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Sweet Nostalgia: A Journey Through Seven Decades of Childhood Sweets in the UK

Explore History

Sweet Nostalgia: A Journey Through Seven Decades of Childhood Sweets in the UK

Delve into the sugary memories of childhood with a look back at ten iconic sweets that defined the past seventy years in the UK. From the post-war era to the present day, these treats not only sweetened our palates but also our memories.

Cadburys 1960s Orignal Dairy Milk

1950s: Cadbury Dairy Milk

  • Creator: Cadbury
  • Then: A staple in British confectionery since its introduction in 1905, Cadbury Dairy Milk became a symbol of post-war luxury in the 1950s. Originally costing a few pence, it was a treat within reach for many.
  • Now: Still a beloved classic, a standard bar costs around £0.60, continuing its legacy of affordable indulgence.

1960s: Opal Fruits

  • Creator: Mars, Incorporated
  • Then: Launched in the UK in 1960, these fruit-flavored chews were renamed Starburst in 1998. Initially, they were an affordable treat for many, costing just a few pennies.
  • Now: Still available as Starburst, a standard pack costs around £0.65, retaining their fruity zest.
Curly Wurly from 1970
Curly Wurly – Bodo

1970s: Cadbury’s Curly Wurly

  • Creator: Cadbury
  • Then: Introduced in 1970, the Curly Wurly, with its unique shape and combination of caramel and chocolate, became an instant hit. Priced at just a penny, it was an affordable and fun treat for children.
  • Now: Still popular, a Curly Wurly now costs around 35p, continuing to delight with its twisty shape and chewy texture.

1980s: Haribo Starmix

  • Creator: Haribo
  • Then: First hitting UK shelves in the 1980s, Haribo Starmix brought a mix of gummy bears, rings, and other shapes. Initially, a small pack cost around 20p, making it a popular pick-and-mix choice.
  • Now: A bag of Starmix can be found for about £1 for a grab bag, remaining a party bag and cinema favorite.

1990s: Cadbury’s Fudge

  • Creator: Cadbury
  • Then: Popularized in the 1990s with its catchy jingle, the Cadbury’s Fudge was a simple, sweet treat. Initially sold for around 10p, it was a staple of school canteens.
  • Now: Still available, the price hovers around 25p, maintaining its status as a quick, sweet snack.
Kinder Surprise Egg
Kinder Surprise – Bour

2000s: Kinder Surprise

  • Creator: Ferrero
  • Then: Although introduced in the 1970s in Italy, Kinder Surprise gained massive popularity in the UK in the 2000s. Initially sold for around 60p, it combined the joy of a toy with the delight of chocolate.
  • Now: A Kinder Surprise costs about £0.80, continuing to enchant with its surprise element.

2010s: Cadbury’s Twirl Bites

  • Creator: Cadbury
  • Then: Introduced

in the early 2010s, Twirl Bites offered a new way to enjoy the classic Twirl bar in bite-sized pieces. Originally priced around 50p for a small bag, they were an instant hit for their convenience and taste.

  • Now: Still widely enjoyed, a standard bag costs around £1.50, maintaining their appeal as a delightful chocolate snack.

Other Nostalgia Treats from Modern History

Frys Chocolate Cream
Frys Chocolate Cream – Bodo

1950s Revival: Fry’s Chocolate Cream

  • Creator: J. S. Fry & Sons (now owned by Cadbury)
  • Then: One of the oldest chocolate bars, Fry’s Chocolate Cream dates back to the 1860s but saw a resurgence in popularity during the 1950s. It was a luxury item then, costing a few shillings.
  • Now: This classic is still available, priced around 65p, preserving its rich dark chocolate and fondant center.

1960s Icon: Bassett’s Jelly Babies

  • Creator: Bassett’s
  • Then: Introduced before the First World War, Jelly Babies gained icon status in the 1960s, thanks in part to their association with The Beatles. Priced affordably, they were a popular treat for children.
  • Now: A bag costs around £1.20, continuing to be a beloved sweet with their unique shapes and flavors.

1970s Classic: Wagon Wheels

  • Creator: Burton’s Biscuit Company
  • Then: Since their introduction in the 1940s, Wagon Wheels became a 1970s lunchbox staple. A combination of biscuit, marshmallow, and chocolate, they were sold for about 5p each.
  • Now: Still in production, a pack of six costs around £1.20, retaining their nostalgic appeal.

These sweets, embedded in the fabric of British culture, represent more than just flavors or brands. They are a voyage through our collective childhoods, a sweet reminder of simpler times.

From the penny chews of the post-war era to the modern convenience of chocolate bites, these confections have not only satisfied our sweet tooth but have also created lasting memories across generations. Whether still available or fondly remembered, they continue to hold a special place in the heart of the UK’s cultural and culinary history.

Written By

Andy is the Editor of iNostalgia and is a regular contributor the exploring history & nostalgia category, with a love for community nostalgia.

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