70s and 80s Sweets, Chocolate Bars and Other Goodies!
A look back at retro sweets in the UK
Hey, who took a bite out of that Walnut Whip?
This page is sure to bring back some fond childhood memories. From Curly Wurly's to Black Jack's, all of the old-fashioned 70's and 80's favourites are here. Of course, some were available to buy long before the 70s and 80s - some are centuries old - but it was during this time that I personally remember enjoying them in my childhood.
Many are still available to buy right from this page, and others are just sadly missed. It was all junk food, of course, but that's why it tasted so great! All that sugar and those E numbers - wonderful!
Aniseed Balls are something you either love or hate! They are flavoured by aniseed oil (obviously!), and
have a very strong aniseed flavour. They last for a long time in the
mouth before dissolving and in the centre of the ball is a whole rapeseed that can be crushed.
Remember Banjo? It had two chocolate-covered wafer fingers and was launched in 1976 by Mars. It was kind of like a Drifter, but had a layer of chopped peanuts. There were two flavours, roast nut and toasted coconut. It was totally gorgeous, but, sadly, it disappeared sometime in the 80s.
Barley Sugars are very tasty old fashioned sweets originating from the 17th century. A recipe was created in 1638 by the Benedictine Monks of Moret-Sur-Loing, and there is a Barley Sugar Museum in the town.
Caramac. I adore these! Do you remember the rich and golden creaminess of a Caramac bar? You owe it to yourself to buy these delicious chocolate bars now. I'll be ordering these for my sweet tooth on a regular basis!
Cadbury's Curly Wurly
is still available today from good sweet shops, although with a different wrapper design.
This was a chewy and long stick of chocolate with triangular holes
running through it. When you bit into it, the sticky centre was, well,
curly and wurly!
Candy Whistles - remember these? You could actually blow them and they sounded like a whistle! Well, sort of, anyway! Unfortunately, I cannot find anyone selling these, so you'll have to make do with the picture above for now!
Very popular in the 70's, Cresta Pop
used to be advertised by a cool-looking, cartoon polar bear who wore shades. I'm
pretty sure it also came in large bottles that we used to return to our
local shop to get 10p back. Great idea, they should bring back glass
Chewits were Launched way before the 80s in Southport, England in 1965. They were cube-shaped, soft and chewy sweets that originally came in four fruit flavours; strawberry, blackcurrant, orange and banana.
The ad in the video clip above featured a Godzilla-like creature that was threatening New York, and proved to be extremely popular. In fact, it was so popular that Leaf International delayed the launch of the sequel.
An ice cream flavour was introduced in 1989, and since then there have been sour, fizzy and hot flavours, many of which were limited edition. Sadly, like many manufacturing companies in the UK, the factory closed in 2006 and production moved to Slovakia where Chewits are still being produced.
A net of Chocolate Coins could always be found hanging on the Christmas Tree in our hosusehold, but by Christmas Day there were never any left!
Hmm, I wonder who ate them all? Tee, heh!
Remember the Drumstick Lolly? They can't have been much more than a penny each when I was a lad. Raspberry and milk flavour giant Drumstick chewy lollies are made by Matlows, and each lolly is an individually wrapped pink and yellow colour chewy lollipop.
Fizzy Cola Bottles Remember that fizzy, sour cola taste you used to get from these? I think these are an example of a sweet you either love or hate. I only have memories of the taste in my head, so I've ordered myself 500 grams to remind myself of what I've been missing for over 30 years!
Flying Saucers. These had sherbert in the middle and a kind of melt-in-your-mouth outer shell. I was so pleased to see that these are available to buy from Amazon once again, as I remember buying these regularly in the 1970s. Look's like I may be buying them right through the 2010's, aswell!
Freddo (Cadbury's) Milk Chocolate Bar. I can never resist Cadbury's chocolate and kids still love these, just as we did back in the 70s. I'm not quite sure why I got so excited by a chocolate bar with a frog on the wrapping, though - I hate frogs!
Fried Eggs - these have scrumptious, foamy white outers with dark yellow chewy gum centres, and they look just like a fried egg! A real retro classic.
Fruit Salads had an unmistakable raspberry and pineapple flavour and a pink and yellow wrapper. Another one of my favourites from my 70s childhood, and still available to buy!
Fry's Five Centres
were phased out in the early 90's - please bring them back! You used to
get different fruit flavoured fondant centres and it was always a
surprise as to which one you'd bite into next! You can still get the
mint and orange bars seperately, though.
Ice Cream's were once all the rage, you know! They didn't have swirly
patterns or chocolate in the early days - I think they were just pink -
and they used to melt quickly and make a right mess!
Crispy honeycomb covered in chocolate - who could resist this? Yes, you can still buy it!
Jelly Babies. I suppose it was Tom Baker's fault for getting me hooked on these! As Doctor Who back in the 80s his catchphrase used to be "would you like a jelly baby?".
Fresh and fruity, these sweets are firm on the outside and jelly on the inside.
Jelly Beans were gorgeously fruity and chewy, and bursting with flavour. They were, apparently, invented in 1861 by Boston (USA) confectioner William Schrafft.
Love Hearts are traditional Mini sweets with sentiments printed within a 'love heart'. Back at primary school in the 70s, the girls used to hand these out to any boy they might fancy in the hope that they might get the message!
Judging by the reviews on Amazon, I believe that people buy these for their wedding reception as favours.
Milk Bottles - these white milk bottle shaped chewy white sweets are also known as milk gums. They were pretty popular when I was a child, and are still selling well today, often repackaged as retro sweets.
were a kind of Opal Fruits spin-off, but came in peppermint and
spearmint flavours. I really loved them, but I am told they were
discontinued sometime in the 80's. I'll have to do more research on
80's UK TV Advert for Pacers Mints
Now, this really brings back some fond memories. The strawberry flavour Pink Panther Candy bar is no longer made, but you can buy wafers...
Refreshers - made by Barratts, virtually everyone remembers these pastel-coloured, fizzy sweets, which are a true retro classic. They're an acquired taste, though, and I have to admit that I really can't stand them! But just like Marmite, you either love them or hate them.
Refresher Chews - as I write, these are the most popular retro sweets at Amazon UK. Customers seem to adore the strong, lemon taste, and they taste just the same as they always have, thankfully.
Sherbert Fountain - A great old fashioned and nostalgic sweet... colourful tube filled with
glorious sherbet and a delicious liquorice dipping stick - I used to consume rather a lot of these back in the 70s.
Okay, this has nothing to do with sweets or chocolates, but while I'm in a retro food mood, I just had to mention Smash
instant potato mix, which was launched in the 60s by Cadbury. It became really
popular during the 70s after an advertising campaign featuring the
Smash Martians, who would laugh at us humans wasting our time peeling
real potatoes! First shown in 1974, it became one of most well-known
ads of the decade.
Still being made by walkers, the flavours I remember most were spicy
tomato and cheese. I can't seem to find a photo of the original packets
which cost 5p or less back in the 70s, so you'll have to make do with a
more modern photo - they cost around 45p in some shops these days!
Space Raiders were launched in the late 1970s and were just 10p. Remarkably, they remained at 10p all the way until late
October 2007, when the price was hiked to 15p, causing much uproar!
Each crisp was shaped like an alien head, and before the change in
EC food colouring laws (miserable lot!), Roast Beef Space Raiders were bright red and
pickled onion ones were green. They are now a boring light brown colour,
reflecting the maize / corn ingredients.
Spangles were fizzy, fruity sweets that were manufactured by Mars during the 1950's, 60's and 70's.
Spangles were discontinued in the early 80's, and were briefly
reintroduced in 1994, exclusively in Woolworth's outlets in the UK. Sadly, now even Woolworth's has disappeared, although they still have an online presence.
Sweet Bananas are yummy, soft, juicy chews with a lovely mellow banana flavour Some of my friends don't remember these from the 70s, but I sure do!
Unfortunately, no longer available - darn!
Treets were produced by Mars confectionary from the 1960s to 1988 when they were discontinued and replaced by M&M's. However, thankfully, they were relaunched in 2009.
They were originally just called Treets, which were peanuts covered in milk chocolate and a glazed candy shell. Eventually, three different types were launched; Peanut Treets, Chocolate Treets and Toffee Treets. All of these had the candy shell.
Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo? The main problem with Rolo's is that I felt like finishing off the whole tube before giving anyone the chance to get their mitts on the last one!