in 1924, the akron candy company developed a small hard candy on a stick. and when it came to naming it, the sales manager came up with “dum dums” because he thought that kids would be able to say it. simple, colorful, and cheap, dum dums soon became an institution.
and on to the mystery –
have you ever wondered why some dum dums have wrappers with question marks where the flavor is normally printed? this was a marketing idea that made production run more smoothly and eating them more fun. the mystery flavor pop is a mixture of two flavors that come together when the end of one batch of candy meets the beginning of the next batch. rather than shutting down to clean it out between flavors, they made pops out of the combination of flavors – the tail end of the old, and the beginning of the new. the candy lines keep running, and the mystery flavor pops are a surprise treat every time.
p.s. for me, this was kind of like finding out about the tooth fairy. if you still believe, tell yourself that you never read this.
credit: mentalfloss magazine