THAT FRIDAY FEELING: Ahhh, fondant memories...sugary treats from our childhood
Before trivial matters like bills, mortgages and kids interfered, came our childhood love affair with sugar and those fantastically-cheap treats.
So this got us thinking...what sweets, treats and drinks can you no longer buy from your local newsagents?
Here’s 20 we came up with.
1) Tab Clear. Drinks giant Coca Cola’s short-lived venture to give us the taste of Coke...but without the colourings. It looked like lemonade, but actually tasted of Coke. Weird. It was introduced in Britain in 1993, but died of death a year later. Such was its popularity, most people don’t even realise you can no longer buy it.
2) Terry’s Pyramint: If ever a name was thought up before the product itself, this was it. The dark chocolate treat was in the shape of a pyramid (what else?) and contained a mint fondant. Made by Terry’s, all was not gold for this product, which was introduced in the 80s and then pulled in the early 90s. Probably because it cost way more than your average chocolate bar, was too small to justify spending your hard-earned pocket money on, and the cardboard packaging probably made up 50 per cent of the weight.
3) Jacob’s Trio: ‘Trio! Tri-i-i-o! I wanna a Trio and I want one now!’ went the jingle, which most people will break into at the mere mention of these defunct tea dunkers, such was the brilliance of the TV advert. The mini chocolate and toffee bar was a real treat back in the day. Jacob’s other popular biscuit, Club, are still available, so who knows why they pulled the plug on Trio, because they were better. End of.
4) Rowntree’s Toffo: If you wanted to ruin your teeth, Toffo was the fast-track way to go about it. Sticky toffee pieces, individually wrapped and sold in a tubing-style package. In recent years nostalgic 30-somethings set up a Facebook campaign calling for them to be put back into production. It failed after Rowntree’s said they were too expensive to make.
5) Fruit Polos: The mint with the hole took on a fruity dimension and were, in fact, pretty good. There is some debate that you can still get them, and a quick trawl through Google suggests so, but you try looking for them in the newsagents. So for the purpose of this list, we’d say they’re not readily available to the average 10 year-olds of today.
6) Cadbury’s Fuse: The chunky bar filled with nuts, raisins, rice crispies and fudge was massive hit when first released in 1996, with sales topping 40 million in its first week. It was dropped in 2006.
7) Cadbury’s Spira: Two fingers of twisted Cadbury’s goodness that had a hole running through the middle, allowing the indulger to drink tea through them like a straw. Spot on. Introduced in 1989, they were pulled from the production line in 2005.
8) Quosh orange drink: For anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s, and whose parents refused to buy any decent soft drinks for the house, Quosh cordial was what you were given. Before Kia-Ora, this dilutable thirst quencher was a staple part of the weekly shopping list at Kwik Save. It’s so rare now that we couldn’t even find a photo online to illustrate our case. Perhaps it didn’t exist at all and was a subliminal memory planted in our brains during episodes of Willo the Wisp or Super Ted.
9) Original Sunny Delight: Never has a soft drink cornered such a market so quickly, then lose it with equal vigour. In 1998 it arrived with a bang, shifting millions of units with its staple orange flavours, California-style and Florida-style. Only Coca Cola and Pepsi were outselling the new drink, but negative press followed (including a story which led one young drinker turning orange due to overindulgence) and the brand began to falter. That and the fact it was marketed as a healthy alternative to other soft drinks despite only containing 5 per cent fruit juice, brought it crashing down to earth. It has since been rebranded and with a whopping 15 per cent fruit juice, but it doesn’t taste near as good as the tooth-rotting original.
10) Panda Cola: Children of the 80s will remember this as the cheaper alternative to the big two cola companies. Back in the day when Coke was 12p a can, Panda undercut it by selling for 11p - and us cash-savvy kids would, more often than not, plump for the cheaper option. Why? Who knows, because it had a strange chocolate-type taste and bore no resemblance to the more expensive brands.
11) 54321: Like Trio, the jingle from the advert is probably the reason why many will remember this multi-pack chocolate bar. Filled with wafer, rice and caramel, it was a bit like a Drifter, but nowhere near as satisfying. It’s retro futuristic font on the wrapper made it look like something Dr Who would snack on back in the day, which was the 1980s.
12) Jolly Rancher: The American sweets made inroads in the UK market in the early 90s, but left not long after. Probably because scoffing a full pack of these little boiled sweets left you unable to eat anything else for days. Your teeth would become so sensitive, even breathing would hurt them.
13) Vitafruit: They looked medicinal in their packaging, and you could even buy them in pharmacies (maybe because of their so-called vitamin-filled qualities). But if you were going to buy medicinal sweets, you’d go or Lockets or Halls, surely?
14) United: The chocolate bar that found its way into more packed-lunch boxes at schools across Britain in the 1980s than any other treat. With a generic football-related packaging aimed clearly at boys, they were pretty good, but were never going to outdo Club or Trio (‘Trio! Tri-i-i-o! I wanna a Trio and I want one now!’)
15) Hubba Bubba drink: We were surprised that you can still buy Hubba Bubba, but the drink of the same name lasted about as long as the flavour of the gum itself. Unnaturally pink, it made it over to the UK in the late 80s for a short and unsuccessfully-commercial period.
16) Fireball Jawbreaker: Long before the vindaloo became the ultimate test of masculinity, stomaching these sugar-coated balls of pure pain was the only way to impress your peers. Originally sold in packs of three, they were indeed pretty hot, and some class clown would always accept the challenge of ramming all three in their gob at once. Idiot.
17) Funny Feet ice cream: The award for most bizarre best-selling ice cream surely goes to this chilled treat. It was law to bite the toes off first as well. If this was the product Walls chose to put on the market, it makes you wonder what they rejected.... hemorrhoid-shaped choc-ice anyone?
18) Bird’s Ice Magic: If you could persuade your mother to buy ice cream, you pushed your luck by pleading for a bottle of Ice Magic to pour over the top. The chocolate sauce would, by ‘magic’, harden into a crispy shell within seconds. Trouble was, it never made it to the ice cream, you’d swig it from the bottle when no-one was looking like a desperate alcoholic.
19) Top Deck drink: Too young to booze, but too old for Capri Sun? Look no further than this brand of soft drink from the 80s which mixed a smidgin of lager with lemonade or limeade. Aimed at kids, it’s difficult to think it would be marketed today for fear they’d want to fight the world, then go for a kebab. It’s miniscule alcohol content meant it was also mainly bought by girls, because as we all know, they’re more mature than boys...yeah, right.
20) Marathon and Opal Fruits: Okay, so technically you can still buy these, but under a different name - but how many of you misty-eyed confectionary connoisseurs still call them by the their original names? If you do, then you’re clearly getting old.