In 1963 The Sunline Company introduced SweeTARTS candies to the United States. Originally packaged in gold foil pouches, they were sold for 5 cents each.
The original candies with the tart and tangy mouth-puckering taste are round about 1cm diameter and 3mm tall. The are available in boxes, pouches, and most commonly in rolls of 28 pieces weighing 1.8oz (51g). The candies are hard packed powdered sugar with flavoring added. The current flavors include: cherry (pink), grape (purple), orange (orange), lemon (yellow), lime (green), and tropical punch (blue). The original manufacture of the candies was Sunline. The blue tropical punch flavored variety was added to the original flavors sometime around 1989 or 1990.
Throughout the years various varieties of this treat have appeared: the Chewy SweeTARTS in 1994, which were originally packaged as three giant round candies packaged in a see-through candybar wrapper, the Valentine's Day tarts were shaped like hearts, the Easter tarts were shaped like eggs, and the Christmas tarts were shaped like Christmas trees. The current lineup of SweeTARTS branded candies include: Original SweeTARTS, Giant Chewy SweeTARTS (1996), Chewy SweeTART minis (1996), Giant Color Changing SweeTARTS (1996), and Gummy SweeTARTS (1994).
Many kids had their first experience with SweeTARTS on Halloween. The Halloween packs had just three small candies packed in a small paper wrapper. Each candy had either the letter "S" or the words "bite-em" embossed on the face.
In 1996, Sunmark Inc. (which Sunline was a division) was acquired by Rowntree of York, England. Nestlé had acquired Rowntree in 1988 so SweeTARTS and the SweeTARTS label design are now registered trademarks of Nestlé S.A.