National Gumdrop Day

What’s a candy that’s made out of sweet gelatin and is then given a sugar coating? For those of you who don’t know, it’s the gumdrop. Gumdrops are candies that are not only sweet and colorful but have also become somewhat of a cultural icon.

They’ve been a trusted candy in the U.S. since the middle of the nineteenth century, and they continue to be enjoyed by millions of people every year. That’s probably why this candy has received its own holiday—a day known as National Gumdrop Day, celebrated every February 15th.

The History Of Gumdrops

Even though it seems like National Gumdrop Day is a recently invented holiday that was created somewhere around 2001 to 2004, we couldn’t find out who actually invented it. Unfortunately, finding the history of the gumdrop proved to be almost as difficult as finding the origin of the holiday. What we do know, however, is that the gumdrop was probably created over 200 years ago.

What were the original gumdrops of the 17th and 18th centuries like? We’re not sure, but they probably had more of a jelly consistency than modern gumdrops. The earliest written mention of gumdrops, however, wouldn’t occur until 1859. This is when a candy shop in Decatur, Illinois, advertised a gelatin-based candy named gumdrops but was actually more like gummies instead of modern gumdrops.

As far as the modern gumdrop is concerned, it’s believed that these were invented by Percy Truesdell—an Ohio candy manufacturer. Supposedly, he invented the modern gumdrop in 1915. However, we should probably mention that the supporting facts are very thin, so we can’t positively identify Mr. Truesdell as the inventor of the modern gumdrop.

Sweet Facts About Gumdrops

Now that we’ve covered the history of gumdrops (sort of), it’s time to consider some of the fun facts that we’ve learned about this candy during our gumdrop research. So without wasting any more time, let’s take a quick look at these gumdrop facts.

  • Cherry, orange, lemon, and grape are the most popular gumdrop flavors.
  • Gumdrops used to be flavored with spice flavors instead of fruit flavors.
  • Gumdrops are a popular “accessory” for gingerbread houses.
  • Spice Drops are a form of gumdrops that are still flavored using traditional spices.

Spice Gumdrop Flavors

Many people are familiar with the modern gumdrop variation Spice Drops, so we thought it would be fun to go over some of these gumdrops’ colors and talk about what flavors those colored gumdrops are.

  • Orange = Clove
  • Purple = Anise
  • Yellow = Allspice
  • Green = Spearmint
  • Red = Cinnamon
  • Black = Licorice
  • White = Peppermint

Celebrating National Gumdrop Day

No one needs an excuse to celebrate National Gumdrop Day. All they have to do is buy some of their favorite gumdrops and enjoy them any way they want. They can eat them straight from the bag, or use them in desserts or for building gingerbread houses. People can also use the hashtag #NationalGumdropDay on their social media accounts to let others know they’re celebrating this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 15 Thursday
Next year (2025)
February 15 Saturday
Last year (2023)
February 15 Wednesday
Food & Drinks, Fun & Joy