Food of the Seventies, Michigan Cherries

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This was, I thought, a Lance product. It was a chewy candy, red and if I remember right the inside was hollow. I used to buy this at school almost every single day. I've tried googling it, and digging though the internet and am beginning to think I dreamt it! This would have been somewhere between 1974 and 1977.
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The following are comments left about Michigan Cherries from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

DC - October 08, 2007 - Report this comment
The good news is, you didn't dream it. In 1970-71, my third grade teacher would take orders for snacks from the teacher's lounge (her husband was the principal, so I guess she could get away with it) for the Lance snacks in the machine. I would always get the Michigan Cherries (10 cents per bag). There are other companies making the same kind of cherry sours (they're not hollow, by the way), but some of them taste downright perfumy and nothing compares to the original.
Lea - January 30, 2008 - Report this comment
Michigan Cherries did exist. They were sold out of Lance Vending machines. They were soft and chewy on the inside and kinda crackly on the outside. They tasted really artificial, but kinda good.
Kate - February 28, 2008 - Report this comment
I used to buy these every Sunday at the bowling alley. This was in the early 80's. I really miss them. Wish I could find them now. Have tried the Lance site but no luck.
Mary - June 09, 2008 - Report this comment
I too remember Michigan cherries. I remembered them to be a Lance product also. A few years ago, I was at Walmart and they had purchased some cherry candy balls. Even thought it was not the original it surely brought back memories.
Rob - July 24, 2008 - Report this comment
I remember they were very deep red almost maroon colored. The current version is too bright red. I sure could go for a bag now.........
Anne - November 12, 2008 - Report this comment
Yes, I have been looking for those for years. I thought Warner Candy company had them at one time. Where can we purchase them? Maybe we should contact the Vermont Country store catalog.
Patty DC - March 26, 2009 - Report this comment
I am from Charlotte, NC, home of the Lance Factory. I can tell you all about that stuff! Everywhere were Lance machines. Michigan Cherries were like Cherry Jelly Bellies are today. They had a sugary coating that you could separate after sucking for a bit, and the inside was chewy I think. They had a lot of dye as well. I liked to buy them at the pool. :)
Philly D - May 04, 2009 - Report this comment
I am from Philadelphia,Pa. , and remember summers at the pool , where if you shook the lance machine at the same time it was dropping one bag the bag behind it would fall too. 2 for 25 cents what a deal!!!
SGS - June 03, 2009 - Report this comment
I am from Delaware and also have fond summer memories of buying the Lance Michigan Cherries from the snack bar at our outdoor pool. I especially remember that they stained one's fingers and lips bright red (or maybe that was the raw jello we ate from the box?) Someone call Vermont Country Store!
WillyJack - August 11, 2009 - Report this comment
Our local YMCA in King of Prussia, PA sold Michigan Cherries back in the late 70s early 80s. MMMMM chewy goodness. They were 25 or 35 cents. The red dye would be all over our hands. I would buy them in a minute if they were still available.
james - August 16, 2009 - Report this comment
I can remember the taste of Michigan Cherries like it was 1974 at the community swimming pool with 10 cents in one hand with a wet towel and another 15 cents for a grape fanta!
andi - September 03, 2009 - Report this comment
i buy them as sour cherries--i looked for michigan cherries too, and used to buy themat the bulk food stores such as "mr. bulky" in the 80s, but the sour cherries are the closest you can get. I tried a while back to find the michigan cherries too, but these will substitute!
Dave in SC - September 11, 2009 - Report this comment
I was in the seventh and eighth grades at Camp LeJeune, NC, 1968-70. After school ended and before the buses left, the school store was open, selling fountain Cokes without ice and a few snack foods. Michigan Cherries were my choice. I don't recall sucking on them; I'd bite right through the harder shell to get to the chewy goodness inside. I wonder why they were "Michigan" cherries.
Gina - December 08, 2009 - Report this comment
My father used to bring them home for me and my sister. This was in the late 80s. The cherry sours available today are okay, but a little too big, and a little too bright. I miss those small, blood red Michigan Cherries!
Prima D - December 14, 2009 - Report this comment
Yep, in Reading, PA, in the late 1970s, early 1980s, our "school store" (an alcove with vending machines) had these and Lemonheads which were my complete favorites.
ESM - December 18, 2009 - Report this comment
I am also from Charlotte, NC and used to purchase Michigan Cherries at the swimming pool in the summer. My office received a tin of mixed nuts today that had cherry sours in the center...I was asking everyone if they remembered Michigan Cherries and no one knew what they were. This prompted me to Google it!
Carl - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
My dad was a Lance district manager in Western NY area during the early 80s. He used to bring them home for me all the time. I LOVED THEM! Sadly i clearly remember the day he came home and told me they were being discontinued. I was devastated. A young child should never have to be told their favorite candy will soon cease to exist. Luckily with the position my dad was in was able to get a case of them before they were gone for ever. It lasted me a long time but they eventually ran out. I miss how they would stain every part of your body they would come in contact with. I can still taste them today. =(
Steve Roscher - February 13, 2010 - Report this comment
There was a Lance candy machine in the snack bar at St. John Vianney Seminary High School in Goochland County, Virginia. When I was a student there 1967 -71 I would frequently get a bag of Michigan Cherries for 10 cents. The sugary coating on the outside could be separated from the chewy interior. They were great candies. I just purchased a similar product through a school fundraiser two months ago. Called "Candy Cherries" they are distributed by Nut Barrell Products in Tipp City, Ohio.
regina singleton - May 08, 2010 - Report this comment
i have been looking for the original michigan cherries,i cant find them anywhere!!! i try sour cherry balls,nothing compares,i need them,oh where oh where are they???
Jackii - June 05, 2010 - Report this comment
I remember these so well. At our elementary school in ebensburg,PA. $.25 a bag! I miss them so much! Lance Michigan cherries... Oh please bring them back!
Ken - July 20, 2010 - Report this comment
I loved Michigan Cherries! As a kid in New Jersey, I used to buy them at the pool for a dime. My son found candies that have the exact same texture, appearance, and taste as I remember it. They are called Wild Cherries, manufactured by Howe. Howe good they are! ;-)
Lynetta - September 11, 2010 - Report this comment
I remember buying JERSEY Cherries at the mall carts in Kansas City during the 70s & 80s. They were round like cherry sours, but bright red in color (the sours were darker, and had a SWEET flavor. I would love to find them IF they are still being produced. Are the Michigan cherries sweet?
Nisa in NC - September 27, 2010 - Report this comment
Hey Dave in SC!!! I used to work at the Brewster Jr. High School store a little after your time 72-73 but the entire base at Lejeune had candy machines stocked with them. I was at Berkeley Manor Elementary 68-72 and would alway buy them right after school and eat them on the way home on MICHIGAN Avenue (I always thought that was cool) practically everyday. That was around the same time the Charms Sweet & Sour pops first came out in a big way. I recently contacted Lance and was told they were discontinued. Did you go to Lejeune High after Brewster Jr. High? Write me at
Peoria IL - November 30, 2010 - Report this comment
I remember Mom used to purchase Michigan Cherries in the bulk candy section at Hallmark in the mall. But that was a while back. :) Cherry sours are the closest I can find. But it's just not quite the same.
Lynn Maxwell - February 22, 2011 - Report this comment
My Dad used to buy these for us in Northern Illinois in the 50's & 60's. All I can find now are the cherry sours.I miss the sweet Michigan Cherries. A few years ago I found a sweet Springtime Cherry at Hallmark but they have also been discontinued.
Karin E - March 31, 2011 - Report this comment
These were my snack of choice at the pool snack bar in late 70's early 80's in Maryland. Recently purchased a cherry italian ice that tasted much like them, it prompted me to look for them. Not sure I want to try the sour cherry balls I see now. Think I may just hang on to my childhood memory.
Frederick - April 06, 2011 - Report this comment
I, too greatly enjoyed Michigan Cherries. That was mid to late 80s and think about them from time to time. Here's a thought, if we all contacted Lance, perhaps we could persuade them to bring the candies back...just sayin'
aaron mr - July 25, 2011 - Report this comment
My father used to bring these home on the weekend, while returning Friday evenings from work. "Michigan Cherries" as I remember, were made by a company of the name "Candy Castle" and were sold at a midwest grocery Kroger, which still exists to this day (the grocery store that is).
aaron mr - July 25, 2011 - Report this comment
btw,. the year was 1975 and I was 7. My father is now 82 and still buys these for me when we visit each other on birthdays, only now they are "sour cherry gels" by another company.(we still call them Michigan Cherries anyhow:)
Ralph Spoilsport - August 10, 2011 - Report this comment
I could get Michigan Cherries around Delaware in Lance vending machines. I first discovered them in the late 70's in a Lance machine at the Lugoff, SC Holiday Inn. I hoarded them and emptied the machine every trip I made to the DuPont plant across the highway. I'd buy them today in a New York Minute!
Amy Haycox - March 04, 2012 - Report this comment
We could also get them in bulk by the pound in the Candy Department at the Sears store.
Dana Pagliarulo - May 05, 2012 - Report this comment
FOUND 'EM (or something really close to them) Growing up in the mid to late 70s in Central Ohio, my local swimming pool had a vending machine and my favorite item from it was Michigan Cherries. We used to eat them and then our spit would turn red and we would pretend we were coughing up blood. I have fond memories which I am reliving as I right this. Last nite I was in Scottsdale Arizona and we ended up in a store called IT'SUGAR. (and yes, I did spell it right) We were just about to leave, when I discovered a bulk bin of Michigan Cherries. Well they don't call them that, they are just called Cherry Fruit Balls or something like that. But they taste exactly the same. A bit harder on the outside, and very soft on the inside and a strong cherry flavor. Visit and find a store near you. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of them. But if you're lucky. Oh...and BTW, they're expensive. $3.50 per 1/4 pound I think.
Jeffrey Hairfield - October 16, 2012 - Report this comment
In 1972 and 10 yrs old, on a family vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC, I discovered Michigan Cherries in the vending machine at the hotel we stayed at....The Sand Castle...right on the ocean. The entire time we were there, I kept buying a pack. When we were fixing to leave, I recall buying a pack for the road. They were the best candy and I never forgot them, I can recall the location of the vending machine, how the bag felt, how they tasted, and being sad at the end of the ride home when I was out :(
tim - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
cherry sours are not the same as Michigan cherries. one is sour and one is just sweet like cherry jellybeans and warner also sold them under their name in Chicago. definitely one of my favorites. who remembers space food sticks?
John Garner - May 13, 2013 - Report this comment
I ate them in 1974 to 1977. I remember one of the ingredients was that they were polished on the outside surface with carnuba wax (or some other food-grade wax). Not sure, but I think I paid 15 cents per bag.
Arlene Austin - September 24, 2015 - Report this comment
I love those I really want to buy some do anyone know where I can get these please xs
tsig - December 08, 2015 - Report this comment
jersey cherries. mr ed's candy emporium. chambersburg pa. has website
rob - June 23, 2017 - Report this comment
I was just telling my wife who has never had them how I got them all the time growing up in Delaware when we visited the pool from the vending machine. I told her I would get some so she could try them out, but alas, they are nowhere to be found. Only cheap knock-offs.
Greg - December 21, 2017 - Report this comment
I use to love those, we always bought them from the school cafeteria made by Lance or the bags of cheese crackers but the cherries were my favorite, good memories....
Irene - June 08, 2018 - Report this comment
I LOVED these, every time I would return to Delaware for a visit, I would buy all the packs they had in the store!! Bring them back!!! Others just don't taste the same!!

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