George Robert Nelson cooked the first batch of RedVines and is principally responsible for the creation of the candy. He was given the formula on a piece of scratch paper by then president of The American Licorice Company, Clarence Kretchmer, in 1952. Nelson attempted around 10 variations of the formula searching for the right flavoring before arriving at the recipe that went into production. Nelson adjusted the flavor profile a few years later by removing salt. The only other change made to the original recipe was the removal of cooking oil in the 1960's to make the candy a fat-free product. Nelson began working for the American Licorice Company in 1949, became the Chairman of the Board in 1970 and continues as an active board member.