/ Food & Drink

Which retro treats do you miss?

Quality Street

The news that Nestlé is scrapping the old-favourite Toffee Deluxe from its Quality Street selection and replacing it with a new sweet – the Honeycomb Crunch – was met with widespread outrage last week.

Apparently the decision was made because customers had complained that there were too many toffees in the tin and so poor old Toffee Deluxe was the one Nestlé chose for the chop.

The fact it picked a veteran (it’s been around since the First World War and is said to have been included in the first ever tins of Quality Street, which came into being in 1936) led to a bit of a meltdown on social media.

In fact, many incensed fans lamented that Christmas would never be the same again, and some even set up a petition to demand its reinstatement.

Discontinued treats

The furore reminded me of the time, back in 1999, when Heinz announced it was ceasing production of its salad cream. Upon hearing the news, I immediately rushed to Safeway to stock up, thinking that if I didn’t, I’d never get to savour its divine taste ever again.

Much like the demise of the Toffee Deluxe, the matter caused a national outcry and was even discussed in the House of Commons (yes, really). Heinz eventually relented, ploughed £10m into an ad campaign and increased the price by 40p, saving the ‘pourable sunshine’ for another generation.

Of course, food manufacturers withdrawing products from their range is nothing new – tastes and therefore demand change; and occasionally items are removed or reformulated on health grounds (who remembers the original Sunny Delight, forced to rebrand in 2003 and now made to a different recipe, reportedly turning kids orange).

But with public demand and social media campaigns successfully getting glorious treats like Cadbury’s Wispa (withdrawn from sale in 2003 and resurrected five years later in 2008), Burton’s Daily Fish ‘n’ Chips (died early 1990s, reborn 2014) and, rejoice, Trio (2003; 2016) – back on our shop shelves, I’m wondering if it’s worth petitioning for the return of some of my old favourites that have fallen by the wayside?

Reinstating retro treats

Top of my list would be Pacers. Similar to Starburst (or Opal Fruits, as I one knew them), only minty and with green and white stripes, a packet of these wouldn’t last five seconds in my company when I was a kid in the early 1980s.

Next would be a toss-up between Toffo and Cadbury’s Fuse. Then it would be tomato-flavoured Snaps (or do they still make them?). Oh, and let’s not forget Panda Pops…

Who’s with me then? Is there a discontinued brand item you’d like to see bought back?


Some here I’d not even heard of:

Courtesy The Throwaway History Blog


This your weekly shop Ian?


Ha ! Ha ! good one malcolm ,another “lift me up ” to a Sunday. I really appreciate the jokes from all.

Rob North says:
2 October 2016

I think that my all time favourite may be lurking in Ian’s trolley-Cadbury’s Milk Tray in bar form. This was the same size as a normal bar of chocolate (they were all small in those days) and had about eight different chocolates fused into a slab of chocolate.


You had a TV in the ’60s. Duncan? Lucky. All we had was an empty box and me dad, showing cut-out pictures from worn-out copies of the Radio Times each week, and moving them to the outside loo when we finished watching them. You had it easy.


I paid for it Ian out of my wages before I left home for London at 21 , it took a very long time to save up the money. I remember the start of DR Who and Coronation Street in the snug and Elsie Tanner .Did your dad,s arm not get sore changing the cut-outs in place of the tube ? He must have been tired out after showing the Coronation edition of the Radio Times which,it so happens , I have in front of me priced at 3 pence -dated May 31-June 6 ,and yes its the original not a repro.


I think it’s time you bought one of the new editions, Duncan. It has colour pictures now and is no longer full of garden shed and corset adverts.


“eight different chocolates fused into a slab of chocolate.”

Now that’s something I never knew existed. One sweet I did enjoy but which I suspect we only ever had once, because of the cost, was milk chocolate-covered Clarnico mint creams, two stacks in a single, cellophane covered, green box, lounging enticingly on the confectioner’s shelves. The smell of mint to this day still evokes an image of the things.


Thanks, Ian, for bringing Clarnico Mint Creams back into my recollections. Are they still available? I seem to recall having some a few years back from a boring standard-sized packet rather than the attractive box you mentioned.

And from the confectioner’s jars – a lovely boiled sweet was Needler’s Glace Fruit Drops that were very long lasting and in half a dozen flavours/colours. And what became of Sharp’s Kreemy Toffees? – The mint ones were delicious. No wonder our teeth rotted!