💯 year anniversary of Life Savers in the United States. I would have included pictures of my rolls, a listing of all the flavors I knew about, and detail some of its leadership heritage. But with this shift, I failed to predict the ongoing resilience of the brand: I considered it more the end of an era. However, Life Savers products would continue to be produced in multiple locations.

Reference: Candy plant moving to Canada: Life Savers maker cites cheaper costs of materials. (April 15, 2002.) Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved 1/16/2011 from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-9864432.html


It crossed my mind to look up "Life Savers" on eBay. Virtually all the rolls they were selling were ones I already had. BUT...they had displays. Really cool, old-fashioned displays. I started watching them. First, I was shocked to realize that years ago, Orange, Lemon, and Lime were sold in single flavor rolls. And there were flavors like ViOlet?!

And then I found the Art Deco displays. The first displays only sold 3 flavors, with lovely colored metal artwork. But the next displays were gorgeous: clear glass, with logos in silver and black, and the outsides of the display had subtle stripes embossed into the metal. That was me. I knew what I would have at some point, but there was no way that I would spend hundreds of dollars to display a collection of $1 candy rolls.


Life Savers Orange Mints played a part in a difficult time for my kindergartener son, who needed to undergo a difficult Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG). More on that later.


Now that I realized Australia had other flavors, I ordered some of each flavor for Easter baskets. My collection now added Life Savers Blackcurrant Pastilles, Fruit Pastilles and Strawberry Sundae. 

The US Easter flavor for that year was called Pastels™️, which added Cotton Candy to my collection. What was amusing though, is that I carried a bag of individually wrapped Pastels to work, and they were a huge hit with my employees. I ended up having to go back and get more before (as a limited edition) they disappeared for good.


PXL 20240213 161353833My mom's coworker went to Australia. He returned with a roll of very odd Life Savers--Musk (the bottom roll in this pic ↪️. He let everybody at work try them, and mom told her team about my odd Life Savers collection. He immediately offered to bring me a roll--he had bought several for souvenirs. It hadn't even crossed my mind that there were flavors from other countries!

Mine wasn't a collection that was growing very quickly, so it was pretty fun to expand it (even if Musk candies smelled just like men's cologne and tasted disgusting!).


Per Jason Liebig, "in 2003 the 🟢 Hulk 🤢 smashed his way onto Canadian Life Savers wrappers with an exclusive sour lime (in French, limette surette) flavor roll (sadly this tie-in never made it to the United States)." If you'd like to see the fab wrapper, take a look at his article & scroll down below the "Oh, Henry": http://collectingcandy.com/wordpress/?p=17007

And to up the ante, the label says, "Find the blue 🔵 candy and you could win Hulk prizes." Thanks to Jacob Suchard Canada (Don Mills, Ontario , Canada) for this fun tie-in event which closed 12/31/2003.


The American Sugar Alliance pushed back on news reports' indication that the price of sugar forced a move of the Holland, Michigan plant to Quebec, Canada. Referring to a recently- released cost-analysis study, they indicated that the following were larger drivers: Canadian non-union labor prices being <50% lower; health insurance prices would be $1 million lower annually; favorable exchange rates; government support including lowered electricity rates due to subsidization and reduced tax burden. Some real estate concerns, driven by FTC moves, also favored the move.


2002, "Other costs, not sugar, prompt Life Savers to move to Canada," American Sugar Alliance, Press Release, PRNewswire.com, #76726712.

2002, "US confectionery companies, the move to Canada and Jamaica, encouraged by what cost variables?", Peter Buzzanell & Assoc., Reston, VA, March 26, 2002.



"Cards and Pops" were introduced for the Valentine's season, with Wild Cherry 📍and Strawberry-Vanilla Swirl 🍥 pops.

See 2024_02_05 ⤴️ for more info.


Life Savers was a best-seller in 1990, accounting for slightly under 1/3 of the hard candy purchases in the US:

"LIFE SAVERS is currently the largest selling hard roll candy in the United States, with an approximately 32% share of the hard roll candy category in 1990."

There were 2 manufacturing plants for confectionery by Planters Life Savers; 1 produced Life Savers, and the other, gum (Bubble Yum™️ & CareFree™️).

The introduction and withdrawal of Life Savers Holes™️ occurred within a 4-month window, due to safety issues with the products packaging. (Sadly, I don't have any Holes in my collection. This is mostly because I was truing back to my original goal, which was to collect a roll of each flavor. When Holes came out, they generally replicated flavors already in the roll lineup.)

"Based on favorable test market results, national distribution of LIFE SAVERS HOLES, a miniature hard candy, commenced in October 1990 . In January 1991, in response to a few isolated incidents where misuse of the package caused the package's cap to detach, the product as so packaged was voluntarily withdrawn from the market as a precautionary safety measure . It is anticipated that the product will be back in distribution with a modified package in the second quarter of 1991."

Source: 1990 annual report, RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. Retrieved from: link


As a newly minted interior designer, I found myself living with my new husband in a new state. We had very little extra money, because the television station that my husband worked for, and later the furniture company that I worked for, each went out of business. But even on a budget, I could afford some Life Savers when I walked into that Suwannee Swifty convenience mart. I was there to get a soda, but when I saw the old-fashioned labels on the Pepsin, Lic⭕rice, and Choc⭕late, I was really excited. It was finally time to add to my otherwise slowly-building collection. 


When I was an interior design student, the university cafeteria had Life Savers near the checkout...usually just Cherry, Wint⭕Green and 5-Flavor. Oddly, that reminded me of a promise I had made to myself when I was a young kid.

Every Christmas, someone--often my Grandma--gave me a Life Savers Storybook. And as an elementary school kid, I thought, "When I'm an adult, I want to have 1 of every flavor of Life Saver there is."

Now that I was an adult, the notion of saving individual Life Savers seemed rather messy. And at under $1, collecting rolls as I saw them became a pretty easy thing to do.


As part of their portfolio diversification strategy, tobacco company RJ Reynolds acquired Nabisco, which owned Planters-Life Savers, becoming RJRN. (RJ Reynolds had gotten his start in Virginia, at his father's tobacco processing company. Also, Nabisco owned a 450,000 sq. ft. facility in Henrico Co., just outside Richmond, VA.)


Did you remember that Life Savers used to make gum? This would have been during my childhood, but I don't remember this at all. They even made a package called a "Fun Pack," which was more or less like a Storybook, except that it included 5 rolls of Life Savers and 5 packages of Life Savers gum. Here's what the package looked like:


And here is an advertisement for it:



ER Squibb, which now owned Life Savers, introduced Breath Savers. See above, at 2024_03_22.

See also:


1970s and 1980s

As previously mentioned, one of my most common times to get Life Savers was at Christmas, in Life Savers Storybooks. My dad loved the Wild Cherry rolls, so I often shared one of those with him. If I remember correctly, my favorites were Butterscotch (later, Butter Rum), Clove, and the white Coconut flavor in the Tropical Fruits. But I was happy to eat any of the flavors, except for Lime. Those, I usually gave to my sister Shari.


Pharmaceutical giant ER Squibb & Sons and Beech-Nut merges.


Beech-Nut merges with Life Savers Corp. They had previously entered the gum business back in 1910, So this acquisition expanded their candy portfolio.


  • "Corporate History," Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation, 2010.
  • "Beech-Nut Life Savers Recipe," Investor's Reader, March 1, 1961, pp. 1-3.
  • "The Sound Beech-Nut Life Savers Recipe," Investor's Reader, September 23, 1964, pp. 17-19.


Those wartime Life Savers? Well, the story wasn't over with them yet. They were manufactured in 1943. But they weren't all eaten.

Per California Civ. No. 13938. First Dist., Div. One. Nov. 14, 1949.] THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. 748 CASES OF LIFE SAVER CANDY DROPS et al., Defendants; HENRY G. WALTERS, Claimant and Appellant,

  • 748 cases of Life Savers Pep⭕Mint, Wint⭕Green and Five Flavors (not to mention 692 other cases of candy!) had been shipped to the South Pacific.
  • For whatever reason, they were not eaten, yet were returned to California, to Camp Knight in Oakland.
  • But then Henry Walters sold 139,000 packages of the candy to jobbers, shops and theaters throughout San Francisco. As you can imagine, they were quite a few years old and had been subjected to extremes in temperature. And customers were not happy. At all.

"The claimant...produced a chemist attached to a private chemical analysis firm. As a result of an organoleptic test, he discovered that the Five Flavors were sticky and stale, but that the Wint⭕Green and Pep⭕Mint were fit for human consumption, but were less strongly flavored and had less lustre than the currently available product, and were stale. The Five Flavors would not cause illness. Bacteria tests revealed no infestation. He found no evidence that the flavors had terpenized which is a process whereby orange or lemon oil breaks down as a result of oxidation, and causes the product to taste of turpentine. This witness made no tests of the suger composition of any of the candies."

Can you imagine? 

1945 (UK, WWII)

Rowntree's UK produced a wartime-labeled version of Life Savers, in a 1.4 oz white package with blue, black and red wording. My personal theory is that the Life Savers product, "MOF 1940" may have been mint-flavored (Pep⭕Mint, Spear⭕Mint or Wint⭕Green), given that Rowntree's already had "Fruit Pastilles" (a fruit-flavored boiled candy, much like Life Savers' 5-Flavor product) and "English Toffee" in their lineup (which, if hard, may have been a caramel-type flavor more like Butterscotch or Butter Rum).

1000042235 1000042237

Keywords #WorldWar1 #WorldWar2 #rations #England #America #US #UK


  • "World War II Rations, Sweets and Chocolates," National Education Network, download available via


1939-1945 (US)

"During WWII, other candy manufacturers donated their sugar rations to keep Life Savers in production so the candies could be shared with Armed Forces as a tasty reminder of life at home." -- from Life Savers(R) Celebrates 100th Anniversary, Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Co., 4/12/2012, press release, MarketWire

Walt Disney was called on to provide art for a 1943 magazine ad. "Maybe that's why our armed forces are ordering so many of them" indicated that Life Savers were patriotic, while "if you have trouble getting some favorite flavor, blame it on the Gremlins" deflected shortage issues while implying that patrons we're doing their patriotic duty by doing without.


Sample of the text in a 1944 magazine ad:

"It's no sale, lady! Maybe we should have called this one, 'Picture of a Lady in a Business with no Future.' Because what soldier, no matter how much he likes fresh pineapples, oranges, limes, and lemons, is going to knock himself silly carrying them over mountains and things...when he is getting the same flavors in a far handier form...delicious, Five-Flavor Life Savers™️."

"The Armed Forces packed some 23 million boxes' worth of Life Savers into soldiers’ ration kits as a sweet taste of home."-- from 10 Things You Might Not Know about Life Savers, Ivana Karapandzic, Apr 26, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/77729/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-life-savers

"Of Life Savers and Quaker Oats: Scholars Examine Changing Tastes" noted,

[R]eal men didn’t eat candy -- or, at least, weren’t likely to admit it, until the second decade of the 20th century...Eventually, even lemon drops and Life Savers -- which the U.S. government included in war rations -- became associated with men. By the end of World War I, soldiers were eating great quantities of candy, which had been recast from a feminine indulgence to a masculine source of energy. [Ruark]


This wasn't actually related to my experiences, other than tangentially. My 3rd-great grandfather, Dr. Daniel Sterling, founded Sterling Drugs in Norfolk, VA. While I was researching his company, I discovered Life Savers' relationship to Sterling Products (formerly Sterling Drug, Inc.--a different company, in Wheeling, West Virginia):

In 1932, Sterling’s profitability was about 30% of sales, as compared to United’s 5%. Eventually there was agreement on a Plan of Reorganization, dated August 7, 1933. For every ten shares in Drug Inc., a stockholder received five in Sterling Products, four in United Drug, two in Vick, two in Bristol-Myers, and one in Life Savers; and the business was partitioned along those lines. Drug Inc. existed for just five years and five months. It traded while the economy sank into the depths of the depression. Yet its sales and profits continued to grow and it broke up smoothly with little impact upon individuals.

Source: Collins and Gwilt, 2000, The Life Cycle of Sterling Drugs, Inc  


Australia enters the age of Life Savers, per this article.

Prohibition 1920-1933

Life Savers Butter Rums became "Butter-Yums" during the Prohibition. For more on that story, see CollectingCandy:


Now that's a hilarious piece of Life Savers trivia!


 In 1913 he sold his Life Saver business and trademark for $2,900 to New York businessmen Edward J. Noble and J. Roy Allen, who then formed the Mint Prods. Co. to market the peppermint candies Crane supplied. Crane shipped the candies in cardboard tubes which absorbed the candies' flavor, and business was poor until Noble designed a new foil package. By 1915 Noble and Allen were producing Life Savers themselves and no longer used Crane as a supplier.

Source: https://case.edu/ech/articles/l/life-savers


Mars Wrigley Confectionery indicates Life Savers were introduced in 1912. Source: https://www.mars.com/our-brands/mars-snacking


Most likely disproven* - According to Case Western Reserve University, Crane began selling Crane's Peppermint Life Savers just a year later. Source: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, retrieved fromhttps://case.edu/ech/articles/l/life-savers

Why is this date controversial? Because other documentation--none of which are primary documents--indicate Crane made the candy 20 years later. Until we have primary documents, we'll list both.

*2nd person source, from his wife's and son's writings

1891, April 

In Cleveland, Ohio, US, Clarence A. Crane began producing and marketing chocolate candy. Source: https://case.edu/ech/articles/l/life-savers




Ruark, Jennifer. (1999). Of Life Savers and Quaker Oats: Scholars Examine Changing Tastes. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.chronicle.com/article/of-life-savers-and-quaker-oats-scholars-examine-changing-tastes/


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