Penny Candies A Nostalgic Look at the Sweets that Defined British Childhoods

Penny Candies: The Sweets that Bring Back Memories

If you spent your formative years in the United Kingdom during the ’80s and ’90s, there’s a high probability that you had an addiction to penny candies. Penny candies were a staple of childhood, available at local convenience stores and markets throughout the country. These inexpensive, small treats provided a sweet fix without breaking the bank. This write-up will take you down memory lane, exploring the history of penny candies, the most well-liked sweet treats, and where to find them today.

The Origin of Penny Candies

The notion of penny candies can be traced back to the mid-19th century when confectioners started producing small, reasonably-priced sweets sold by weight, not by piece, which made them accessible to the masses. The rise of penny candies in the UK can be attributed to the expansion of the confectionery sector and industrialization. Penny candies became popular among working-class families who could afford to pamper their children with a small bag of sweets without splurging.

The Most Popular Kinds of Penny Candies

Sherbet Fountains

A combination of fizzy sherbet and sweet candy, Sherbet Fountains became an instant hit among children.

Cola Bottles

These gummy candies had a cola essence and a shape resembling tiny bottles.

Black Jacks

These petite sweets had a powerful and appealing aniseed flavor, preferred by those who appreciated a bolder taste.

Fruit Salad

Both raspberry and pineapple flavors were present in Fruit Salad candies, making them a delectable fruity treat.

Flying Saucers

These candy wafers were filled with fizzy sherbet and had a distinctive texture that was both crunchy and chewy.

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Where to Find Penny Candies Today

Although many traditional candy shops are no longer operational, penny candies can still be found in numerous places. Some grocery stores have a limited selection of traditional candies, and there are online retailers who specialize in retro candies. However, for the authentic penny candy experience, visit candy shops that have been around for decades, offering a variety of penny candies and other classic confectionery items.


1. Can penny candies still be purchased in the UK?

Yes, penny candies can still be obtained from online retailers that specialize in retro candies and select traditional candy shops.

2. Which penny candy is the most well-known of all time?

Sherbet Fountains are often touted as the most preferred penny candy of all time.

3. Why are they referred to as penny candies?

Penny candies obtained their name as a result of their original asking price of one penny apiece.

4. Are penny candies acceptable for vegan consumption?

Many penny candies contain animal products like gelatin, making them unsuitable for vegans. However, some online retailers sell vegan-friendly retro sweets.

5. What is the oldest penny candy?

The humbug is probably the oldest penny candy, a hard candy produced in the early 1800s.

In Conclusion

Although penny candies may be a bygone era for some, they will forever remain a fundamental part of our childhood. These small and budget-friendly sweety delights brought joy to millions of children in the UK and are still cherished as an essential part of British culture. While finding conventional candy shops may be more challenging than they used to be, penny candies are still within reach if you know where to look. So why not indulge in a little nostalgia and treat yourself to some of your favorite childhood candies today?

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