Do Tootsie Pops come sugar free?

Tootsie Pops are a classic candy treat consisting of a chewy Tootsie Roll center surrounded by a hard candy shell. The signature Tootsie Pop is chocolate flavored with a chocolate candy coating, but Tootsie Pops also come in a variety of fruit flavors like cherry, orange, and raspberry. While Tootsie Pops are a sweet indulgence, some health-conscious candy lovers may wonder if there’s a way to enjoy these nostalgic lollipops without all the sugar.

Do regular Tootsie Pops contain sugar?

Yes, regular Tootsie Pops contain sugar. The main ingredients in a classic chocolate Tootsie Pop are sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, cocoa, soy lecithin, artificial flavors, and colors (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake).

Both the chocolate candy coating and the Tootsie Roll center contain sugar as a primary ingredient. A serving of 5 regular size Tootsie Pops contains 33 grams of sugar. Since the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men, just 1-2 Tootsie Pops exceeds the recommended daily sugar limits.

So if you’re looking to cut down on sugar or follow a low sugar diet, traditional Tootsie Pops would not be the best option.

Do sugar free Tootsie Pops exist?

No, currently there are no sugar free Tootsie Pops being manufactured and sold. The classic Tootsie Pop recipe relies on sugar to provide the product’s signature chewy texture and sweet flavor.

Tootsie Roll Industries, the company that makes Tootsie Pops, does not offer any sugar free varieties at this time. There are also no options on the market for sugar free candy shells that could be used to coat a Tootsie Pop.

So sugar free Tootsie Pops are not an existing product that health-conscious candy lovers can purchase. The only way to enjoy a Tootsie Pop without sugar would be to make a homemade version.

Can you make homemade sugar free Tootsie Pops?

Yes, it is possible to make homemade “sugar free” Tootsie Pops by modifying the ingredients. However, achieving the right taste and texture can be tricky.

Here are some methods you can try:

Sugar free candy coating

You can coat a regular Tootsie Roll center with a sugar free hard candy like:

  • Sugar free lollipops
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Lifesavers

Heat the sugar free candy in a pan over low heat until melted. Then dip the Tootsie Roll in to coat. Let cool completely to harden.

Downside: Sugar free candies often contain sugar alcohols like maltitol, which may cause digestive issues in some people if consumed in large amounts. The coating also won’t have the same flavor and texture as real chocolate.

Unsweetened chocolate coating

Melt unsweetened baking chocolate with a small amount of sweetener like stevia extract or monk fruit. Dip a regular Tootsie Roll in the coating to create a shell.

Downside: The coating won’t be as hard, crunchy, or shelf-stable as real chocolate. And the Tootsie Roll center still contains sugar.

Make your own sugar free centers

You can make DIY sugar free candy centers by combining a binder like peanut butter or dates with sweetener and other mix-ins. Shape into a log, freeze, and dip into melted chocolate or candy coating.

Downside: Achieving the right texture and taste is very tricky without using corn syrup and actual sugar. The homemade centers likely won’t mimic the classic Tootsie Roll taste and texture.

Best sugar free Tootsie Pop alternatives

Since authentic sugar free Tootsie Pops don’t currently exist, your best bet is to enjoy some other popsicle-style sugar free treats instead. Here are some good options:

Sugar free popsicles

Enjoy popsicles made with sugar free fruit juice, coconut water, almond milk, or diet lemonade. Brands like Breyers, Outshine, and Sugar Free Popsicles offer tasty sugar free frozen pops.

Sugar free dumdums

Dumdums lollipops now come in popular flavors like cherry, grape, and lemon lime in a sugar free version. Unwrap and enjoy just like a Tootsie Pop.

Skinnypop lollipops

These lollipops are sweetened with maltitol and sorbitol instead of sugar. They come in indulgent flavors like chocolate and peanut butter.


These plant-based candies use natural sweeteners like allulose and stevia instead of sugar. The lollipops mimic fruity candy flavors.

YumEarth Organic Pops

With ingredients like fruit juice, tapioca syrup, and natural flavors, these pops are sweetened without refined sugar. Try tropical fruit and pomegranate flavors.

KidzCandy Sugar Free Pops

Sold on Amazon, these fruity sugar free pops are sweetened with xylitol and sorbitol and contain only 2g net carbs per pop.

Sugar free Tootsie Pop alternatives: The bottom line

While truly sugar free Tootsie Pops are not available for purchase, there are plenty of delicious sugar free popsicle options to give you that nostalgic treat in a healthier way. Look for pops sweetened with natural sweeteners or sugar alcohols. Or get creative and make your own homemade sugar free version using sugar free candies. This allows you to control the ingredients so you can indulge your cravings while cutting back on sugar. With some substitutions and experimenting in the kitchen, you can definitely achieve a treat that’s reminiscent of a classic sugar free Tootsie Pop.

Candy Type Sugar Free? Pros Cons
Regular Tootsie Pops No Classic taste and texture High in sugar
Sugar Free Candies Yes No sugar added May cause digestive issues if over-consumed
Sugar Free Popsicles Yes Natural sweeteners used Different taste and texture from Tootsie Pop
Homemade with Sugar Substitutes Low Sugar Control ingredients Difficult to mimic original texture and flavor

The history of Tootsie Pops

Tootsie Pops have been around for over 50 years, first hitting stores shelves in 1931. The story goes that the inventor, Luke Weisgram, named the Tootsie Pop after his 4-year-old daughter Clara, nicknamed Tootsie.

The original Tootsie Pop came with a chocolate coating surrounding a chewy chocolate center made by the Tootsie Roll company. Tootsie Roll Industries applied for a patent for the invention in 1931 and production began that year.

Initially, Tootsie Pops were hand wrapped and sold unbranded simply as “lollipops.” The packaging evolved over the next decades with machine wrapping introduced in 1947 and the signature Tootsie Pop name and logo appearing in the 1960s.

Growth in popularity

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Tootsie Pops became immensely popular along with Tootsie Rolls. Commercials, advertising, and jingles like “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” propelled the brand into candy stardom.

Tootsie Pops were a favorite on the playground and in lunchboxes throughout the mid-1900s. Over the next decades, the company introduced new Tootsie Pop flavors like cherry and raspberry to complement the classic chocolate.

Tootsie Pops today

Today, over 64 million Tootsie Pops are sold each day across over 75 countries. It’s estimated that 20 million Tootsie Pops are eaten in the U.S. daily!

Along with the signature chocolate Tootsie Pop, other current Tootsie Pop flavors include cherry, grape, orange, raspberry, lemon-lime, blue raspberry, caramel apple, cotton candy, pomegranate, and banana. Seasonal flavors like vanilla, maple, and cocoa are available for holidays.

The lollipops remain a popular candy treat for both children and adults, evoking nostalgia along with their bursting fruit flavors and chewy Tootsie Roll center. They are a classic candy that has stood the test of time.

Manufacturing process

While Tootsie Pops seem simple, their production process is quite complex requiring sophisticated candy manufacturing equipment and carefully controlled conditions. Here is an overview of how Tootsie Pops are made:

Cooking and forming the Tootsie Roll center

The chewy, chocolatey Tootsie Roll filling starts out as a thick liquid mixture prepared in large cookers or kettles. This hot candy slurry contains ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, whey, milk proteins, cocoa, water, and artificial flavors.

Once the desired temperature and moisture content is reached, the Tootsie Roll candy mass is pumped to cooling tables or conveyor belts. As it cools and thickens, it is folded repeatedly until it forms into a pliable plastic-like ribbon.

This Tootsie Roll ribbon is fed into rope sizers that shape it into the desired diameter to fit inside the Tootsie Pop. The ropes are then cut into small cylinders to form the centers.

Forming the candy shells

Next, the signature candy coating that crunches when you bite into a Tootsie Pop is created. This involves cooking sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients to a high temperature above 300°F.

The hot liquid candy is fed into shell molding equipment that keeps it constantly moving and cooling so it hardens into the concave candy shape.


Now the Tootsie Pops come together! The wrapped Tootsie Roll centers are manually placed into the molded candy shells by equipment and workers.

As the finished Tootsie Pops move along the conveyor belt, quality control checkers remove any imperfect pops. The wrapped and packaged Tootsie Pops are boxed up, ready for shipping.

Unique characteristics

Tootsie Pops have several unique characteristics that have made them stand out from other lollipops and candies over decades:

The famous question

“How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” This tagline debuted in 1970s Tootsie Pop commercials and quickly became iconic pop culture trivia.

The owl in the commercials attempted to find out, licking away at a Tootsie Pop as curious kids looked on. Because of the famous ad campaign, many kids took up the challenge of seeing how many licks it took them to reach the chewy center.

Trademarked swirl design

The swirly design on each Tootsie Pop wrapper is instantly recognizable. This unique swirl was trademarked by the company as early as 1936.

It represents the visual merging of fruit flavors with chocolate that you taste in every Tootsie Pop. The colorful design also grabs consumer attention on store shelves.

Hidden Tootsie Pop message

If you’ve ever looked closely at a Tootsie Pop stick after unwrapping it, you may have noticed the secret message!

Printed on each paper stick is a variation of the phrase “How Many Licks?” surrounded by stars. Some sticks have a child shooting a bow and arrow at a heart on them.

This hidden message ties back to the iconic Tootsie Pop slogan and makes finishing your sucker more fun.

Child mascot Mr. Owl

The classic 1970s Tootsie Pop commercial, where a cartoon owl tries to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center, made Mr. Owl the lollipop’s iconic mascot.

This whimsical cartoon owl remains the official mascot of Tootsie Pops and has been made into plush toys, ornaments, and other products. Mr. Owl also starred in a 2016 music video parody titled “How Many Licks” that went viral.

Nutrition facts

Here is the nutrition breakdown for regular Tootsie Pops and a comparison to other pops:

Single regular Tootsie Pop (13 g)

  • Calories: 60
  • Total fat: 2 g
  • Sugar: 9 g

A single Tootsie Pop supplies around 3% of the calories and sugar you should consume daily. Not a significant source of trans or saturated fat.

5 regular Tootsie Pops (65 g)

  • Calories: 300
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Sugars: 33 g

Eating five Tootsie pops would provide you with 12-13% of your daily calorie and saturated fat intake needs. The 33 grams of sugar exceeds recommended limits.

Compared to other pops

Tootsie Pops have slightly fewer calories and less fat compared to an average lollipop. For example, a standard 60 g Chupa Chups lollipop contains:

  • Calories: 315
  • Total fat: 20 g
  • Sugar: 51 g

So regular Tootsie Pops contain about half the amount of calories, fat, and sugar compared to other similar sized pops. However, they are still considered a high sugar candy.

Low sugar or sugar free?

Tootsie Pops are clearly not a low sugar or reduced calorie candy treat. But how do they compare to some other low sugar lollipop options on the market?


These plant-based pops use natural sweeteners like allulose and contain just 3 grams of sugar per pop. A SmartSweets lollipop has:

  • Calories: 10
  • Sugar: 3 g

Compared to Tootsie Pops’ 9 grams of sugar and 60 calories, SmartSweets have just 30% of the calories and sugar per pop.

Sugar Free Dumdums

These sugar free pops are sweetened with sucralose and sugar alcohols. Each mini pop contains:

  • Calories: 15
  • Sugar: 2 g

Again, the sugar free Dumdums win out with 80% less sugar than a Tootsie Pop and just 25% of the calories.

YumEarth Organic Pops

Sweetened without refined sugar, these pops have:

  • Calories: 45-50
  • Sugar: 9-10 g

So YumEarth pops contain about the same amount of sugar as a Tootsie Pop but 25% less calories.


While Tootsie Pops are currently only available in their original full-sugar form, the proliferation of low sugar, keto-friendly, and naturally-sweetened lollipop options demonstrates the growing demand for guilt-free candy. There is also potential for Tootsie Roll Industries to release their own lower sugar Tootsie Pop line, or formore companies to produce sugar free candy coatings to recreate that crunchy shell.

For now, your healthiest bet is to enjoy a regular Tootsie Pop in moderation as an occasional treat. Or choose sugar free pops or fruit-juice sweetened options to satisfy your cravings while limiting calories, carbs, and added sugars. Whichever you choose, always remember to savor those get-to-the-center licks!

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