Iconic English Sweets – Part 1


There can be few that grew up – or spent anytime in the UK – who would not recognize at least some of the following iconic products. These are, in truth, just a few of the familiar brands and packaging that date back to the childhood of many and have almost entered their DNA in terms of continued choices.

In the same way that today there may be fierce discussion as to your preference between Amazon and E-Bay – I am firmly in the Amazon camp – when growing up it was wholly usual to argue that you were a Crunchie fan as opposed to a Topic. As a result this selection follows my own taste but I am very happy to admit that others are available – they are just not my preferred. Please feel free to argue the case for a Fry’s Chocolate Creams, Twix, Spangles, Bounty Bars, Terry’s Neapolitans or Nuttall’s Mintoes.

The following are in no particular order, nor do I make any campaign for the ingestion of more sugar, moderation is advised!

Paynes Poppets

Now made by Fox’s Confectionary, Paynes Poppets were first launched in 1937 by George Payne and Co of Croydon. In 2001 the fine looking old Paynes factory in Beddington, Croydon was closed following acquisition by Fox’s – a brand of Northern Foods previously Nestlé – and production moved to Braunstone in Leicestershire. The iconic boxes – redesigned in 2006 by Vibrandt – are known for their non-rustling quality making Paynes Poppets – the toffee version is best – perfect to enjoy everywhere including the cinema.


Fancy a pack of Paynes Poppets click the following AMAZON link

Paynes Toffee Poppets – 12 boxes

Cool Mint Matchmakers

Cool Mint Matchmakers are thin almost twig-like mint flavoured sticks that were first launched by Rowntree’s in 1968. In 1988 Rowntrees were acquired by Nestlé, who have regularly attempted to launch other flavours including the 2017 debut of the Salted Caramel version in celebration of the brands 50th anniversary in 2018. The product was re-branded by Nestlé as being of “Quality Street Matchmakers” in 2008 and is still available in addition to Cool Mint, Orange and Honeycomb


A perfect family treat – click the following AMAZON link

Matchmakers By Quality Street. Cool Mint Coolmint. Pack Of 5.

Love Heart Refreshers

Naturally as teenage boys the fact that these lovely sweets had romantic messages on them was largely overlooked – unless we were trying to wind up a mate!

Swizzles Matlow have been making iconic sweets since 1928 when Alfred and Maurice Matlow started making compressed sugar and fizzy sweets in London joining forces with David Dee, an already established sweet manufacturer, in 1933. In 1940 – as a result of Wartime bombing in London’s East End – the Swizzles business moved to New Mills in Derbyshire launching Love Hearts in 1954 with the simple “I Love You”. The compressing process and edible ink remains a Swizzles secret.

Swizzles Matlow firmly remains a family company with many of the founder’s family members still working for the business.


In preparation for Valentine’s Day get a head start and order your Hearts for Your Love by clicking the following AMAZON link  Love Heart Giant (pack of 5)

Rowentree‘s Fruit Pastilles

Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles – a sugar coated medium hard textured jelly – were first launched from the Rowntree’s factory in Fawdon (Tyneside in NE England) in 1881 with ownership passing to Nestlé in 1988.

Fruti Pastilles contain real fruit juice, with no artificial colours or flavours and come in a mixed foil wrapped tube – being packaged for the first time in this manner in 1927 – in flavours lemon, lime, strawberry, blackcurrant and orange. The strawberry and blackcurrent are on their own so popular that a bag solely containing the two flavours can now be purchased.


The Rowntree story echos much of the fine tradition of the great Quaker families of the mid-19th Century. Their major competitors being another Quaker family, Cadbury based outside Birmingham. Founded in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree who was, as a result of some financial troubles, joined by his brother, Joseph, in 1869. The launch of Fruit Pastilles in 1881 was as a reaction to French imports of similar products. In 1890 due to expansion the company acquired a 20 acre site on the Haxby Road in York.

Following the Nestle takeover in 1988 at £2.55bn, Rowntree is the World’s 4th largest chocolate manufacturer with 7% of the global market behind Mars, Hersey and Cadbury’s. Whilst some production has been moved to other European locations some production still takes place at the York factory.

Many will remember the “Beyond Fruit” TV commercial from 1997 – see the following link here Beyond Fruit and the fabulously awful 2011 “Don’t Chew” TV commercial Don’t Chew

Enjoy a pack of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles by clicking the following AMAZON link

Rowntree S Fruit Pastilles Pack Of 12

For those of your family who prefer the “Red and Black” why not click the following AMAZON link


Rowntree’s Red & Black Fruit Pastilles Sharing Bag 160g – Pack of 6

Bendicks Bittermints

There are certain products that are just so good – it really isn’t possible to enjoy more than one. Bendicks Bittermints are the most wonderful combination of dark chocolate goodness and a rich deep mintiness. They are delicious.

The Bendicks Bittermints’ story dates from 1930 when Oscar Benson and Colonel ‘Bertie’ Dickson – whose combined names gave the brand name – bought a confectionary business at 164 Church Street in London’s Kensington. In 1931 Benson’s sister-in-law, Lucia Benson, developed the bitter dark chocolate which was a perfect combination with rich peppermint fondant. With a growing reputation,  clientele and a new store the company was soon restyled as “Bendicks of Mayfair”.


In 1946 the business was sold to Edgar Lawley and in 1952 it moved to Winchester, Hampshire. In 1962 Bendick’s acquired a Royal Warrant.

In 1988 Bendicks became a subsidiary of the German business, August Storck who prompted questions to be asked in Parliament with the decision – based on purely commercial pressures – to close the Winchester factory in 2011 with the loss of many jobs. Production moved to Germany and continues today.


Tempt your dinner guests with these delicious chocolates – click here for to buy from AMAZON Bendicks Bittermints 400g case of 2

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Image Credits to Fox’s Confectionary, Nestle, August Storck, Swizzles Matlow

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I am an English trained and experienced lawyer. I have lived with my wife and family for nearly twenty years in the “California of Europe” - at the tip of Southern Europe. I am a proud European and driven to evangelize about the quality of life to be enjoyed here.

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