Candy is meant to be enticing, and it’s been said that “sex sells”, but that doesn’t mean that confectioners are going to be obvious about it.
Except, of course, when they are.
The Sugar Daddy is perhaps the most obvious of all attempts to incorporate adult innuendo into popular candies. It consists of a large slab of hardened milk caramel on a stick, and it’s enjoyed a measure of success across more than a hundred years. The candy was invented in 1925, when the term “sugar daddy” hadn’t yet become popularized in adult slang. “Sugar Daddy”, meaning a wealthy older man who marries or dates a much younger woman and provides her with a measure of wealth, became commonly used in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
From that timeline, it would certainly appear that the term stemmed from the name of the candy, and not the other way around. It does make sense… until the name change is discovered. When originally marketed, it was called “Papa Sucker”. It only shifted to become called “Sugar Daddy” in 1932, and did so in order to cash in on the popularity of the slang term.
Of course, it had its counterpart. Sugar Babies is the term for young women who enter relationships with Sugar Daddies. In this case, there exists another candy made of the same hardened caramel as the Sugar Daddy, but shaped into tiny beans. They’re called, of course, Sugar Babies.
To their credit, Nabisco which eventually purchased both the Babies and the Daddy, attempted to make the popular candies a touch more wholesome shortly after their acquisition in 1965. They did this by creating an entire nuclear sugar family, adding in the “Sugar Mama”. The Mama consisted of the original Sugar Daddy but with a chocolate coating.
The Mama is long since gone, having been retired in the 1980s. The Daddy and the Babies are still going strong, the wholesomeness effort abandoned and the questionably-named candies now owned and produced by Tootsie Roll.
Let’s hope they never make a commercial asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of a sugar daddy.
Question of the night: What are your least favorite candy bars?