What’s Behind a Sweet best-seller? Airheads

Posted by The Candy Man on

For many a millennial, grabbing a pack of Airheads Candy is a fond memory. As for younger generations, they’re still making memories with Airheads. In other words, Airheads have achieved a feat that many fun confectionaries can’t – transcending generations! Despite only being around for a short few decades, the memorable treat has had a history just as fun-filled as the candy itself.

The flawlessly fun and oh-so deliciously fruity formula refuses to be sidelined. Chewy in texture and bursting with flavor, featuring an instantly recognizable smiley red balloon – these are happy candies! 

Over their almost 4 decades of existence, Airheads have witnessed multiple different shapes, forms, and flavors to fit everyone’s taste buds, with kids themselves even playing a role in the sweet treat’s manufacturing story.  

Why are Airheads so Popular?

A Treat you Can Enjoy your Way

Mouthwatering, intensely crave-worthy flavor aside, Airheads make treat time an ultra-fun customizable experience. The chewy taffy-like confection can be pulled, squished, and molded into crazy shapes before even taking the first bite! Some candy-connoisseurs also prefer to indulge in the shake-bag method, which includes vigorously shaking the bag of warheads until they’ve crumbled to irresistibly sweet powdery sugar dust. 

A Familiar Face 

Despite their relatively young age, Airheads seem to have been on the candy aisle forever! 

An interesting fact about Airheads to tell your customers: After learning that a candy product’s name takes around a decade to be fully memorized by the market, the genius behind Airheads, Steve Bruner, knew he had to pick a well-known name to speed things up. So, he cleverly asked his young son, “What would you call your friend who did something silly?”  

Of course, he listed off several names before reaching Airhead – it was an instant winner. So Bruner put the title to the test and found it was rated very high with children nine through fifteen - the rest is candy history. 

What do Airheads taste like?

In simple terms, the fruit-flavored, chewy candies are sweet and sugary. 

Airhead Bars come in a variety of flavors that range from the basics: 

To the more novel and unique flavorings of … 

Pink Lemonade-Orange (light pink and orange striped) Birthday Cake (white with colored sprinkles) Cotton Candy Bubble Gum (pale pink.) And the list goes on – it seems the Airheads design team is forever hard at work masterminding the next big delicious flavor on the candy scene.

In 2007, a flavor called BerryHot was introduced, claiming to “heat up in your mouth.” And more recently, in 2018, Airheads released a White Mystery Flavor that left candy-lovers scratching their heads and chewing madly simultaneously! Like a creation straight out of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, some Airhead fans were convinced the flavor changed every time while others had it pinned as Cherry – the jury’s still out.

How Many Airhead Products are There?

While Airhead bars are the star of the Airhead show, they’re certainly not the only player on the field. In June 2013, “Airheads bites” were released, much to the delight of the brand’s fans. There’s also the delightfully chewy Airhead Gummies to consider. And like all great confectionary brands, Airheads branched out into delicious right-on-brand fruit-flavored gum! Airhead’s Filled Ropes are also Airhead’s take on liquorice-sweet candy.

Perhaps seeing for the first time that success was to be found in innovation and experimentation – Airheads went full steam ahead.

Two years later, in August 2015, “Airheads ice cream” burst onto the scene. The ice-cream came in 8 different flavors: "blue raspberry", "cherry", "watermelon", "orange", "green apple", "pink lemonade", "grape", and "strawberry". Sundae cups and Icecream Sandwiches followed soon after with the same flavor options.

In November 2019, “Airheads Paradise Blends” were released to the tune of Cherry Pineapple Blast, Raspberry Lemonade, Citrus Rush, and Blue Hawaiian as a tropical twist on the Airheads Fruit Bites Original.

Why do Airheads Sell so Well?

Novelty Appeal

While Airheads are available nationwide in the United States and Canada in 16 different flavors. Look elsewhere, however, and you’ll find that Airheads are relatively sparse. Only introduced officially to the  United Kingdom in 2015, Airheads have been gaining traction among British sweet tooths. Further afield, you’re likely to only find Airheads in USA-themed candy stores. 

A Taste for the Ages

Despite being primarily (and very successfully) marketed toward kids, Airheads appeals to snackers of all ages. 

One Amazon reviewer stated ““I bought them for my kids and ended up eating most of them myself. Why??? Because they are delicious. If you lack self-control and any sense of dignity like me but don’t want to look in the mirror with disgust... AVOID these. They will lure you into a sugar-filled state of self-loathing to be rivaled by a weekend in Vegas. Your mouth will be brightly colored so hiding your gluttony is a futile endeavor. You can’t wash away this kind of shame. Just don’t do it.” 

The Everyone’s Candy for all Occasions

Easy on the eye and even easier on the tastebuds, Airheads are a fun, welcoming, and familiar sight and taste. They fit in on corporate event tables just as much as they do birthday party treat bags (or right in the palm of your hand!)

All of your Questions About Airheads: Answered!

Are Airheads Vegan?

All flavors of regular airheads, as well as Airhead Xtremes, are vegan.

Are Airheads Gluten Free? 

Yes, they are gluten-free. Traditional Airheads and Airheads bites are gluten-free.

Do Airheads Contain Nuts?

Airheads do not contain peanuts. However, they note that no tests are performed for peanut traces on their products, meaning that some peanut traces could be present.

Do Airheads Contain Soy? 

Airheads technically do not contain soy. But, much like with peanuts, the products are not tested for any soy traces.

Are Airheads Kosher?

Airheads bars and Airheads Xtremes Belts are Kosher products. Airheads Bites, Airheads Soft Filled Bites, Airheads Pops, and Airheads Xtremes Bites are not Kosher.

Are Airheads Halal?

Both Airheads Bars and Airheads Xtremes are Halal since they contain no animal-derived ingredients.


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