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History of Australian Lollies Part 2

In a dark quiet cinema the sound of Jaffas being rolled down the aisle was not uncommon and the rate of this ridiculously crazy idea only seemed to speed up when the movie was as dull as dish water.

Like all kids who chanced their hand at this pastime, no one gave a thought to what a waste of money it was or how dangerous it could have been because for goodness sakes, we were only children who knew no better, or so they said.

If this long held tradition, practised by any number of baby boomers, brings back happy memories, I do hope there will be more of those as you read on.

Whilst many of our perennial lollies such as MinTies and Fantales have stood the test of time, sadly, some have gone the way of the dinosaur. A roll call of those who have seen better days because of changing consumer tastes and cultural norms and the demise of the ubiquitous corner store include White Knights, Chocolate Cigarettes, Toscas, Polly  Waffles, Green Frogs, Spearmint Leaves and Bertie Beetles.

Of the raft stories to be told about the history of how some of our well known confectionery came to market, here’s but one of my favourites:

In 1880, the respected Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Macpherson Robertson¬†founded MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery Works, a company that produced over 700 chocolate and confectionery lines from their Fitzroy and later, Ringwood factories in Melbourne.

At its height, the business employed over 3,000 staff, exported to over 15 countries and established agency and distributorship agreements with many other companies including MacIntosh, Mars, Wrigleys (chewing gum) and the wholly owned subsidiaries, Life Savers and the Australian Liquorice Co.

MacRobertson’s¬†was the largest confectionery manufacturer in the Southern hemisphere until the English company Cadbury

took over in 1967.

In 1969, Cadbury merged with Schweppes Australia to become Cadbury Schweppes before later separating and renaming the business Cadbury Australia.

Some of MacRobertson’s¬†best known products that are sold in our shops today under the Cadbury¬†label, include Cherry Ripes, Freddo Frogs, Columbines, Scorched Almonds and Old Gold Chocolate.

Happy Eating!


Did you know that MinTies were originally manufactured by Sydney company Sweetacres 

and launched in 1922. By 1926, this popular lolly wrapped in its iconic waxy paper twisted at both ends, was promoted using quirky cartoons and the tag line, “It’s moments like this you need MinTies.

In 2019, these little white squared lollies, now bearing the Allens moniker, are devoured to the tune of over 500 million each year.


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