Who Makes Olive Garden Mints?

who makes olive garden mints - andes candies

The mints served at popular American casual dining restaurant Olive Garden, known for their creamy texture and distinctive minty flavor that perfectly caps off a meal, are made by a company called Andes Candies. Andes Candies is perhaps most famous for its Andes Crème de Menthe chocolate mints, characterized by a layer of mint sandwiched between two thin layers of dark chocolate. While the mints you receive at Olive Garden may vary slightly in appearance or packaging from the Andes Mints found in stores, they share a similar taste profile and quality that has become synonymous with Andes.

The History of Andes Candies and Olive Garden Mints

Andes Candies was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1921 by Andrew Kanelos. Originally called “Andy’s Candies,” the business aimed to produce high-quality chocolates and confections. The name was changed to “Andes Candies” to avoid the implication that the candies were just for men (“Andy’s” sounding like a male possessive).

The company’s most iconic product, the Andes Crème de Menthe mint, was introduced in 1950. This confection quickly became a favorite for its unique combination of flavors and its elegant presentation, becoming a hallmark of fine dining experiences and special occasions. The Andes mint has a distinct layering of chocolate and mint, making it instantly recognizable both in form and flavor.

Olive Garden, a popular American Italian restaurant chain, began offering these mints as part of the dining experience, further embedding the Andes mint into cultural dining rituals. Olive Garden, established in 1982, is known for its emphasis on creating a warm, welcoming dining experience, akin to the comfort and hospitality found in traditional Italian dining. The inclusion of a mint at the end of the meal complements this ethos, offering a refreshing finish to the rich flavors of the meal.

The Production and Ingredients of Andes Mints

The production of Andes mints involves a meticulous process to achieve their signature thin layers and smooth, creamy texture. The core ingredients include sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and milk, combined with peppermint oil to give the mints their refreshing flavor. The process requires precision in layering and temperature control to ensure the mint layer remains distinct from the chocolate, creating the perfect balance of flavors.

Andes mints are also known for their distinctive green wrapping, which has become iconic in its own right. This packaging not only protects the product but also signifies the quality and elegance associated with the Andes brand.

The Relationship Between Olive Garden and Andes Candies

The relationship between Olive Garden and Andes Candies extends beyond merely supplying mints for the restaurant chain. It represents a partnership that enhances the dining experience, providing a touch of sweetness and refinement that complements the meal. The decision by Olive Garden to offer Andes mints to its customers speaks to the restaurant’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, ensuring that diners leave with a lasting impression of their meal.


The mints offered at Olive Garden, produced by Andes Candies, are more than just a simple confection; they are a symbol of quality, tradition, and the perfect end to a dining experience. The history of Andes Candies, coupled with its commitment to producing high-quality chocolates, has made its mints a favored choice for businesses like Olive Garden, looking to offer their customers a special touch. As such, these mints have become an integral part of the Olive Garden dining experience, leaving a minty, refreshing aftertaste that lingers pleasantly long after the meal has ended.

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