Pep-O-Mint Life Savers came first, back in 1912. The second flavor introduced was Wint-O-Green. The best flavor ever, Butter Rum, came out in the 1920s, and then the iconic five-flavor roll made its debut in 1935.
Though they were called Life Savers from the beginning, the technology to make a hole in the middle of the candy wasn’t invented until 1925. Other flavors were introduced in those early years that weren’t so successful included Cl-O-ve, Lic-O-Riche, Cinn-O-Mon, Vi-O-let and Choc-O-Late. They stayed around for a long time, but never captured the public’s taste.
The original five flavors, which stayed the same for half a century, were lemon, lime, orange, cherry, and pineapple. Today, raspberry and watermelon have taken the place of lemon and lime. I’m sure that’s in line with tastes today, but it seems just wrong somehow .
Perhaps you received a “book” of Life Savers in your Christmas stocking. What a great treat that lasted long after you’d put away most of the toys Santa brought. As I said, Butter Rum was my favorite, and still is. A friend happened to offer one of these great candies to me this week and I remembered just how much I love them. They taste every bit as good as they did when I was a kid, and you can’t say that very often.