Retro Easter candy from the 70s, 80s & 90s remains some of the greatest candy of all time

Retro vintage Easter candy 1970s 1980s 1990s

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Easter candy has been such an important part of the way we’ve been celebrating Easter for so long that we may not appreciate how relatively recent this tradition actually is.

Classic candy products like chocolate Easter bunnies, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Reese’s Eggs, jelly beans and Marshmallow Peeps candy didn’t exist at all prior to the 20th century.

Nowadays, they are so integrated into our Easter celebrations that sales of Easter candy in the US are exceeded only by those of Halloween candy.

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Exactly how did Easter-themed candy become such a major Easter tradition?

Like so many day-to-day conveniences that we take for granted now, Easter candy was the result of manufacturing innovations that could produce such novelties like molded chocolate Easter bunnies — and on a massive scale.

Traditionally, Easter represents the end of Lent, which is a period of sacrifice where practitioners are often known to give up sweets as their deprivation.

These new innovations in candy-making meshed perfectly with the post-Lent demand — and a new tradition was born that we can (and do) wax fiercely nostalgic over today!

Scroll on to see the greatest all-time hits of retro Easter candy from the 70s, 80s and 90s… many of which we still enjoy to this day!

ALSO SEE: How much did you love this Brach’s Easter candy from the 60s? Bunnies, chicks, chocolate eggs & more

Vintage Brach’s Baskets of Easter joy (1971)

Easter is a happier day when the kids get Brach’s Baskets! We put in mountains of luscious candies. Toys too. But we leave the joy of giving to you!

Branchs' Easter candy basket of joy (1971)

Brach’s is America’s No. 1 Easter Bunny (1971)

It’s true! Brach’s Easter Candies are delivered by more bunnies and enjoyed by more kids than any other kind. Fresh, unbeatable taste. Join the happy crowd!

Branch's Easter candy advertisement (1971)

Vintage jelly beans in Easter tins – Fundraiser (1970s)

ALSO SEE: Fundraisers, vintage style: See some of the stuff kids used to sell to earn money for scouts & schools

Vintage jelly beans in Easter tins (1970s)

Retro Brach’s Easter Eggs candy (1971)

Kids are wild about Brach’s luscious eggs! The variety. The richer tastes. Real chocolate. Marshmallow. Cremes. Jellies. Be a good egg, mom — hide Brach’s.

Branch's Easter Eggs mixed candies (1971)

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Real chocolate from Brach’s for Easter (1971)

We make our own! Not one, but five fresh, delicious blends! Cherry, Chocolate Buttercreme, Fruit and Nut, Maple, Coconut, and Vanilla.

Then we lavish the right chocolate on each candy center for tastes every youngster loves best!

ALSO SEE: Decorating Easter eggs is a tradition that never gets old! Try some of these creative ideas from days gone by

Branch's Chocolate Easter Eggs candy (1971)

Mars M&M’s Easter candies and terrarium (1974)

What a surprise! Watch your kids’ faces light up when they find these M&M’s/ Mars Fun Size candies in their Easter baskets this year.

All the good taste of regular size M&M’s / Mars candies and just the right size for an Easter Egg Hunt.

Terrarium offer: Start an indoor garden with this stylish 12″ high, egg-shaped terrarium. Heavy duty plastic. Easy-to-remove dome….

MARS m&m's Easter candies and terrarium (1974)

ALSO SEE: 30 creative indoor plant decorating ideas (and none of them are wreaths!)

Hershey’s Easter Bunny Basket: You make it with love and Hershey’s Kisses(1976)

Easter craft how to: Wrap aluminum foil around a one-pound coffee can. Use cotton balls for cheeks. And colored paper to cut out whiskers, ears and bow.

Glue* on one Kiss to make a nose. Another Kiss, cut in half, for the eyes. Surround face with Kisses in silver foil. Cover rest of can with Hershey’s pretty pastel Easter Kisses.

Now you’ve got an original Hershey’s Easter Bunny basket. And don’t forget to fill it with lots of delicious Kisses. That way, the whole family will enjoy that real Hershey’s milk chocolate.

Hershey's Kisses for Easter (1976)

ALSO SEE: Remember these vintage Easter egg shrink-wrap decorating sleeves to decorate eggs?

Thanks, Easter Bunny! Vintage M&M’s Easter ad (1978)

It’s no wonder kids beam when they find M&M’s candies in their Easter baskets.

They’re bright and colorful. Made with real milk chocolate and crunchy roasted peanuts. Fun to eat. And fun to make special holiday treats and decorations with.

M&M’s Plain and Peanut Chocolate candies; The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth — not in your hand.

Editor’s note: Now, in the 21st century, you can make your own custom m&ms in dozens of colors, and even get them printed with a photo or message. Find out more here!

Easter M&M's plain and peanut chocolate candies (1978)

Hershey’s Chocolate Eggs: Candy coated milk chocolate (1978)

Hershey's Chocolate Eggs (1978)

More Brach’s Easter candies and chocolate eggs  from the 70s

Chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, chocolate buttercream egg — plus more chocolate creme eggs: maple, fruit nut, coconut, cherry & vanilla flavors

Brach's Easter candy ad from the 70s

MORE: 1970s candy: Remember these deliciously unforgettable sweets?

M&M’s chocolate candies for Easter (1984)

Thanks, Easter Bunny! Plain & peanut varieties

m&m's chocolate candies for easter (1984)

Hershey’s and Reese’s Easter candy basket (1985)

Delicious easter treats from Hershey’s and Reese’s — America’s greatest name in chocolate.

Candies include Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Eggs, Rolo, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Hershey’s assorted Miniatures, and more.

Hershey's and Reese Easter candy basket (1985)

Vintage 80s Easter candy: Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers chocolate bars

Break the habit, rabbit. Every Easter, you give and get the same ‘ol Easter candy. But this year you can add a sweet surprise to your basket…

Vintage 80s Easter candy - Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers chocolate bars

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Make the Easter Bunny look good: Retro Fruit Skittles ad (1988)

Bring home the special Easter packages of Skittles bite-sized candies. They look great in the basket. And since Skittles is liked by everyone, you might just become the greatest Easter Bunny of all time.

Skittles Easter candy packages (1988)

Cadbury Mini-Eggs Easter candy (1988)

Nothing can replace the rich milk chocolate taste of Cadbury Mini Eggs. Which is why so many are sorry they’re only around ’til Easter.

Nobunny knows Easter better than Cadbury.

Vintage Cadbury Mini-Eggs Easter candy (1988)

M&M’s pastel chocolate candies (1989)

Show off your Easter best with special decorative Holidays chocolates. Pastel-colored candy-coated outsides surround real milk chocolate insides.

Makes for a pretty, delicious treat. And they’re from the people who make M&M’s chocolate candies.

Vintage Easter holiday pastel mms candies (1989)

Sweet Easter candy savings at Toys ‘R’ Us (1991)

Retro Easter treats and candy shown here includes Whoppers malted milk Robin Eggs, Double Crisp Bunny Munny, Skittles, Hershey’s candy-coated milk chocolate eggs & foil-covered chocolate eggs, Cadbury’s mini-eggs, and Reese’s peanut butter eggs.

Sweet Easter candy savings at Toys R Us in 1991 (2)

More vintage Easter candy

Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs, Rodda’s Marshmallow Peeps, Palmer Heffelfloppers, Cadbury Creme Eggs & more springtime sweetness

Sweet Easter candy savings at Toys R Us in 1991 (1)

Pastel almond M&M’s candy for Easter (1994)

Retro 90s Almond mms candy - Pastel easter colors (1994)

Milky Way Creme Eggs (1994)

Forget about the $3.9 million price difference. Let’s talk taste.

Rich milk chocolate, creamy caramel, and fluffy nougat. Everything you love in a Milky Way just in time for Easter.

Milky Way Brand Creme Eggs. “Nothing smooths your way like a Milky Way.”

Milky Way Creme Eggs candy (1994)

Retro Starburst Jellybeans for Easter (1995)

Vintage 90s Starburst Jellybeans (1995)

Smucker’s Jelly Beans Easter candy (1997)

Smucker's Jelly Beans Easter candy (1997)


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Comments on this story

3 Responses

  1. i miss al lthe brachs candy……. not its just an occasional brand name ….. and as for palmer ….. ick ……

  2. I wish they would bring back Easter candy from the ’70s ’80s and the ’90s. That was the best candy there was
    Especially the different flavor Easter eggs

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