Candy Feeding Bags

March 17, 2010 at 8:26 am 8 comments

Every once in a while I run into an old candy idea that seems ripe for revival. Who’s going to be the candy entrepreneur who brings back “Candy Feeding Bags,” last seen back in 1911?

This one-cent novelty had a lot going for it: convenience, portability, and flavor. You could choose pineapple, strawberry, peach, raspberry, lemon, chocolate, vanilla, or peppermint. The tube running into the bag is a licorice stick, about 8 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. The idea is that you bite the end off the licorice then suck the flavor powder up through the licorice straw:

The powder mixed with the flavor of the licorice produces a combination hard to beat. When the powder is all gone then you eat the tube. Can you beat it?

Sort of like a Fun Dip or Lik-A-Stick crossed with a Pixie Stick, mixed in with a licorice whip.
Of course, in 1911 most people would associate feeding bags with work horses or mules. There still weren’t many motor cars around, so horses pulling wagons would have been a common sight. And to keep those horses working all day long, they would have a bag of grain tied around their snouts for easy snacking.

So why not a feed bag filled with candy? I love the idea of kids running around with these things tied to their necks. Keeps the kiddies happy with their candy feed all day long. Can you beat it? I don’t think you can!

Candy Feeding Bag ad from International Confectioner, April 1911. Feed bag image from Cowboy Showcase.

Entry filed under: 1890 to WW I, Candies We Miss, Children and Candy, Packaging.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cybele  |  March 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I can’t help but think that the candy powder was aspirated instead of swallowed. Of course the kids love to snort Pixy Stix these days … so maybe that’s a selling point!

    • 2. CandyProfessor  |  March 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      Hmm, I see your point. On the other hand, I guess they figured they might not be so successful if they called them “Children’s Coughing and Choking Bags.” Sounds yummy!

  • 3. Psigney  |  March 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    When I was a child in England (early ’60’s) we had these. They were called Sherbets and consisted of pixie stick-like powder with a stick of Licorice to suck it through. You ate the Licorice when you were finished

    • 4. CandyProfessor  |  March 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Really? Never saw anything like it here. But I suspect you Brits got all the cool candy ideas, having (if possible) an even more profound national passion for sweets!

      • 5. Uly  |  October 31, 2010 at 11:19 am

        Roald Dahl mentions these in his autobiography. I never really believed they existed until just now!

  • 6. Mark D.  |  March 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Looks like something Wonka/Nestle should make. A cross between products they already make, Kazoozles with Fun Dip or Pixy Stix. Great find.

    • 7. CandyProfessor  |  March 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      Great idea! Are you listening, Willy Wonka?

  • 8. Smoking Smarties « Candy Professor  |  May 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

    […] may recall a recent post here at Candy Professor about an old time, long gone candy idea called the “Candy Feeding Bag” that involved sucking flavored powder through a licorice straw. Candy diva Cybele May commented […]


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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

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Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

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