So, 80s food week got sorta delayed when I screwed up my scheduled posts so let’s just go with 80s Food Month!
If you grew up in the UK during the 80s chances are you’ll remember some of Swizzels Matlow’s sweets in your local tuck shop- popular items such as (New) Refreshers, Drumstick Lolies, Parma Violets (my husband swears nobody actually likes these but they’re classic- sort of like American candy corn I guess…), Love Hearts, Fizzers, Fruity Pops, and Double Dip.
Their first factory built in 1928, Swizzels Matlow began in a London market stall with founders Maurice and Alfred Matlow (the Matlow Brothers) hawking jellies and chews. In 1933 they joined up with competitor David Dee whose specialty was compressed fizzy tablets (think Alka Seltzer), purchased the Matlow Brothers in 1967 and by 1975 had renamed themselves Swizzels Matlow. WWII forced the factory to move out of London and into Derbyshire. And those sweets you swizzle in sweet nostalgia? They’ve been around a long time-
Parma Violets– since the 1930s. In 2003 the recipe was considered to be changed but the public denounced this and Swizzles kept the original
(New) Refreshers– so called because Barret’s has a similar product called Refreshers. Hailing from 1955, the original packaging featured what people believed to be the kids in the Matlow family.
Love Hearts– Rolled out in 1954, the manufacturing technique of the embossed message and edible ink on Love Hearts is a closely guarded company secret. The were first used in Swizzels Christmas Crackers.
Drumsticks – out in 1957, flavours in past years included milk & raspberry, Cherry & apple, apple & raspberry, cola & blackcurrant, passionberry, rhubarb & custard, strawberry & banana
Fruity Pops– launched in the late 1960 and in the early 2000’s added ice cream flavours
Double Lollies – From 1950, Double Lollies got a huge sales burst when Telly Salavas as Kojak was seen sucking on a Double Lolly on thetv show, Kojak
Hankering for something you didn’t see here? Inquire with the company
Here in Pittsburgh we picked up the above nifty (read: pricey) tin of British old skool goodness at Mon Amiee who also carries chocky and some grocery items in the Strip District
Swizzles Matlow on Daybreak 14/02/13 courtesy riggerz