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Sour Patch Kids Once Had A Totally Different Name

Delish logo Delish 5/17/2018 Madison Flager

Long before the Sour Patch Kids had Extreme, Freeze, and Xploderz counterparts, let alone an ice cream to its name, they were just some funny-shaped creatures capitalizing on the UFO-craze of the time. While it's hard to think the 'Sour, Sweet, Gone' candy ever went by something other than Sour Patch Kids, the current name was actually adopted in the 1980s.

Before they were Sour, these guys were sold as Mars Men. This was in the 1970s, when UFO sightings were common and space travel to Mars was in full swing. Mondelēz had yet to buy the candy company (it's now in the same family as Oreo and Chips Ahoy), but a company spokesperson said of the old name, "we believe it was because they looked similar to alien creatures from Mars."

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Fast forward a decade and a different kind of cultural phenomenon had taken hold, leading to a name change for the Mars Men. In the 80s, Cabbage Patch Kids - those round-headed dolls you may have had growing up - became wildly popular, so the candy's moniker changed to Sour Patch Kids. Over in France, the candies have a very literal translation of "Very Bad Kids." Considering how much of the brand's identity is built around the sour-then-sweet characters, it's safe to say the name change paid off.

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