Do Jolly Ranchers Expire? (Must Know This)

Last updated on October 26th, 2022 at 05:20 pm

Halloween comes with the responsibility of getting a lot of candies in the house for your kids.

But, what do you do with the excess sweets that remain when this exciting season passes away?

This issue makes you wonder how to preserve the numerous candies, especially the jolly ranchers. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to spot jolly ranchers that aren’t good and if it’s safe to consume one.

The nature of the jolly ranchers gives it an advantage when you’re considering candies that expire quickly. The jolly ranchers have a peculiar shelf life in which they can stay for a long time without getting rancid. So, when you properly store up your jolly ranchers in a cool and dry location, they’d last a long time.

Can Jolly Ranchers Go Bad?

Do Jolly Ranchers Expire

Your jolly ranchers and lollipops will go reeky if you fail to properly store them in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Even so, once you open the jolly ranchers and don’t consume them immediately, it’ll attract moisture and thus spoil.

Hence, when buying jolly ranchers, with proper storage, be sure you’d finish it that year.

Jolly ranchers are a set of candies that hardly go bad because of their hard consistency.

Essentially, these candies have a makeup that excludes moisture, which gives them hardness. That is so because candy makers know humidity can easily make candy rancid. 

Also, since the jolly ranchers don’t contain moisture, they can last as long as you want if you do your part.

First, you’ll have to ensure that you store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry location. This storage style keeps moisture away and helps retain the hard consistency.

Hard candies such as the jolly ranchers and lollipops can stay for more than a year without going bad.

But, when you keep these candies in a moist location, they begin to rot in no time.

Hence, it’s vital to know the features you’ll find in your jolly rancher when it’s becoming bad to consume.

#1. Taste

Typically, this somewhat hard candy should taste fresh and sweet, but when it attracts moisture, the taste drops into something unpleasant.

Sometimes, it tastes powdery when you put it in your mouth, but this usually happens when it becomes moldy.

With the taste, you’d know if your jolly ranchers are going reeky or not.

#2. Color

It’s vital to note the color of fresh candies because a color change would be one of the early signs of spoilage.

Essentially, you’ll notice an unhealthy greenish tint on the sweets. Hence, when you find this fact out, don’t hesitate to discard it.

#3. Consistency

A rotten jolly rancher will begin to get soft, which should seem abnormal. But, most often, you may notice mold growing on it. Please throw them in the trash can if they get moldy.

What Happens If You Eat Expired Jolly Ranchers?

Nothing will happen to you if you intentionally or mistakenly ingest a jolly rancher ahead of its expiry date.

Most often, the expiry date you’d find on the wrap isn’t a strict deadline for when they’d become bad. Moreover, most jolly ranchers retain their texture six months after expiry. 

Anyhow, the taste, consistency, and color will guide you on whether it’s safe to consume or not.

Eating the jolly ranchers is safe if you’re sure they aren’t rotten. However, I’d advise you to always check the wraps for the expiry date when shopping for candies.

Most often, candy companies hide expiry dates in codes that you’d get to crack on their website.

Knowing the expiry date is important because it tells you the time frame you expect it to become rotten.

Also, if you can’t find the inscription of the expiry date on the candy pack, check if you’d find number puzzles.

How Long Does It Take for Jolly Ranchers to Expire?

Like every other hard candy, a jolly rancher can stay long before it becomes harmful.

However, that doesn’t mean that you’d expose it all day long and expect it to last a while.

These candies have a composition that makes them devoid of moisture so as not to get bad quickly.

Usually, it takes at least six months for those jolly ranchers to retain texture and taste.

However, there are certain conditions to which you’d expose them that’d make them go rancid quickly.

This fact would take us to discuss the various storage methods and how they affect your jolly ranchers.

Storage MethodsConsequences
Keep it airtight at room temperature in a cool, dark, and dry place.This method is undoubtedly the best way to store your jolly ranchers and lollipop. Furthermore, this method ensures that moisture doesn’t get to these candies, ruining them. Hence, after buying your jolly ranchers for whatever reason, I suggest you store them this way.
Cornstarch coating.This method is also practical because the cornstarch helps to suck up all moisture from the jolly ranchers.
Applying heat using a microwave You might stumble on some internet tricks that recommend this method. However, it instead melts your jolly ranchers. Anyhow, melting your jolly ranchers isn’t the problem; the issue is what the heat does to the texture of the candies.
Leave the jolly ranchers open at room temperature.Doing this style would make your candies go rancid quickly, even before reaching the expiration date.
Storing in the refrigeratorThis method can make your jolly ranchers last longer than usual.

Is It Bad to Eat Expired Jolly Ranchers?

The answer to this would depend on the state of the jolly ranchers. If the candies still taste good, go ahead and eat them but if not, throw them into the trash can.

So essentially, your jolly ranchers can expire but still look and taste good, though that isn’t the case for other candy types.

Also, most expiry dates don’t define when candy is viable or not but are producers’ speculation of the best period.

However, your candy pack might tell you the candy isn’t good anymore. Still, you’d get to confirm it by inspecting the jolly ranchers.

When the sweets go beyond the expiry date, they will become harmful secondary to poor storage; hence the taste, color, and consistency change.

However, if you check the jolly ranchers and confirm that they’ve become rancid, it’d be wise not to eat them.

This fact is important because there are serious consequences that accompany the eating of reeky jolly ranchers.

Hence, here are common symptoms you’ll feel if you consume a rancid jolly rancher.

  • Headache
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Body weakness
  • Dizziness

That list is inexhaustible depending on your body type and tolerance.

However, to keep you from visiting a doctor, properly store your jolly ranchers and always inspect them before eating them.

Do Jolly Ranchers Have an Expiration Date?

Just like every other candy, the hard candies have an expiration date and would spoil if you don’t store them properly.

However, hard candies like jolly ranchers and lollipops can stay long before getting bad.

That is because these candies have a relatively longer shelf life when you compare them to other sweets.

The jolly rancher can last up to a year and even more when you store it airtight at room temperature.

So if you expose the jolly ranchers, I’ll advise you to keep them in the refrigerator. 


Deciding what candies need special storage can be a bit of a task after the Halloween season.

The most important thing is knowing that the jolly ranchers have an indefinite shelf-life; hence, in an airtight container, they’d last.

Also, inspect before eating these candies to track when they get rancid.

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