At some point, just about everybody has had a container of Tic Tacs shaking in his or her pocket. This famous little mint has come a long way since it was first invented in 1969: today, Tic Tacs are available in more than 100 countries. Even though you’ve probably popped more than a few in your life, we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about this humble little mint.
They’re Produced by Ferrero
Tic Tacs are produced by Italian confectioner Ferrero, the same company that makes Nutella, Kinder Chocolate, and Rocher.
Their Original Name was “Refreshing Mints”
The rather blah original moniker was jettisoned in 1970 and replaced with the name Tic Tac, an onomatopoetic reference to the sound the mints make in their container.
The Grape Flavor Was Eliminated for a Scary Reason
Within the first few years of their existence, flavors like cinnamon, orange, sour apple, berry, mandarin, strawberry, pink grapefruit, and a mixture of orange and grape were added to the lineup. In 1967, the grape flavor was eliminated, however, because the red dye that was used in it, amaranth, was named a suspected carcinogen.
Only White Tic Tacs are Sold in Other Countries
In many foreign countries, it’s the box that’s colored, not the Tic Tacs. Even flavors like orange and cherry are stark white.
They’re Not “The 1 ½ Calorie Breath Mint” Any More
The company started using that tag line in 1980, but in recent years it was abandoned because the size of Tic Tacs have increased slightly. Today, they’re 1.9 calories per candy.
Some Flavors are Available Only in India
A handful of flavors, including peach and passion and elaichi (cardamom), are only available in India.