Saturday, March 6, 2010
Generic Racist Candy Name
Here's a vintage candy box showing an instance when there was so little imagination devoted to producing a candy with this familiar, racist marketing strategy that a generic name sufficed. Alice Ziplinsky would have talked about this one too, for sure, and probably would have given points to Eli for his misguided creativity and more subtle approach. Yet another candy invoking the weirdly persistent white culture's condescending caricature of the Negro? How shall we at Heide's* Candy Company distinguish it? Let's call it....um...how about Black Kids! Why not?
*Further exploration reveals that Heide's Candy Company was founded in New York in 1869 by Henry Heide, who died in 1931. He was succeeded by his son Andrew, who retired in 1992, and it was his son, Philip Heide, who was to follow the usual pattern of family businesses in the third or fourth generation, and sell out to a large corporation. He sold to Hershey in 1995. But then Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co. Inc. (a hugely complex corporate entity with a convoluted history intertwined with Kraft, Hershey, Nabisco, Brach's and others) acquired all the Heide brand products from Hershey in 2002.
You have never eaten a Colored Kid (one hopes), but have you ever consumed Gummi Bears, Jujubees, Jujyfruits, Mexican Hats, Wunderbeans, or Red Hot Dollars? Those are Heide brands, too. (Sort of like discovering you do business with the nice people who used to make Zyklon B, isn't it?) Colored Kids were artifically colored and black anise flavored. Heide also made a "mello cream candy" called Chocolate Babies. (Not to be confused with those other problematic Babies, which were smaller and more Tootsie-like in texture.)