Retro Sweets

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Retro Sweets - a choice for a sweet tooth?

The resurgence in the demand for Retro sweets has been amazing and something that shocked Graham Reed, one of the founding directors of Make it Personal.
Since going live with our personalised retro sweets, we just couldn’t believe the demand for some of these products that have not been seen on our confectionary stands for many years.

Although more aligned to the older generation where, who can remember the ˝ penny blackjacks and fruit salads that we used to raid the school tuck box for, there seems to be a growing appeal by the younger generation who seem to be discovering these sweets for the very first time. As a result of this it made us consider the history of the humble sweetie and how it came about.

As far back as the 17th century it can be traced when early boiled sweets made from just sugar beet had their debut into England as well as America to. At this time sugar was mainly a luxury item and not commonly available to the mass market. People often created the taste of sweet sugary pleasures by eating preserved or dried fruits or jellies that seemed to be able to meet the growing demand for an increasingly sweet toothed society. It wasn’t until the 19th century where sugar became more of a commodity items and available in greater quantities that there started to become a huge boom in trade and in the creation of various forms of sweets that hold such dear memories of our youth.

Retro Sweets as they are more commonly known as today started to make their first appearances in the UK just before the beginning of the 20th Century, A strange fact, but chewing gum was sold for the first time in the UK around 1848, with chocolate following on a few years later in 1875.

One of the most popular and most notable retro sweets has to be the Barratt’s Sherbet Fountain. Recently modified with a plastic tube version, this replaced the original paper tube with liquorice stick that anyone over the age of 35 will be sure to remember.  There was always a myth around getting the Sherbet up the middle once you had cut the end, usually due to the how wet and sticky the stick got. Common methods of sherbet extraction usually revolved around pouring directly into the mouth, which if not executed correctly could lead to severe choking and coughing or at best dumping itself down the whole of your school blazer.

Why was it that your Grandparents always thought you would like a bag of flying saucers too. These aging have made a massive return to the Retro Sweet range. These small discs made from edible coloured rice paper paper typically filled with white unflavoured sherbet (the same form as in Sherbet Fountains). The first flying saucers were produced in the 1960 and continued to be a favourite right up to the late 70’s.

Marshmallows came along in 1850, way before the introduction of boy scouts in 1910. But roasting Marshmallows soon became the highlight of every Cub and Boy Scouts camping weekend where they would poke them onto the stick and watch the sugar crystallise when put over the fire. Marshmallows on sticks are also seen at bonfire nights too, a great addition to any bonfire party.

Most people today think sweets like Mars Bars and Crunchie Bars were created in the late 1950’s, not the case. The “Work Rest and Play” bar that it was tagged in the 1970’s advertising was actually created in the 1930’s, with the Crunchie Bar just in front being first launched in 1929.

So whether you prefer sherbet lemons, Parma Violets, flying saucers, cola bottles or love hearts, you can be sure to find all your favourites within a jar or box from the Make It Personal Retro sweet range.