What Makes a Good Retro Sweet?

When we’re developing new products, every so often, a gem is created. A sweet that titillates the taste buds of an entire generation. And a retro sweet is born. But what is it that makes a retro sweet stand the test of time?

The Five Characteristics of Retro Sweets

A good retro sweet is…


A retro sweet doesn’t have to be something that you might treat yourself to everyday. Its primary distinguisher is its ability to trigger an ‘oh my goodness, yes!’ response to the question, ‘do you remember…?’ And that’s what Rainbow Drops can do.  Whether it’s the light airiness, the gentle flavour, or the way they melt in the mouth, Rainbow Drops trigger memories. No matter how long it has been since you last ate one.


Love Hearts are great sweets. They tingle on the tongue and have a good, appealing flavour. But the real beauty of these sweets is that they are so much more than simply sweets. They are memory makers. They are message givers. And they are fun. Whether shared with friends, sweethearts, or your mum, Love Hearts have a playful element that endures. And that’s why they’ve stood the test of 68 years of time.


Is it a sweet or is it a lollipop? When Swizzels Drumsticks were invented, there was nothing quite like them on the market. And there’s still not. A gloriously sweet raspberry and milk chew on a stick, Drumsticks simply caught the imagination. And they’re loved now as much for the memories they evoke, as they are for the enduring appeal of their novelty and flavour.


Is there any other sweet that packs such a powerful flavour punch as Refreshers? First, you have the lovely lemon (and now strawberry) chew. And then you have the zing of sherbet. The mere thought sets the salivary glands a-tingle! Even if it’s been years since you last experienced the joy of eating a Refresher, your mouth will still recall the sensation.

Slightly controversial

What many people don’t realise is that a good retro sweet doesn’t have to be loved by all. Take Parma Violets. We might love them. You might love them. But these little purple florally flavoured wonders are not beloved by all. And yet they’ve been around for 76 years and counting. And it’s that slightly controversial flavour that has made them such a hit. And not just with us.

At Swizzels, we’re proud to be known as a retro sweet maker. Of course, we still invest in new inventions. And of course, we’re always looking for ways to improve what we do. Whether by introducing sustainable practices, or tweaking our ingredients to make more sweets Halal and vegan friendly. But the fact that so many of our sweets continue to be loved after so many years fills us with pride. So, we continue to work with both the past and future, as well as the present, in mind.

Why not pay a visit to the Swizzels shop and take your own trip down Memory Lane with Swizzels retro sweets. 

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