National Taffy Day (May 23) is almost here, and Laffy Taffy is celebrating with its shareable "dad jokes." The brand knows taffy: it produces over 18 million pounds of taffy each year, including more than 450 million Laffy Taffy Mini Bars, one of its most popular treats.

The brand was started in 1971, and in the 1980s, it added "dad jokes" (aka puns) to its wrappers. Decades later, Laffy Taffy features family-friendly fan submissions from taffy lovers across the country along with crowd-sourced puns.

Candy Industry Senior Editor Liz Parker was able to connect with Jenny Chen, brand manager of Laffy Taffy, Ferrara Candy Company, about why the brand wanted to add "dad jokes" to its wrappers, and what's hot in the taffy category right now.


Liz Parker: How did Laffy Taffy get its start?

Jenny Chen: Laffy Taffy has been offering little bites of delight in a variety of fruity flavors since 1971, starting with the earliest-known flavor, cherry. The brand was created to offer light-hearted and fun treats for families, ultimately inspiring the “dad jokes” on its wrappers. 


LP: What made the brand want to feature “dad jokes” on its wrapper?

JC: In the 1980s, Laffy Taffy began adding jokes to its wrappers to provide entertainment and a fun, memorable way for families and friends to connect through shared laughter and a sweet treat. Decades later, these jokes have become iconic fan favorites and synonymous with the brand.


LP: How does Laffy Taffy come up with the jokes? Can consumers can submit their family-friendly jokes to the brand?

JC: The jokes on Laffy Taffy wrappers are a mix of submissions by fans and popular crowd-sourced puns, selected based on humor, originality and creativity. We also always make sure each pun is family friendly so fans of all ages can enjoy them together.

 We even had a joke-writing contest in 2022 called “Your Jokes, Our (W)rapper” where fans could submit their own jokes (and punchlines), with the top 101 (LOL… get it?!) earning a spot in our joke depository. 

The grand-prize winner? Guess who I ran into on the way to the eye doctor? … Everybody!


LP: What are some consumer trends in the taffy category right now?

JC: Through research, we’ve uncovered some key trends in taffy consumption:

  • Classic Flavors: Taffy lovers go back to classic flavors time and time again. Laffy Taffy’s best-selling product, the Mini Bar variety bag, includes Strawberry, Banana, Sour Apple, and Grape, and fans can’t get enough.
  • Flavor Combos: Our research also shows fans crave new and exciting flavor combinations. We tapped into this insight with our innovation last year, Laffy Taffy Fruit Combos, combining two fruity flavors in one Mini Bar including Strawberry Kiwi, Wildberry Banana, Mango Passionfruit, and Strawberry Orange. It was an opportunity to include brand new flavors like Mango, Passionfruit, and Wildberry alongside fan-favorite Strawberry and Banana.
  • Consumption Occasions: Fans love taffy as an after-school or after-dinner treat, though we know Laffy Taffy is a go-to any time they want a laugh with family and friends. We’ve also seen an uptick in sales in the summer and fall: our Mini Bars are a staple for Halloween.
  • Location: While there are taffy lovers across the country, in 2023, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas showed the most Laffy Taffy love with the highest sales. 


LP: How does Laffy Taffy work to keep up with current consumer trends?

JC: Through a mix of in-depth market research, sales data, consumer feedback, social listening and media monitoring, Laffy Taffy leverages diverse tactics to uncover the latest consumer insights and trends. While these findings help drive our innovation, like Laffy Taffy Fruit Combos, it also allows us to adapt core products to better align with consumer needs and preferences—like the new Mini Bar standup bags, perfect for the pantry or car. 


LP: Any notable innovations in taffy that the company is seeing?

JC: In addition to exciting flavor-focused innovations, we’ve seen a desire for packaging that makes enjoying sweet treats on the go more convenient. This year, we introduced a new standup, resealable bag for our best-selling Laffy Taffy Mini Bar Original variety, just in time for summer.


LP: What’s your favorite Laffy Taffy product?

JC: I love Banana from our classic assortment! Strawberry Kiwi in our new Fruit Combos is quickly becoming a new favorite as well. 

Ferrara is on the current Candy Industry “Global Top 100 Candy Companies” list. Click here to view the current “Global Top 100” rankings.