Almost a decade passed between the time Welch attended a Broadway production of “Junior Miss” and the debut of Junior Mints. While occasional detractors balk at the coin’s connection to the candy’s name — claiming it’s either coincidence or convenience (via Puree) — the timing of the product’s launch could have been a studied gesture of marketing genius on the part of Welch. “Junior Miss” had a long shelf life. Following its successful Broadway run, “Junior Miss” reappeared in 1942, this time as a radio serial. According to Old Radio, CBS picked up the series and tapped Shirley Temple to play the lead role of Judy Graves. (And there’s your connection to Shirley Temple. The child star was radio’s first “Junior Miss,” giving voice to the character who inspired the name Junior Mints).
In 1945, “Junior Miss” made headlines again, this time as a feature film (via The Candy Encyclopedia). By 1949, when Welch introduced Junior Mints, “Junior Miss” was gone, but not forgotten. We think it’s safe to assume that “Junior Miss” was more than a blockbuster wonder. In its various incarnations — including a 1941 book (via Prabook) — over nearly two decades, it was something of a cultural compass for young women navigating their teenage years. And, through product placement, Welch made a clear, nostalgic connection between Junior Mints, movies and entertainment.
According to Alchetron, boxed chocolate-covered mints have quickly become a favorite snack at movie concession stands.