Maker of Red Vines celebrates centennial with new look, new candy

In honor of its company’s centennial, Red Vines has a new look. That beloved red licorice candy rolls out new packaging this month.

“We believe in the timeless quality of Red Vines twists,” said brand manager Stephanie Louie. “The new look is our way of adding even more life to this classic confection and reminding candy lovers to celebrate life’s sweet moments.”

For Summer of 2014, Red Vines’ patriotic red, white and blue packaging looks bolder and brighter — especially more blue — and the new brand logo takes on a nostalgic twist befitting its legacy.

Red Vines is the best selling-brand of American Licorice Company, founded in 1914 in Chicago with its basic black namesake candy. Since 1925, American Licorice has been part of the Bay Area. The familiar Red Vines — which debuted in the early 1950s as Raspberry Vines — are still made in Union City.

Also new this summer is another American Licorice product: Fruit Vines Bites. Offered in strawberry and cherry, these licorice-like soft and chewy candies reflect several recent consumer trends: They’re low fat, preservative free and bite size. They’re offered in 2-ounce, 5-ounce and 10-ounce bags (the largest is resealable). Suggested retail price: $3.99 for the 10-ounce bag.

According to the company, consumers want “on-the-go snacking” but also want portion control; Fruit Vines Bites — which contain about 100 calories per seven pieces — fit both categories.

Like the traditional Red Vines, Fruit Vines Bites offer a taste of nostalgia; it’s a familiar candy category for generations. But the new Fruit Vines Bites are a little sweeter, chewier and very berry (or cherry). They’re a good size for kids — and grown-up snacks, too. And they’re California made.

Look for both Red Vines and Fruit Vines Bites at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target and major supermarkets.