Jolly Rancher is an American brand of sweet hard candy,[1] gummies, fruit chews, jelly beans, lollipops, gelatin desserts, gum, and sodas.[2] It is currently manufactured by The Hershey Company. The product was originally produced by the Jolly Rancher Company, founded by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen of Golden, Colorado.[1] The Jolly Rancher Company made ice cream, chocolate and candy sold at several "Ranch Maid Ice Cream" stores in the Denver area. The name was meant to suggest a hospitable, western company.[1]


Bill and Dorothy Harmsen founded the Jolly Rancher Company in 1949, choosing the name to give the impression of a friendly Western company. They initially sold candy, chocolate and ice cream in the Denver, Colorado, area, but found that ice cream was hard to sell in the cold winter months, and so they decided to focus on hard candies which sold at all times of year.[3]

In 2002, Hershey closed the Wheat Ridge, Colorado, plant and moved the manufacturing of the candy to Mexico to save costs.[4]


Jolly Rancher original flavors were watermelon, apple, and Fire Stix. They then introduced cherry, orange tangerine, matcha, lemon, grape, peach, and sour apple. Eventually, blue raspberry replaced lemon. Current flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, grape, green apple, fruit punch and watermelon. There are also sour, cinnamon, and smoothie varieties. In 2013, lemon was reintroduced in an all-lemon bag. In 2015, Jolly Rancher offered a "Fruity Bash" variety bag which includes strawberry, mountain berry, lemon, orange, and pineapple. In 2017, Jolly Rancher offered a "Hotties" variety bag which includes watermelon & cayenne pepper, blue raspberry & sriracha, cherry & habanero, and green apple & ginger. In 2020, Jolly Rancher offered a tropical variety bag featuring fruit punch, golden pineapple, lime, and mango flavors. They also offer a "red" bag, which included cherry, watermelon, strawberry and fruit punch. As of 2012, the passion mix, which included the peach flavor, and the wild berry mix were discontinued by The Hershey Company. The Hotties mix has been discontinued as of 2019.


Jolly Ranchers are amorphous solids, meaning their molecular arrangements have no specific pattern. They are hard, brittle, rigid, translucent and have low molecular mobility.[5] Jolly Ranchers are formed from highly concentrated sugar solutions (greater than 95% sugar) and have extremely high viscosity. Their "glassy" appearance is a result of the way they are processed. During processing, the sugar syrup is cooled so rapidly that no crystals have time to form. Jolly Ranchers hold their solid shape when kept in temperatures less than the glass transition temperature (Tg). If the temperature is greater than the Tg, the hard and glassy-like structure of the Jolly Rancher becomes a soft and rubbery material.[6]


Jolly Ranchers are manufactured by creating a solution of corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, or fructose syrup that is boiled to a temperature of 160 °C (320 °F) and cooled to create a supersaturated mixture that is roughly 2.5 percent water.[7] As the mixture is cooled, natural and artificial flavoring and artificial colors are added to individual batches of syrup solution which are later mixed with malic acid to improve shelf life and add further flavor. Once the mixture begins to cool, it is then extruded into long malleable strings that are cut to size and individually wrapped and packaged.[8][self-published source?]


  1. ^ a b c "Jolly Rancher hard candy". Retrieved 2007-06-25.