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NEW YORK (July 26, 2007) – This coming August marks the 30th anniversary of a jewel of a candy: the Ring Pop! Introduced on store shelves in August of 1977, Ring Pop is a top-selling non-chocolate candy* whose product relevance has bridged generations of children. Since 1977 there have been an estimated three billion Ring Pops sold, and when placed end-to-end it’s estimated they would circle the earth nearly four times; planet Earth’s own version of Saturn’s rings. Manufactured by Topps Confections, the candy ring was originally offered in two flavors: cherry and grape. Kids now choose from more than 10 different fruit and twisted flavors, as well as specialty seasonal tastes, so availability is always “on hand.”

Ring Pop was an instant hit with its unique lollipop concept when it made its debut more than a quarter century ago and while it is a favorite among kids, adult men have often purchased Ring Pop to creatively “pop” the question to potential brides. For children and in “pop” culture, its “pop”ularity has continued to grow in its 30 years with no sign of peaking, as evidenced (below) by its appearances in “pop”ular movies and television shows, worn by “pop” stars and being immortalized by “pop” artists.

  • The June cover of Mad Magazine had Alfred E. Newman dressed as a pirate wearing a Ring Pop
  • Ring Pop recently graced the finger of singer Fergie in her “Fergielicious” music video
  • Ring Pop had a supporting role in this year’s Norbit film starring Eddie Murphy and will again grace the big screen in the upcoming August 3rd release of the Bratz movie
  • Singer/actress Lindsay Lohan sported three Ring Pops in a full page photo in Interview magazine
  • Ring Pop made guest appearances in the following television shows: WB’s Gilmore Girls, CW’s Girlfriends (where it acted as a wedding ring), NBC’s Will and Grace, and Paris Hilton flashed a Ring Pop on an episode of Fox’s The Simple Life.

Those are just a few of the recent celebrity filled places Ring Pop has “popped” up over the years. Kids today often feel like a celebrity in their own right when flashing their giant candy gem. It was all about the bling when the Boise State women’s basketball team this year celebrated their first-ever Western Athletic Conference win by slipping on a Ring Pop as their championship ring.

Ring Pop’s enduring “pop”ularity has even reached modern art proportions. Chicago Artist Jeff Zimmermann painted a giant Ring Pop on a wall of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art in 2006, commissioned as part of a summer artist-in-residence program. According to Zimmermann (as reported by Medill News Service), the Ring Pop idea came from kids attending the Museum’s summer camp. According to the news story, Zimmermann explained that one boy had a blue tongue, lips, and face when he came up to Zimmermanm flashing his plastic and candy jewelry as if it were real. Zimmermann described the Ring Pop as “starter bling” and added it to his mural.

The 1977 introduction of Ring Pop stands alongside other enduring events of that year:

  • the premier of the TV miniseries Roots drew an audience of 130 million people
  • Elvis Presley died at the age of 42
  • the movies Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever and Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind were released and became instant audience favorites
  • Rocky was awarded “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards.

Today, each of these events maintains popular cultural reference, just as Ring Pop does. Also of note, in 1977 Swarvorski launched its first jewelry collection, which begs the question, “Was the timing coincidence or…?”

Ring Pop is available in grocery, mass merchant and specialty stores. At a suggested retail price of .65 cents, diamond shaped jewelry has never been more affordable or tasted so sweet.

*Source: AC Nielsen, Total US, FDM (excluding Wal-Mart), 52 w/e 8/12/06, Non-Chocolate Candy Category items less than 3.70 oz., excluding Mints, Roll Candy, Breath Fresheners and Gum.