does this old candy still exist?
April 10, 2020 11:34 AM   Subscribe

One night in college, circa 2002, I was pulling an all-nighter, and I went to the grocery store around 3am for supplies - mostly beer, but I bought a bag of store-brand candy that was kind of life-changing. There's a detailed description inside, but to progress the story, the grocery chain went out of business a couple of years later. I saw similar store-brand candy for a while afterward, but I haven't seen anything for probably 15 years. I'm wondering if anything like this still exists.

The candy in question are milk chocolate caramel cups, like a Reese's cup but with caramel instead of peanut butter. They were Food Club brand, from Big Bear in Columbus, Ohio. (The Food Club brand seems to still exist.) I also distinctly remember the same product under the Great Value label at Walmart, and at least one other store (Kroger? Meijer?) had a version as well. There was also a dark chocolate variety (not as good), and the caramel was gooey and NOT NOT NOT salted (this is very important). They came in a bag, and were found with other bagged candy (e.g., Brach's, chocolate Riesen, peppermints) in the candy aisle. Here's a Google Image Search result, although the bag doesn't look exactly like I remember. This Amazon listing seems to be the same basic thing, although they're pretty expensive and stock is low. That seems to be the only thing I can find on the internet, though. Do these simply not exist anymore? Does anyone else remember them? And are they still available anywhere?

Note that there are numerous milk chocolate/caramel candies out there. I've eaten a lot of them, and many are good. But I'm looking for cups specifically. And while I'm not opposed to high quality chocolate if that's my only option, scratching this particular itch would probably involve something cheap and non-artisanal.
posted by kevinbelt to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try Vermont Country Store ? Lots of candy there.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:39 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just searching for milk chocolate caramel cups I find a bunch of bulk things like this - are those too small?
posted by aubilenon at 11:47 AM on April 10, 2020

Aren't these just Rolos?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 11:50 AM on April 10, 2020 [22 favorites]

I always bought the peanut butter version but I remember them being on the shelf at Walmart.

Great Value Creamy Caramel Milk Chocolate Cups, 12 Oz. but there's no price and it says "Delivery not available, Pickup not available, In-store purchase only..." implying perhaps that the entry on their web site is just for leaving product reviews, and you can still get them in some stores maybe?
posted by XMLicious at 11:50 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: They're a little bigger than Rolos, and the caramel is creamier.

I've looked at Walmart in the past year or so and didn't see them, but I don't go very often, so maybe they were just out of stock? I don't have a Walmart that's particularly close to me, and I'm probably not going to leave the house right now just to see if they have candy. But if anyone has been to a Walmart recently, could you report?
posted by kevinbelt at 12:05 PM on April 10, 2020

I remember exactly what you're talking about. They had a peanut butter version of the same basic candy, which I ate a lot of. A lot of stores had these as a self-brand product. Indeed, I haven't seen them anywhere in ten years or so. I remember for a while Safeway had them at half price, which I assume was them clearing their inventory, and then they were gone. I haven't seen anything like them since. My guess is they just weren't selling well enough compared to brand-name products. Possibly Rolo and Reese's even paid off the stores to do away with these.

Other erstwhile snacks I remember fondly: the old-style Chex Mix (with butter and worcestershire, like God intended) and Planter's Grandstand Peanuts.
posted by kindall at 12:28 PM on April 10, 2020

Your question reminded me of old Halloween candy and so after poking around a bit I found these. A bit difficult to find without some kind of added pumpkin spice or some such flavoring, which is annoying, but these appear to be chocolate and caramel only.
posted by Crystal Fox at 1:52 PM on April 10, 2020

I know I have seen (and bought) these from by-the-pound bins of Eillien's candies at my grocery store (Woodman's, if it matters). They were just like the little peanut butter cups, but wrapped in a different color foil, and filled with caramel instead of peanut butter.
posted by DrGail at 2:26 PM on April 10, 2020

Probably unhelpful....but were they like these?
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 3:17 PM on April 10, 2020

Response by poster: Not unhelpful at all. Those look very similar. The Palmer’s ones also look promising.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:28 PM on April 10, 2020

Toffifay probably isn't what you mean, but it's in the same ballpark. Not a house brand. I don't think I've actually seen it on a shelf since the 80s.
posted by adamrice at 4:42 PM on April 10, 2020

Just an FYI on Palmer brand candies. They are not chocolate. They are "Mockolate": basically chocolate "flavored" candy. The taste is decidedly inferior.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 6:26 AM on April 12, 2020

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