Through wars, presidential administrations, and even a manufactured breakup, the famous candy duo has seen it all in 75 years together.
Here are a few facts about the early days, their public split, and whether or not Mike and Ike were real people. Sam Born, a Russian immigrant who made a fortune by inventing a machine that inserted sticks into lollipops, started the Just Born candy company in The name was meant to imply freshness, and the original Just Born logo was a slightly creepy picture of a baby lying on a candy scale.
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In its early yearsthe company relied mainly on acquisitions for revenue. Then ineager to harness the growing demand for fruity, gummy candies, Just Born came out with its first major brand—Mike and Ike. As for where the names originated, nobody knows—not even the company or so they claim.
InJust Born purchased the Rodda Candy Companywhich specialized in manufacturing marshmallows and jellybeans. The first was a root beer flavored candy that featured a smiling steamboat on the package.
The company discontinued it in the '70s, and then brought it back as a limited anniversary edition in the late '90s. Earlier this year, the company brought Root Beer Float back once morealong with the popular Cotton Candy flavor.
In all, there have been close to 40 different flavors of Mike and Ike. For years, Just Born resisted depicting Mike and Ike in physical form. Then in the '60s, the company updated its Original Fruit packaging to show two mustachioed gents.
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One wore a top hat and resembled a redheaded Willy Wonka, while the other was a stouter, Dr. Watson-esque figure donning a green bowler. The characters were certainly a far cry from the two dudes representing Mike and Ike these days.
Mike and Ike is the best-selling non-chocolate candy at movie theaters, and has been for years. Most movie theaters carry the 5-ounce theater box, but super fans can also upgrade to the 1-pound and 1.
Three years ago, the fictional characters announced via a very pricey media campaign that they were going their separate ways. Or something.
The campaign was a way for the brand to enter the national conversation, and to appeal to the much sought-after teen demographic. So a lot was riding on the faltering bromance—and according to most reports, it succeeded.
The company celebrated the reunion with sleek new packaging and a new flavor called Strawberry Reunion. There was also a very dramatic movie trailer that aired on national TV. Subscribe to our Newsletter!