Stumbling into Tommy’s Convenience late at night after a long day, I noticed a small tub of candy in the corner. Reaching into it, I instinctively pulled out an orange tootsie pop, the hallmark of my childhood. To me, the tootsie pop is an interesting piece of design – both from a marketability standpoint and an actual taste standpoint. Looking at a tootsie pop, the packaging is pretty nondescript. However, despite its minimalist orange (or other color depending on flavor) and white packaging, it remains iconic – showing not only value but brand heritage. Seeing the packaging, mostly unchanged, brings consumers back to decades of iconic commercials where the packaging was displayed prominently in the commercial of the owl and the boy (you probably know which one I’m talking about). Beginning to consume it, I was fascinated behind the design story behind it too. While putting a piece of candy inside another one is an idea as old as the history of candy itself, tootsie pops are almost manufactured to steer consumers to a unique experience – that of licking and dissolving the outer shell to receive a piece of taffy inside, one that has its own unique flavor profile and experience too (ingeniously, that piece of taffy can also be bought separately). In doing so, consumers are not only receiving two pieces of candy with one but multiple experiences, each memorable and a key component of anyone’s childhood in America.
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