History of Australian Lollies

With so many of our favourite lollies now being made by overseas owned companies, I started to think about the history of lollies in Australia.

To my amazement, I discovered there was a paucity of information on this very subject, but fortunately however, I did come across a first of its kind research into the power of confectionery in the lives of Australian children, a thesis written by cultural historian, Dr Toni Risson from the University of Queensland in 2011.

Dr Risson not only investigated lollies as a significant cultural artefact in Australian society, but also delved into the manufacturing, distribution and consumption of these sweet morsels.

The thesis recounted the first-hand experiences and stories of nearly 300 people who had
expressed being enchanted by the opulence and colour of the lolly counter.

Sadly, much of the manufacturing history of lollies here at home has been lost, yet over the past 15 years, 20 books have been written in the United States and England on what they call, either candy or sweets.

For her research, Dr Risson was given access to the archives at the Confectionery Manufacturers’ Association and the multinational confectionery giant, Nestle, the company that now produces many of our favourite lollies like Fantalesย and Minties.

Over the next several Blogs, I will reveal more fascinating details about the history of our lollies, as I’m sure, that most Australians would have eaten their fair share of confectionery over the years and carried with them, happy memories of those times.


Did you know that Jaffas, with their chocolate core and orange flavoured shell, were originally made by James Stedman-Henderson’s Sweets Ltd of Sydney under the brand Sweetacres and were named after the Palestine town Jaffa, famous for its oranges.

In 2019, this all-time classic lolly is made under the Allens brand, a once famous Australian company now owned by Nestle.

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Toni Risson (2011)

A Magic Bag: The Power of Confectionery in the Lives of Australian Children.
PhD Thesis
School of English, Media Studies and Art History
The University of Queensland


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