By Dorothy Ballowe
Updated October 23, 2015
Credit: Photo courtesy of

This piece originally appeared on Spoon University.

Tic Tacs have been around since 1969 and have been enjoyed by almost everyone around the world. You can pop one in your mouth for instant fresh breath, or be like me and eat 6 at a time just because you can.

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But let’s be real. Do you know anything else about Tic Tacs besides the fact that they are tiny mints that come in different flavors? No? It’s okay, I didn’t either. That’s why you should check out these fresh facts that you’ve probably never heard of:

1. The company that makes Nutella also makes Tic Tacs.


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Yes, you read that right. Ferrero, the Italian confectioner, produces Nutella, Kinder Chocolate, Rocher, and Tic Tacs. But please, don’t try and dip your Tic Tacs in Nutella.

2. Tic Tacs were originally called “Refreshing Mints.”

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I guess the creative juices were not flowing during the product naming stage, but thankfullythe name was changed in 1970 to Tic Tac. This onomatopoeia references the sound the mints make in the plastic container.

3. There is a wrong way to eat the mints.

Kind of. It is thought that the design under the top flap was created to allow for a single Tic Tac to be released. If you still want to pour straight in to your hand, you do you. I’m not about that single Tic Tac life so catch me pouring out a handful.

4. The grape flavor has a shocking history.

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The red dye, amaranth, used for the grape flavored mints was believed to have a suspected carcinogen in it. In 2014, Tic Tac re-released grape and they are now safe to eat.

5. Other countries only sell white Tic Tacs.


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Instead of different colored mints to help identify the flavor, other countries have different colored containers. That means your favorite orange mint is just plain white (which sadly also means no more orange tongue).

For all of the things you never knew about Tic Tacs go to