Astro Pop® History
In case you’re curious why Astro Pops® fell off the planet for a while, here’s the story:
In the beginning, man created rockets!
Astro Pops were first made in 1963 after two ‘Rocket Scientists’ working on the space program in El Segundo, Ca decided to quit their jobs and create the Astro Pop®, modeling the pop after a three-stage rocket. Being actual ‘Rocket Scientists’ they built special equipment to make the cone-wrappers at high-speed along with other equipment made by hand. Astro Pops® were very unusual to manufacture because the cone-wrapper became the mold for the candy. Hot candy was poured directly into the wrapper, then a paper stick was added and capped off with a layer of wax. Astro Pops were created at the perfect time in history when the ‘Space Race’ was in full force, kids were drinking Tang® and eating Astro Pops®, dreaming of going into space. Millions and millions of Astro Pops® were sold!
In 1987, Spangler Candy (the makers of Dum Dum® lollipops, Circus Peanuts® and Safe-T Pops®) acquired the Astro Pops® Brand from the Nellson Candy Company of Los Angeles California. Astro Pops®, rocket-shaped lollipops, were reputed to be the longest lasting lollipop on earth. During the period from 1987 to 2004, Spangler expanded the Astro pop line of suckers to include:
Astro Sour Pop: (sour grape, lemon and cherry)
Rappin Raspberry: (blue Raspberry, red raspberry, blueberry)
Banana Split Astro Pop: (banana, cherry and vanilla)
Caramel Apple: (caramel and green apple)
Astro Confetti Pop: (lemonade with confetti candy)
Halloween Astro Pop: (orange, vanilla and chocolate)
Citrus Sensation: (orange, cherry, lemon)
Easter Astro Pop: (grape, vanilla, lemon)
Astro Pop, Awesome Hot: (hot cinnamon flavor)
Astro Sundae Pop: (chocolate, vanilla and cherry)
Astro Patriot Pop: (cherry, vanilla and blueberry)
In around 1999, Spangler Candy updated the Astro Pop Logo and packaging, using really cool graphics and creating a more, “cosmic” look to the product.
At the beginning of 2000, Spangler decided to reverse the shape of the Astro pop, placing the stick at the tip of the pop, rather than the base. They felt it would give the consumer more surface area to lick, and kids couldn't pock each other in the eyes that way. Unfortunately, consumers weren’t too happy with the change.
In 2001, Astro Pops were featured on the Food Network show, ‘Unwrapped’
In September of 2004, Spangler discontinued the product line because they felt it wasn’t part of their ‘corporate strategy”.
Ok, I know they’re here somewhere…
After continued frustration because he couldn’t find an Astro Pop® anywhere, Ellia Kassoff, a successful High-Tech Executive Recruiter (Headhunter) in Southern California called Spangler Candy and asked , “Where can I buy my Astro Pops!” To his dismay, he was told by customer service Spangler stopped making them. Ellia finally spoke to the CEO of Spangler and asked if they would sell the rights to Astro Pops® because he just couldn’t see such an iconic candy go to the ‘Candy Graveyard’. After years of negotiating, in May of 2010 Ellia acquired the rights to Astro Pops, naming the company Astro Pop, LLC and set-out to make the famous pops.
‘Patience is a Virtue’:
Unfortunately by the time the rights were purchased from Spangler, the company had dismantled the specially made equipment and sold it all off as scrap metal..yep..scrap metal. Undeterred, Ellia’s company (now Leaf Brands, LLC) is doing everything possible to bring back the iconic pop, even though it might take a while. Well finally the wait is over and as of June 2012 the Astro pop in it's original style, colour and taste it is here to lick, so start from the top and work your way down.. enjoy this great comeback item. The goal of Leaf Brands, is to expand the Astro Pop® brand name and add new products to complement the original Astro Pop.
The astro pop came back for a short time again in 2013 watch for the release again!!