How Did Lemonhead Candy Get Its Name? The Reason is Bizarre!

It's Not What You Might Think. 

Did you love these as a kid? I did! 

Last week, we talked about Atomic Fireballs. Did you know that Fireballs and Lemonheads are made by the same company? Atomic Fireballs came out in 1954, and Lemonheads were released a little later – in 1962. For decades, they've been some of the most successful candies around.

If you're a sour lover, I'm sure the sight of a box of Lemonheads brings back all kinds of nostalgia. 

We loved the sour (but not too sour!) outer shell and the surprisingly sweet center. You can't find candy quite like this anymore! 

Want to learn the history of this childhood favorite...and see if they're still making it? Keep reading! 

The History of Lemonhead Candy 

The candy was invented by Nello Ferrara of the Ferrara Candy Company. His father, Salvatore Ferrara, had been creating candy since 1908, when he sold candy-coated almonds out of his little bakery in Chicago. By the time his son introduced the Lemonhead, the company had already created two big hits – the Jawbreaker and the Atomic Fireball. 

Because these candies were so unique, they sold millions of them. Now Ferrara Candy Company makes a ton of your favorite candies – from Trolli gummy worms to Willy Wonka candies. 

Why Are They Called Lemonheads? 

Here's where the story gets weird! 

The name Lemonhead was inspired by Nello Ferrara's son, Salvatore II. This wouldn't be the first time a candymaker named a candy after their kid...but this time was a little different. 

Nello was inspired by the shape of his son's head right after he was born. Apparently, it looked just like a lemon. (Luckily for the kid, though, this shape was only temporary).

Can you imagine having that as your claim to fame? 

Sweet Facts 

Here are some things you probably didn't know about Lemonheads:

1. Just like Atomic Fireballs are made through "hot panning," Lemonheads are      made through cold panning! Layers of lemon juice are added until the right size and shape is achieved. How cool is that?

2. Ferrara makes about 500 million Lemonheads every year. (I wonder how many swimming pools that coud fill...🤔)

3. In 2014, Ferrara changed the Lemonhead mascot to be more realistic-looking. But it creeped people out so much...they had to change it back! (phew 😅). 

Where to Get Lemonheads Today

Lemonheads are still going strong! 

Feel like taking a stroll down memory lane? We sell them at Life is Sweet 😊

Click here to get a mini box of Lemonheads, 

and click here to buy Lemonheads by the pound. 


P.S...Do you love Lemonheads? Do you have any stories about them from your childhood? We want to hear them. To the comments! 


  • Wendy

    Love everything lemon! The sour makes the sweet even better!😁

  • Dawn Hinton

    I Love All The heads But Lemon Is The Bomb