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Introduced in 1983, Nerds are small sweets that come in a variety of abstract shapes and flavors, and are usually sold in a box that has two separate flavors, each with a separate opening device. Nerds are anthropomorphized on the cover of its distinctive box package. The separation of two distinct flavors in one commodity has generated success for Nerds, likely because consumers can control their experiences. A breakfast cereal based on this concept appeared in the 1980s, but had a short life.
Nerds are of varied flavors and varied colors, ranging from extremely sweet to extremely sour; often the two flavors in one box will contrast, and even one ‘Nerd’ may exhibit both extremes. They are thickly glazed with carnauba wax, which gives them a hard ‘bite’, and a gloss. The nucleus of each candy is composed of one or more complete sucrose crystals. These optically clear monoclinic crystals are about 0.2 – 1 mm in length and help define the irregular shape.