Pixy Stix

Pixy Stix

Some candy is so hard that you have no choice but to suck on it until it dissolves. Some is so chewy that your jaw needs a three day rest after consuming it. And then there are Pixy Stix, those flavorful little straws filled with sugary powder. No sucking, no chewing, just a sugar rush waiting to be poured directly on your taste buds. What’s not to love about that?

The story of Pixy Stix starts all the way back in the 1930s, when a Missouri-based confectionery company called Sunline developed the flavored powder as a drink mix. Imagine their surprise when people started eating the concoction right out of the package before it ever had a chance to reach a water-filled glass. Realizing that the customer is always right, they decided to add a spoon to the mix to make it easier to consume. A few years later, thinking that the public might also like to eat the spoon, they replaced it with a candy stick and called the product Lik-m-Aid Fun Dip. For those that preferred to shun the sugary utensils, they also packaged the powder in little paper tubes, calling them Pixy Stix.

Children loved Pixy Stix right out the gate. Their parents, not so much. With no way to reseal the paper straws, Pixy Stix powder had a special way of getting all over everything. Sunline responded by creating a hard candy from the powder and calling it SweeTarts. Those were quite popular too, but not nearly as much fun as dumping a pile of tart powder directly on your tongue. Pixy Stix persevered as a result, finding their way into penny candy aisles, ice cream trucks, and plenty of trick or treat bags during Halloween. Available in orange, grape, cherry, lime and (eventually) Maui Punch, they were just the right pick-me-up for millions of kids in possession of a raging sweet tooth.

Today, Pixy Stix are part of the Wonka family of confections, which are owned by Nestle. Besides the traditional drinking-straw size, there are also giant versions that, although they can be a real pain to open, provide enough sugar for a family of four to run a marathon. Sure, Jawbreakers might last a lot longer, but when it comes to instant gratification, no candy has ever provided the same immediate punch of Pixy Stix.

If you have fond memories of pouring Pixy Stix out on your tongue, or maybe dissolving a few straws in a glass of water for some instant (and disappointingly bland) faux Kool-Aid, we hope you’ll take a moment to share all of your memories of this iconic candy in our comments section below.

One Response to “Pixy Stix”

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  1. Donna says:

    I use these to kill the taste of any liquid medicine. A spoon full of sugar may help the medicine go down but a straw full of pixy stix makes the medicine taste go away! BTW, I’m 50. Who says candy is just for kids?

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