Rick Onderdonk of Claremont, Calif., writes: ''Whatever happened to Fizzies, a candy tablet that you could drop into water and have a cool soft drink?... I regularly had them in my lunch as a boy in the 1950s and '60s.''
Fizzies, the ''drop-in pop,'' are foil-wrapped colored tablets that fizz up into a fruity soft drink when plunked into water. The foaming fad exploded onto the American soft-drink scene and for a time (1962-1968), Fizzies were as big as Kool Aid. Now, after a 27-year hiatus, Premiere Innovations Inc. is trying out Fizzies on a new generation of children.
(The original Fizzies, marketed by Warner Lambert, were pulled in 1968 because of an FDA recall of cyclamates.)
The new Fizzies (without cyclamates) come in six flavors and have names like Chug'n Cherry and Pop'n Punch. In the '60s, some kids didn't bother adding water; they just popped tablets in and let them foam up in their mouths. Premiere Innovations has designed the updated Fizzies to be consumed either as a beverage or as candy. Frank McEnulty, chief operating officer, says that sales have been good. ''We're selling more than we can make.... With the middle-aged baby boomers, if you bring back something they loved in their childhood, they've got to have it.'' Mr. McEnulty says one woman bought a store's entire supply so she wouldn't run out. The first shipments of Fizzies hit stores in December. Premiere is manufacturing 1-1/2 truckloads per week, and that should increase shortly.
The new Fizzies can be dissolved in milk, although McEnulty recommends using low-fat milk. ''Honestly. It tastes good. If you drop in a [Rock'n Root Beer] it tastes something like a root-beer float. It doesn't look good, but it tastes good.''
McEnulty says the company is looking for other ''remember when'' goods, but for now Fizzies is its only product. Fizzies are available in grocery stores. A package of six costs $.99.