70s and 80s Retro Sweets in the UK

This is the page hated by dentists but loved by the rest of us, and it's guaranteed to bring back some fond childhood memories. 

Indulge yourself on this nostalgic page featuring your favourite British retro sweets and chocolates from the 1980s, where you can buy all of the products featured here.

Do you remember those old-fashioned penny sweets such as Black Jack's, Fruit Salads and Anglo Bubbly? All of those retro favourites are right here. Of course, some were available to buy long before this - some are centuries old - but it was during this time that I personally remember enjoying them in my childhood.

Many sweets are still available to buy, although others are just sadly missed. It's all now labelled as "junk food", of course, and we are forever being preached at to stop eating what we enjoy. But who can resist when it tastes so wonderful!

Alphabet Letters Sweets. Pink, yellow and white.


Alphabet Letters

Now these take me right back! Whenever Mum bought a bag of these home, it kept us kids amused (and quiet!) for quite some time. It was fun sharing them out with your friends and forming rude words with them, but even more fun eating them, of course.

Barratt Anglo Bubbly Bubble Gum


Anglo Bubbly

This very British brand of bubble gum actually came out in the 70s. Bubble Gum itself is actually an American invention, and was invented way back in 1928 by Walter E. Diemer.

Aniseed Balls 80s Sweets


Aniseed Balls

Now, like Marmite, these are something you either love or hate. Aniseed Balls 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.

Barley Sugar Sweets


Barley Sugars

These 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.

Black Jack Chews Sweets


Black Jacks

These are certainly one of the most well-known classic British sweets. They're aniseed flavoured, chewy and black with a unique taste, and they make your tongue go black! The original labels from the 1920s pictured a grinning golly and this caused increasing controversy as the decades passed. By the late 80s, Trebor had decided to delete the golly logo and it was replaced by a pirate with a black beard. In the early 1990s, the pirate logo was replaced by a rather boring black and white swirl design - yawn - and now the wrapper just says "Barratt BlackJack".

Candy Ice Cream Cones Sweets


Candy Ice Cream Cones

These are a childhood classic and feature an irresistible combination of creamy strawberry and vanilla chocolate flavours. Best of all, they don't melt as quickly as an ice cream!

Swizzels Matlow Love Heart Lipsticks


Candy Lipstick

Remember these? Lipstick that you can actually eat is always going to be popular, and these Love Hearts lipstick candies (which I remember being popular back in the 1970s) will go down a treat at any little girls party.

Candy Necklaces, multi coloured sweets


Candy Necklaces

This is actually is the most popular item on this page. So, it seems that plenty of you you have happy memories of these from your childhood and, perhaps, want to give your own kids the same joyous experience.

White Candy Sticks


Candy Sticks

Obviously, these are controversial as they resemble cigarettes. Products labelled as "Candy Cigarettes" or "Chocolate Cigarettes" were banned in many countries, but "Candy Sticks" are still acceptable.

Candy Whistles, assorted colours


Candy Whistles

Do you remember those toot sweets in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? These are loosely based on them and were great fun when I was a kid, and are still available to buy, thankfully. Ideal for a party bag filler.


Chewits were launched before the 1980s in Southport, England, in 1965 to be precise. They are cube-shaped, soft and chewy sweets that originally came in four fruit flavours; strawberry, blackcurrant, orange and banana. 

The TV ad featured a Godzilla-like creature (named Chewy) 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 briefly 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.

Chocolate Coins

A net of these delights could always be found hanging on the Christmas Tree in our household, but by Christmas Day there were never any left - the temptation was just too much!

Now they also come with a pirate theme and are ideal for kids parties to use in a treasure hunt or as a party bag filler.

Chocolate Footballs

Well, you can't go far wrong with these as a treat. I used to love these as a youngster, and I always felt really lucky if I got a green one - I'm not sure why, though!

Brown Jazzies. Chocolate buttons covered in colourful sprinkles


Chocolate Jazzies

Well, I'd almost forgotten about these chocolate buttons which were covered with colourful sprinkles, and they used to have a wonderful aroma when you opened the paper bag. Appealing to the eye, these were always popular when I was young.

Green Chocolate Limes


Chocolate Limes

These are one of my all-time favourite sweets, and I can never resist biting into these to get to that scrumptious chocolate centre - they're impossible to suck for more than about 30 seconds!

Chupa Chups Lollipops


Chupa Chups

This is a Spanish brand of lollipop that was founded in 1958 by Enric Bernat. The brand name plays on the verb chupar which means "to suck". You may remember seeing Madonna sucking on a Chupa Chup when she advertised the brand back in the 1980s. There was always a jar of these on the counter of our local newsagent who no longer exists, sadly. 

Coconut Mushrooms Sweets


Coconut Mushrooms

Here is another unforgettable classic. I remember as a child that these were always eye-catching in the sweet shop and, as a huge fan of coconut flavour, it was incredibly difficult to resist buying them. They have a fondant stalk with the mushroom head being dusted in coconut.

Barratt Sherbert Dip Dabs Bags


Dip Dab

Originally made by Barratt, this is a retro fizzy lemon sherbert powder that comes with a free strawberry lolly for dipping. I certainly remember enjoying a few packets of these back in the day, along with sherbert dips.

Barratts Dolly Mixture


Dolly Mixture

A firm favourite throughout the decades, Dolly Mixtures are a combination of tiny fondant candy pieces, japs and jelly tots in mixed colours.

Double Lollies

I used to absolutely adore Swizzels Double Lollies as a young child in the 70s. Not only did I love the two different flavours on a stick, but I also got quite excited by the different colours, as would many young children today, I suspect. 

This very retro lollipop is still popular and ideal for a party bag filler.

Swizzels Drumstick Lollies


Drumstick Lolly

Remember these? They can't have been much more than a penny each when I was a child in the 70s. 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.

Fruit Fizzers Candy Sweet Rolls by Swizzels Matlow



These fizzy and fruity retro sweets have a hard but brittle feel to them and leave a wonderful sensation on the tongue. They are similar to Barratt's Refreshers, but these small-sized rolls are ideal party bag fillers.

Fizzy Cola Bottles Sweets


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 well over 30 years!
Fizzy Bubblegum Bottles, blue and pink

Fizzy Bubblegum Bottles

These delightful pink and blue mini bottle-shaped sweets taste just like bubblegum, and are dipped in a fizzy sherbet sugar coating.

Flying Saucers Sherbert Rice Paper Sweets


Flying Saucers

These come from a time when sci-fi movies about invaders from space were all the rage in the 1950s. They have 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, as I remember buying these regularly in the 1970s and 80s from the penny sweets range.

Fried Eggs

These vintage sweets have scrumptious, foamy white outers with dark yellow chewy gum centres, and, of course, they look just like a fried egg! Thankfully, they taste fruity, and not of real egg! A real retro classic.

Fruit Jellies Sweets


Fruit Jellies

Ah, yes! My gran always used to have a box of these tucked under her arm when she came for Christmas dinner. They're an acquired taste and texture, but I loved these, and it's great to see that they are still available - a real retro favourite.

Fruit Salad Chews - Retro Sweets


Fruit Salad Sweets

These have an unmistakable raspberry and pineapple flavour and come in a pink and yellow wrapper. Another one of my favourites from my 70s/80s childhood and I'm glad to see these are still available to buy!

Jelly Babies

I suppose it was Tom Baker's fault for getting me hooked on these! As the fourth Doctor 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 with a jelly on the inside, and the originals are made by Maynard Bassett.

Jelly Beans Sweets


Jelly Beans

These sweets are gorgeously fruity and chewy, and bursting with flavour. They were, apparently, invented in 1861 by Boston (USA) confectioner William Schrafft.

Liquorice Allsorts Sweets


Liquorice Allsorts

These are always popular thanks to the wonderful array of colours and flavours. Which is your favourite? Personally, the one I don't like is the strange blue one with the gooey centre. However, I adore the brown, chocolatey flavoured liquorice sandwich.

Liquorice Wheels Sweets


Liquorice Catherine Wheels

The beauty of these is that there is a gooey centre to look forward to. I remember that these were great for unravelling and breaking off pieces to share with my friends at school, and they look impressive, too!

Liquorice Pipes

I'm pretty surprised that these are still allowed in today's politically correct world, but I'm pleased to say that there are numerous suppliers still selling them.

Liquorice Torpedoes/Comfits

These classic sweets include a crispy sugar coating with a gorgeously chewy liquorice centre. Comfits are a smaller version of the torpedoes, but you can see both by selecting the link below.

Lovehearts Sweets Mini Rolls


Love Hearts

These traditional mini sweets with feature 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 - a sweet idea!

White Milk Bottles Sweets


Milk Bottles

These white and deliciously creamy, milk bottle shaped chewy sweets are also known as milk gums. They were pretty popular when I was a child and are still selling well today. They are often repackaged as retro sweets.

Milk Teeth

Now, these were always a lot of fun to eat and, obviously, looked like gnashers but were actually sugar dusted sweets with a strawberry and vanilla flavoured.

Parma Violets Rolls


Parma Violets

These are certainly an acquired taste. The now iconic violet-flavoured sweets by Swizzels Matlow have a similar taste to Fizzers, but without the fizz. These were more popular with the girls in the school playground when I was at primary school.


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 you either love them or hate them, I guess!

Refreshers Chews

Many kids adore the strong, lemon taste of these sweets, and I can assure you that they taste just the same as they always have, as I am a big fan of them!

Sherbert Fountain

A great old fashioned and nostalgic sweet with a colourful tube filled with glorious sherbet and a delicious liquorice dipping stick - I used to consume rather a lot of these back in the eighties.

Sherbert Dust Straws

These were great fun as a child and ideal for sharing with friends. This pack of 120 fruit-flavoured, sherbert-filled straws is perfect for sprinkling on to tables at 80s or children's parties and will also add colour.

Sugared Almonds Multi-Coloured Sweets


Sugared Almonds

Sugared Almonds are often used as wedding favours due to their pastel coloured, crisp, candy shell. The contrasting bitterness of the almond and sweetness of the shell combine to give an irresistible taste sensation. Some confectioners offer a one colour coating which can even include gold or silver. 

Super Shrimps Sweets Pink


Super Shrimps

These foamy, raspberry mallows have been around since Adam was a lad. Well, at least since I was a lad, anyway! They were a popular choice in the local sweet shop back in the day, that's for sure.

Foam Bananas Sweets


Sweet Bananas / Foam Bananas

A soft and juicy chew that features a lovely mellow banana flavour. Foam bananas were not invented in the 1980s, but very popular back then, and still avaialble today.

Sweet Peanuts


Sweet Peanuts

Who can resist these absolutely gorgeous sweets with a cracknel centre. I remember that I used to go berzerk (or should I say nuts!) when Mum bought a bag of these home. Definitely in my top ten!

Traffic Light Lollies


Traffic Light Lollies

These lollies have been around for many generations and they are particularly popular because the yummy flavour changes as you suck through the three different colours.

White Chocolate Snowies Sweets with multi-coloured sprinkles


White Chocolate Snowies / Jazzles

The white chocolate version of brown jazzles, and it is common for people to mix the two together at parties. The deliciously creamy chocolate is sprinkled with crunchy candy to give a very satisfying experience.

Retro Sweets and that are no longer being made

Sadly, the following items bit the dust many moons ago, so all we can do is try and remember how great these tasted.
Pacers Peppermint Striped 1981


Pacers 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. However, a nice alternative are spearmint chews.
Fizzy Orangeade Spangles (1974 wrapper price 2p)


Spangles were fizzy, fruity boiled 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 Woolworths outlets in the UK. Sadly, now even Woolworths has disappeared. This wrapper for orangeade Spangles is from 1974. I also remember cola and lemonade flavours, too.
Wow! Remember these old British chocolate bars and sweets from your childhood? Bar Six and Buttersnap - I'd truly forgotten about those. Now, this is a wonderful idea for a jigsaw puzzle which would make an ideal retro gift.