Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit

Do Candies Expire? They Do Have a Shelf Life Too.

Ever wondered whether candies expire? We all have our favourite types of candies that we like to stock. Maybe you’re the friend everyone gives their licorice jelly beans to, or maybe you’re the kind who prefers sour worms, or salt water taffy. Whatever category you fit into, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with a little candy history, and more importantly, the various shelf lives of your favourite candies to ensure you’re eating them at their best.

Let’s commence with a quick rundown of the various forms of candy. In this broad list we include candy corn, marshmallows, chewing gum, chocolate bars, and even truffles. Chocolate also fits perfectly into the candy category. Candy is any tiny treat that’s mostly sugar.

 

Across Cultures


Also referred to as
sweets or lollies, we learn that various cultures draw different distinctions between something snacked on between meals, and something enjoyed as after dinner desserts. Take for example Western cultures who deem the syrup-soaked pastry, baklava, as being a dessert that’s served on a plate and can be eaten with cutlery. In the Middle East, North Africa, and even parts of Eastern Europe it’s considered a candy and only eaten with fingers. Kind of reminds us of the early ice cream sandwiches that, at one point, people ate with a knife and fork!

Baklava Image. Image du baklava.
Medicine

Another aspect of candy we often overlook is its use as a medicine. Think lemon and honey flavoured lozenges for sore throats. Prior to this, candy played a significant role in aiding digestion. Consider the medieval period, when access to fresh and balanced food was a significant challenge. What did they do? In an effort to combat indigestion, we saw the introduction of banquet candies, which were created from digestive aids such as ginger, aniseed, and cloves, all dipped in sugar syrup. A luxury only afforded to the rich.

Feast

Eventually, kids cottoned on to the sugary coatings on medicinal lozenges. When they began spending their own pocket money on it, this is when companies started marketing toward children. 

Candies Expiration: Storage and Preservation


The Industrial Revolution introduced packaging in the form of reusable wrappers. This to not only contain the taste and aroma, but to act as a barrier to unwanted moisture and dirt. This was useful for something with such a long shelf-life. These best-before dates are generally concerned with preserving the best taste, texture, and form. And when it comes to the lifespan of our candies, the
National Confectioners Association recommend the following:

  • Dark chocolate: 1-2 years
  • Hard candy: 1 year
  • Milk and white chocolate: 8-10 months
  • Soft candies: 6-9 months
  • Candy corn: 6-9 months
  • Chewing gum: 6-9 months
  • Caramel: 6-9 months


If you’re anything like us, chances are that candies do not survive for a long time in your pantry. Have you been sitting and nursing it? You better tuck into your various types of candies sooner rather than later. You wouldn’t want your candies to expire, would you?

Candies Blog Image. Image du blog bonbons.

About the author

DessertAdvisor.com is an organization dedicated to the research of desserts, baked goods, and snacks. The community maintains one of the largest databases of dessert items and dessert places in Canada. 

With a mission to facilitate foodies’ search for their desired products, the site allows finding locations that dessert items are sold at, enhances knowledge on various treats (i.e., variety, flavours, health benefits, history, origins, etc.), and enables people to enjoy the wealth of life.

DessertAdvisor.com is a proud member of the  DessertAdvisor.com BBB Business Review.

Sign up for our newsletter:

Want to be in the know about the latest in desserts?

First Name
Email

Communicate with us:

Other posts:

By type
By flavour
By topic
By holiday
By region

Looking for dessert?