Summer treats were popular in corner grocery stores

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Kids in Otter Tail County, back in the 1950s and 1960s, headed to corner grocery stores many times during the summer months. 

Nik-L-Nip® was a brand of juice that came in a variety of fruit flavors and marketed by Tootsie Roll Industries. The fruit-flavored juice was found inside small, bottle-shaped wax containers. 

Created in the early 20th century, the Nik-L-Nip® brand name was a combination of the original cost (nickel) and preferred wax bottle-opening technique (NIP). It was the inside liquid that was the candy, not the wax container that surrounded it. 

“However, that didn’t stop kids from ingesting enough wax to turn their digestive tracts into candles,” said a writer for Retroland, a website that celebrates our love for the pop culture from the 1950s. 

Nowhere on the package did it say not to eat the wax. Apparently, manufacturers just assumed that kids would instinctively know not to ingest the exterior. 

“The millions of kids who have introduced wax to their digestive system over the years prove otherwise,” Retroland said. “Luckily, nobody was ever much worse for the wear thanks to their waxy indulgences.”