Iconic ’80s Candy Bonkers! Makes a Vegan Comeback

Candy company LEAF Brands—the makers of Jolly Ranchers—have resurrected the nostalgic fruity chews in seven classic flavors.


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Candy company LEAF Brands recently announced the launch of vegan fruit chews Bonkers!—an iconic candy that was popular in the 1980s and 1990s. LEAF’s version of Bonkers! (complete with a gooey center) will be available in lemon-lime, cherry, grape, orange, watermelon, strawberry, and chocolate. The candy company dedicated five years to reformulating Bonkers!, which were previously made with animal-derived gelatin by Nabisco. “Bonkers! proved to be our most challenging product to bring back due to the complexities of the machinery and working through many old formulas from 35 years ago,” LEAF Brands CEO Ellia Kassoff said. “Additionally, we had to find the inventor (who’s now retired) then search for the old flavor companies with the original flavors.” The brand—which also makes Jolly Ranchers and Whoppers—incorporated feedback from a Facebook page where it sourced taste-testers of the reformulated fruit chews. The brand will begin shipping Bonkers! (with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1.49 per six-piece candy stick) to retailers in July.