Retro Sweets: Ten Delicious Favourites from Childhood

Apr 29 15:51 2009 Anna Clare Print This Article

When we were young, sweets were a real treat that we were only allowed to eat occasionally. A few sweets, bought for a few pennies apiece, were enough to keep us going all week. ShinyShack's Anna Clare reminisces about some of our favourite retro sweets from our childhood.

In the 1970s,Guest Posting when sweets were at their best, the highlight of the week was taking our pocket money to the local sweet shop, pointing at a gigantic jar filled to the brim with delicious sweets, and saying "a quarter of those, please". Our mums never seemed to mind; a quarter of cola cubes would last a good few days and keep us pretty quiet… I mean, have you ever tried to speak with a mouthful of cola cubes? It’s not easy!

If you yearn for the sweets of your childhood, or wonder if it’s still possible to buy Refreshers or Parma Violets (it is), then read on for our top ten list of retro sweets – and be prepared for some serious dribbling…

1.  Fizz Wiz Pop Rocks

Formerly known as Space Dust, Fizz Wiz Pop Rocks are little nugget-like pieces of candy which, when they make contact with your tongue, explode with a very satisfying crackling and popping sound. Fizz Wiz Pop Rocks are just about the most fun you can have with sweets, and they come in a variety of delicious flavours including strawberry and cola.

2.  Candy Kit Jewellery Set

There's nothing more satisfying than making your own pretty jewellery, wearing it for a bit, and then eating it. OK, so your skin can get a little sticky where the sweetie jewellery has been sitting, but that's half the fun of it! 

The Candy Kit Jewellery Set contains a variety of edible beads and pendants, and threading laces which are not edible.

3.  Refreshers

There were two really memorable things about Refreshers. One was the advert, with its skateboarding granny and the "it’s the fizz that gives you whizz" strapline. The other was the intensely fruity, fizzy flavours - and thankfully, Refreshers are as mouth-wateringly tasty as ever.

4.  Parma Violets

Parma Violets are a bit like Marmite – you either love them or hate them. With their distinctive floral flavour, Parma Violets are one of the most memorable retro sweets still available; and while back in the day they were tiny, these days they're jumbo-sized so you can really make the most of that exotic flavour.

5.  Chunky Drumstick Lollies

Was there ever a lollipop chewier than Drumstick Lollies? With their delicious raspberry and milk flavour, Drumstick Lollies always seemed so enormous for such a tiny mouth… and these days they're even chunkier, so you can enjoy the same sensation as an adult.

6.  Black Jacks

Aniseed flavoured Black Jacks used to be sold individually at a penny each. These days they come in packs, but they taste just as good as they always did. They also still leave your tongue a lovely dark purple colour, and sharing your Black Jacks with a friend and comparing tongues afterwards is one of the best ways to enjoy these delicious retro sweets.

7.  Fruit Fizzers

When we were small, children would unwrap their tiny Fruit Fizzers and pop them into an empty film pot so they could be used as pretend tablets. They always seemed to make a game of 'hospital' feel that bit more realistic.

As adults, this game isn't as exciting as it used to be. But luckily, Fruit Fizzers are as delicious, and fizzy, as ever.

8. Chocorillo Chocolate Cigarettes

In the 60s and 70s, before the dangers of smoking were fully understood, there were many sweets shaped like smoking paraphernalia. A popular Christmas gift was a 'smoker’s set' selection box; give such a gift to a child these days, and his parents would, quite rightly, be very cross.

However, as adults there’s no reason at all not to enjoy the occasional pack of Chocorillo Chocolate Cigarettes – just don't let the children catch you…

9.  Candy Canes

In years gone by, stripy peppermint Candy Canes could usually be seen adorning Christmas trees. Mind you, they never stayed there long – they were so delicious, they’d be off the tree and into our mouths quicker than Mum could say "oh, go on then".

Now we're grown up and don’t have to wait for Mum's permission, they never seem to make it as far as the Christmas tree. Candy Canes are just as minty and delicious as ever, and now we can eat them whenever we like. Hurrah!

10.  Retro Sweets Pile

Is your mouth watering yet? Do you feel spoilt for choice? Not sure which retro sweets to order? So have them all! The Retro Sweets Pile is like having an old-fashioned sweet shop in a bag, and it contains a mouth watering selection of retro sweets including most of the sweets mentioned here, and a few more besides.

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Anna Clare
Anna Clare

Anna Clare is Website Manager at, one of the UK's leading suppliers of unusual gifts and retro sweets.

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