How Good & Plenty Candy Gets Its Nostalgic Flavor

Good & Plenty, whether you get them in a box or bag, have earned some serious bragging rights as America's oldest candy brand. The candies, first made in 1893, were the first to use a flavoring agent that gained popularity over a century prior: licorice root. Though licorice was initially used as a spice and simmered into teas, the root was also prescribed as medicine and thought to be good for dental health. Eventually, licorice flavor began appearing in candies and treats in the late 1800s, and Good & Plenty was one of them. 

The Quaker City Confectionery Company, which was later rebranded as the American Licorice Company, looked to appeal to growing consumer demand by launching the colorful confections. The "Good" in the name is said to describe the taste of the candy, while "Plenty" advertises the licorice packed into each bite. (Oh, simpler times.) The crunchy-chewy shell of candy and the licorice flavor found favor with many, and the brightly colored box made the item easily recognizable among a wide range of options. Not much has changed about the design and shape of Good & Plenty's logo, as the pink, white, and purple containers can still be quickly spotted in a crowd of other candy varieties. 

A candy that has withstood the test of time

To this day, Good & Plenty licorice-flavored candies are coated in pink and white candy shells. The treat can be found for purchase wherever boxed candies are sold, as well as at movie theaters, at the usual gouge rate. Some licorice-loving bakers have even managed to sneak the old-fashioned candy into cupcakes recipes, and creative bartenders have devised ways to replicate the licorice taste in liquid form by infusing vodka with a cup of the candy and letting the brew sit for several weeks. The resulting liqueur can be strained and used in other drink recipes or enjoyed on ice. Layering sambuca and white creme de cacao in a shot glass is also thought to replicate the same licorice flavors found in a Good & Plenty candy box.

If you're not a fan of warm, woodsy flavors like fennel and anise, Good & Plenty probably isn't the treat for you, but the longstanding endurance of this candy is a testament to all the snack lovers who do appreciate the earthy, sweet, and distinctive taste of licorice.