/ 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But with public demand and social media campaigns successfully getting glorious treats like Cadbury’s Wispa (withdrawn from sale in 2003 and resurrected five years later in 2008), Burton’s Daily Fish ‘n’ Chips (died early 1990s, reborn 2014) and, rejoice, Trio (2003; 2016) –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?


When Cadbury’s Milk Tray dropped their Lime flavour we were devastated. Well, not quite, but it was the most delightful sweet in the box. Since the US company takeover,. however, even the chocolate itself seems to have changed flavour. And as for Crunchies – why aren’t they for sale anywhere except the UK?

The other thing Christmas always heralded was the arrival of the big tins of sweets. They don’t seem to make them anymore, and the flat tins and plastic boxes have been shrinking year on year.


Yes – I still have an octagonal plastic container of Nestle’s ‘Quality Street’ from Xmas 2015. It has 795g net 820g inc. wraps. I use those large Quality Street tins (as illustrated) to keep Xmas decorations and tree lights in! Can’t do that with the flimsy plastic containers!


I have just been given one of these octagonal Quality Street plastic containers, marked 726g and 750g including wraps. I ask friends to keep tins and boxes for me to store stuff in the garage. Maybe the octagonal boxes used to be square but Nestle has been cutting corners.


I’m dreaming of a sweet Christmas
Stuffed to the gills with sweets I like.
When the sweet lime barrels that J. G. Farrel
So loved, are missing – that’s not right!

I’m thinking that the whole inkling
I’ve had for years is coming true.
That our well-loved sweeties have gone
And we’re stuck with plastic and glue.


Hi Ian,

This is brilliant – very inspired!

In fact, we loved it so much that we made it the featured comment on the homepage.


Glad you liked it. Christmas does it for me every year 🙂


Thorntons Individual Hazelnut Cake Bars are a treat I miss. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Being individually wrapped they lasted a while and I was devastated when they stopped making them. I think they replaced them with toffee or honeycomb cake bars, yuk. 🙁 🙁 🙁


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

Sweets and chocolates I can still find in abundance. Also many brands have just become labels for generic products. As noted above, for Cadbury’s Chocolate, it’s a shame that only the name remains the same.