Snacks & Candy

The Goo Goo Cluster Celebrates Century

Iconic Southern candy hits 100

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Joining Life Savers and Oreos, the Goo Goo Cluster turns 100 this year.

In 1912, in a copper kettle in Nashville, Tenn., the Standard Candy Co. invented what is said to be the world’s first ever combination-flavor candy bar. It is a roundish mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and real milk chocolate. This was the first time multiple elements were being mass-produced in a retail confection, the company said on its website.

"People do an incredible job with the product, and that's how you stay in business 100 years ... keep making a good product," said Lance Paine, executive vice president of Standard Candy Co., which makes Goo Goo Clusters, told WSMV-TV.

Soon the company began promoting that new candy cluster as a nourishing lunch for a nickel.

For years, the Grand Ole Opry and its WSM Radio word of mouth, heard throughout the South, exposed Goo Goo to country music fans every Saturday night.

The Goo Goo name is hard to forget, and there are the many stories of how that clump of confection got its unusual name, the report said.

"One lady said you should call it Goo Goo," Paine said. "It's so good you know how to say it from birth."

It has often been said that Goo Goo got its name from Grand Ole Opry, G-O-O; however, Goo Goos came to life in 1912, and the Opry opened 13 years later in 1925, said the report.

To celebrate the anniversary, Goo Goo Cluster LLC, a subsidiary of Standard Candy, has completed an overhaul of the Goo Goo Cluster brand that includes refinements to the logo and images of the brand, new packaging and a return to the "clean" ingredient declaration that inventor, Howell Campbell incorporated into the first Goo Goo Clusters, the company said on its blog.

The company has stripped the product of vanillin and partially hydrogenated oils and in so doing, made the product a "clean" ingredient declaration product. It is working on 100% post consumer recyclable carton and corrugated packaging, 100% compostable wrappers, freight consolidation to minimize shipping impact and other sustainability methods.

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