Rock Pops the beloved candy debuted in 1974. The creation of this iconic confection was a serendipitous result of a quest to develop instant soda by a research chemist at General Mills. The credit for the creation of Pop Rocks goes to William A. Mitchell, a research chemist who dedicated 35 years of his career to General Foods. It was purely by happenstance that Mitchell stumbled upon the concept of this iconic candy.
In his pursuit of trapping carbon dioxide within candy, the chemist unintentionally birthed a sensation—Pop Rocks. Although the envisioned sparkling soda didn’t materialize, the accidental discovery of these fizzy, crackling candies captivated children’s taste buds and imaginations when they were finally introduced almost two decades later.
The fascinating journey of Pop Rocks began with the unintended outcome of the chemist’s experiment, marking a turning point in the world of sweets. Despite the nearly 20-year gap between its inception and market release, the candy quickly gained widespread popularity among kids enchanted by the crackling candy’s unique and delightful sensation in their mouths.
Pop Rocks not only left an indelible mark on the world of confectionery but also became the subject of an enduring urban legend that continues to intrigue and entertain to this day. The mystique surrounding Pop Rocks, coupled with its explosive introduction into the candy scene, has contributed to its enduring legacy as a timeless treat that sparks nostalgia and fond memories for generations. With the jubilee anniversary of Rock Pops, let us reflect on the unexpected origins, the joy it has brought to countless individuals, and the enduring allure that makes Pop Rocks a cherished part of candy history.
Upon his retirement, Mitchell boasted an impressive portfolio of over 70 patents attributed to his name. While Pop Rocks gained widespread attention as his most notable invention, Mitchell also played a significant role in the creation of household staples such as Cool Whip, quick-set Jell-O, and Tang. The impact of his innovations extends far beyond terrestrial boundaries, as astronauts and even karate-champion chimps owe a debt of gratitude to his contributions.
Contrary to a persistent myth since the 1970s, combining Pop Rocks with Coke does not pose any risk of causing your stomach to explode. The unfounded narrative involving the alleged demise of “Little Mikey” in a Pop Rocks mishap has been consistently debunked. This rumor is particularly absurd, given that the actor portraying Little Mikey in the Life cereal commercials, John Gilchrist, is very much alive. Moreover, the scientific basis for such an occurrence is entirely implausible.