Tootsie Pop

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A Tootsie Pop[1] (known as Tutsi Chupa Pop in Latin America[2]) is a hard candy lollipop filled with a chocolate-flavored chewy Tootsie Roll candy. They were invented in 1931 by an employee of The Sweets Company of America. Tootsie Rolls had themselves been invented in 1896 by Leo Hirschfield.[3] The company changed its name to Tootsie Roll Industries in 1969. The candy made its debut in 1931 and since then various flavors have been introduced. The idea came to be when a man who worked at The Sweets Company of America licked his daughter's lollipop at the same time he was chewing his Tootsie Roll. He loved the idea and pitched it to everyone at the next snack ideas meeting.

Tootsie Pops logo
An orange-flavored Tootsie Roll Pop.

In 2002, 60 million Tootsie Rolls and 20 million Tootsie Pops were produced every day.[4]


Various wrapped Tootsie Roll Pops

Tootsie Pops are known for the catch phrase "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?". The phrase was first introduced in an animated commercial which debuted on US television in August 1969.[5] In the original television ad, a questioning boy (voiced by Buddy Foster) proposes the question to a cow (voiced by Frank Nelson), a fox (voiced by Paul Frees), a turtle (voiced by Ralph James) and an owl (voiced by Paul Winchell). Each one of the first three animals tells the kid to ask someone else, explaining that they would bite a Tootsie Pop every time they lick one. Eventually, he asks the owl, appearing wise, who offers to investigate. He starts licking the orange Tootsie Pop, but bites into it after only three licks. The child walks away, saying to himself, "If there's anything I can't stand, it's a smart aleck."[6][5] The commercial ends the same way, with various flavored Tootsie Pops unwrapped and being "licked away" until being crunched in the center with Herschel Bernardi asking, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie pop? The world may never know."[7]

While the original commercial is 60 seconds long, an edited 30-second version and 15-second version of this commercial are the ones that have aired innumerable times over the years.

In the shorter 30-second ad, Mr. Owl returns the spent candy stick, and the boy's final line is replaced with him frowning at the empty stick.[7][8]

The 15-second commercial (which is still broadcast as of 2024) only shows the boy with Mr. Owl, and a different narrator (Frank Leslie) speaks the same concluding line (this time without mentioning "Tootsie Roll" in the sentence), but without the scene showing the Tootsie Roll pops slowly disappearing with an APM Music track "Crepe Suzette" (composed by Cyril Watters) playing in the background. The question still stands unanswered.[9]

In the 1990s, a new commercial was made featuring a boy asking a robot and a dragon how many licks it takes to get to the center, with the Tootsie Pops known for the catch phrase "How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop?", rather than "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?".[10]

Rumors and set attempts


Redeemable wrappers


At some point, a rumor began that the lollipop wrappers which bore three unbroken circles were redeemable for free candy or even free items like shirts and other goods. The rumor was untrue, but some shops have honored the wrapper offer over the years, allowing people to "win" a free pop.

Some stores redeemed lollipop wrappers with the "shooting star" (bearing an image of a child dressed as a Native American aiming a bow and arrow at a star) for a free lolipop. This was clearly up to the store owner and not driven by the lollipop manufacturer.[11] One convenience store[12] in Iowa City, Iowa, for example, gave candy away when the children asked. Also, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Osco Drug used to give children free lolipops for star wrappers. In 1994, the owner of Dan's Shortstop told a reporter that when he first opened children came by often, but after a while, he said he had to stop giving things away. Giveaways also occurred in Chico, California, where a 7-Eleven store manager in the Pleasant Valley area, said she had to stop because it had become too expensive.[13] Since 1982, Tootsie Roll Industries has been distributing a "consolation prize", the short story, The Legend of the Indian Wrapper, to children who mail in their Indian star wrappers.[14]

Lick tests


A student study by Purdue University concluded that it took an average of 365 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop using a "licking machine", while it took an average of 253 licks when tried by 20 students.[15][16] Yet another study by the University of Michigan concluded that it takes 412 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. A 1996 study by undergraduate students at Swarthmore College concluded that it takes a median of 146 licks (range 70–222) to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.[17]

In 2014, the Tribology Laboratory at the University of Florida published a study examining the coupled effects of biology, corrosion, and mechanical agitation on the wear of Tootsie Roll Pops. Self-reported wear data from 58 participants was used in conjunction with statistical analysis of actual lollipop cross-sectional information in a numerical simulation to compute the average number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. The number of licks required to reach the center, based on equatorial cross-section data, was found to be nearly independent of the licking style with the one-sided approach requiring 195±18 licks and the full-surface approach requiring 184±33. Detailed examination of the lollipops indicates that the minimum candy shell thickness is rarely (if ever) located along the equator. Using the global minimum distance resulted in a calculated 130±29 licks to reach the center, independent of licking style.[18]



Tropical Stormz

  • Strawberry/Banana
  • Citrus Punch
  • Berry Berry Punch
  • Lemon/Lime
  • Orange/Pineapple

"Wild Berry" assortment

  • Wild Apple Berry
  • Wild Blueberry
  • Wild Black Cherry
  • Wild Cherry Berry
  • Wild Mango Berry


  • Pomegranate (rotated as a "sixth flavor" in 2012)
  • Blueberry (rotated as a "sixth flavor" in 2011)
  • Lemon-Lime (rotated as a "sixth flavor" in 2004)
  • Blue Raspberry (rotated as a "sixth Flavor" in 2004)
  • Watermelon (rotated as a "sixth flavor" in 2004)
  • Strawberry (rotated as a "sixth flavor" in 2004)
  • Strawberry-Watermelon (rotated as a "sixth flavor" in 2015)
  • Pineapple
  • Tangerine
  • Fruit Punch

Non-standard flavors can be now purchased in single-flavor bulk.

Additional flavors: Strawberry-Vanilla, Cherry (Valentine's Day), Tangerine, Pineapple, Tropical Punch, Wild Blackberry and Strawberry Watermelon.


  • Candy Cane (Christmas seasonal flavor, also available as Pop Drops)
  • Caramel (Halloween seasonal flavor, but seems to be sold all year)

"Sweet & Sour Bunch" pops


The "Sweet & Sour Bunch" flavors came in a package of eight Assortment pops, at .50 oz. / 14.8 grams each.

  • Sour Apple
  • Sour Blackberry
  • Sour Blue Raspberry
  • Sour Lemon
  • Sweet Cherry
  • Sweet Grape
  • Sweet Orange
  • Sweet Raspberry

Tootsie Fruit Chews Pops


Hard candy matched with a complementary Tootsie Fruit Chew flavor core.[19]

  • Orange Pop/Lime Center
  • Strawberry Pop/Lemon Center
  • Lemon Lime Pop/Orange Center
  • Blue Raspberry Pop/Cherry Center

Sister products

  • Tootsie Rolls - the original Tootsie candy on which Tootsie Pops were based
  • Tootsie Pop Drops - Smaller Tootsie Pops candy without the stick, made to be portable and often sold in a pocket package.[20]
    • Pop Drops Assortment: Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Chocolate, Orange, and Grape
    • Candy Cane Pop Drops (seasonal)
  • Caramel Apple Pops - flat lollipop of apple-flavored hard candy, coated with a chewy caramel layer
    • Caramel Apple Pops (original flavor: Green Apple a.k.a. Granny Smith)
    • Caramel Apple Orchard Pops (three flavors: Red Macintosh, Green Apple, Golden Delicious)
  • Charms Blow Pops - Tootsie Pops with bubble gum in the center, instead of a Tootsie Roll
    • Charms Blow Pops Assortment: Cherry, Sour Apple, Grape, Watermelon, Strawberry, Blue Raspberry
    • Super Blow Pops
    • Blow Pops Minis
    • Way-2-Sour Blow Pops

See also



  1. ^ "Welcome to Tootsie – Product Information – Tootsie Pops: Original". 2010-05-22. Archived from the original on 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  2. ^ "FindLaw's United States Fifth Circuit case and opinions". Findlaw.
  3. ^ "Tootsie Roll Industries - Company History". Retrieved 2022-09-25.
  4. ^ Aaseng, Nathan (2005). Business Builders in Sweets & Treats. Minneapolis: Oliver Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-881508-84-7. Archived from the original on 2018-04-24.
  5. ^ a b "Fan Fun: Videos". Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  6. ^ Newcomer, Emily (2021) "Tootsie Pop: Memorable Childhood Candy Commercial," Line by Line: A Journal of Beginning Student Writing: Vol. 7 : Iss. 1 , Article 8. Available at:
  7. ^ a b "Classic Tootsie Roll Commercial - 'How Many Licks'". Tootsie Roll. 14 August 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "Tootsie Roll Commercial - "How Many Licks" - Short". Tootsie Roll. 15 January 2014. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Tootsie Roll Pop - Mr. Owl - short (classic) 0:15 (USA)". Tootsie Roll. 28 August 2005. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  10. ^ Gamer Zylo (5 July 2007). "Tootsie Pop 3D commercial". Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "The Mystery of the Tootsie Pop Indian Wrapper". Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Free Tootsie Roll Pops?". Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  13. ^ "The Wrapper". Archived from the original on 2013-11-09.
  14. ^ "The Legend of the Indian Wrapper" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-10-02.
  15. ^ "Nestle getting out of the candy business and 10 other Halloween candy fun facts you didn't know". Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  16. ^ "How Many Licks Does It Take?". Tootsie Roll.
  17. ^ "The Tootsie Project". Kathryn A. Zyla. 1996-04-09. Archived from the original on 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  18. ^ Sawyer, W.G. (2014). "Lessons from the Lollipop: Biotribology, Tribocorrosion, and Irregular Surfaces". Tribology Letters. 56 (2): 273–280. doi:10.1007/s11249-014-0407-z. S2CID 51897331.
  19. ^ "Tootsie Fruit Chew Pops Assorted Flavor Lollipops - 48 Piece Case - All City Candy". Archived from the original on 2020-10-19. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  20. ^ "Monitoring kamery do monitoringu, monitoring CCTV, kamery przemysłowe -". Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2018.