When I was younger I used to love all of the Trolli gummy candies. They were always my favorite type of candy – I loved gummies and I loved sour candy, so it combined the best of both worlds for me. They were sold everywhere and they were cheap. While there were always the classic “O’s” (apple, peach, melon, etc.) they also marketed their candy as bugs and critters for kids to eat. There were the Trolli “Brite Octopus” as well as the “Brite Crawlers.” Not only did they have these critter candies, but they also made “Brite Crawler Eggs” – they marketed the eggs of these critters. In theory, this is pretty disgusting to think about. However, when I was younger and I got these kinds of candies I never thought about what the gummies represented, I simply ate them because they tasted delicious.
I never really thought about it until I read Confections, Concoctions, and Conceptions by Allison James and we discussed it in class, but there really are a lot of gross candies that kids eat. Whether they are gory (fake blood), dirty (bugs and critters), or just plain gross (scab candies, feces candies, etc.), the people in the marketing of these companies may have struck gold. Kids tend to like and do what is usually not socially acceptable (eat bugs, not have good hygiene, etc.) simply because most kids find it somewhat amusing to see the reactions of adults when they do things wrong. These candies cater to this quality in the kids, however it is very subtle, as most people do not even think about it. Most people just think of them like any other gummies or candies, but they attract the kids’ attention by reaching the desire to rebel within them.