Why the World’s Worst Halloween Candy — Kerr’s Molasses Kisses — Continues Its Reign of Terror
Kerr’s seems to be a respectable enough company.
Founded in 1895, the Ontario-based candy maker popularized the lollipop in Canada, they fuel the nation with Scotch mints and they are a leading manufacturer of lemon drops, caramels and the other sweets populating candy bowls from coast to coast.
But none of that can forgive the fact that Kerr’s has spent more than six decades selling tons upon tons of the worst Halloween candy ever devised by human hands: The Kerr’s Molasses Kiss.
Unique to Canada, the seasonal individually wrapped candies are visually similar to another hated Halloween candy, Tootsie Rolls. However, the Molasses Kiss ups the unpalatable ante by being 10 per cent composed of molasses, giving the candies an earthy, old-timey taste.
Here’s a cursory summary of online posts from Canadians describing childhood encounters with the confection:
“Not only do they get stuck on your teeth, they get jammed in between your teeth.”
“Trading these was an exercise in futility. Everyone always knew better.” “The easiest way to remove loose fillings.”
Despite this universal scorn, the Kerr’s Molasses Kiss remains a fixture on store shelves.There’s even a competing brand of awful taffy-based Halloween candies. The Original Brand Halloween Kiss, manufactured in Quebec, is a similar lump of tasteless sugar served in orange wax paper that has been cursing trick-or-treat bags for decades. Except for 2013, when it was recalled for containing metal shavings.
This stuff is not usually sold in the US, so the Canucks do not in fact have the best of everything. It is sold for the same reason holiday fruitcake is still marketed throughout the civilized world, and even in Lubbock: Nobody likes it but it has acquired the sacrosanct status of “tradition.”
Incidentally, no new fruitcakes have been manufactured since 1977. They are like pre-‘86 licensed machine guns in that respect. The existing supply is simply passed around, usually among family groups. Each recipient hides the unwelcome morsel until the next round of holidays, then unloads it on someone else. Since no attempt is made to actually eat the things, noone is the wiser. Besides, a 40 year old fruitcake in its canister is probably as edible as it ever was.