Australian Candy – Favourite Sweets From Down Under

Australian people are lucky to have their own wildlife, landscapes, and architecture. However, when it comes to Australian culture, the Australian candy industry also deserves to be mentioned. Since the country is isolated from the rest of the world, it has created some unique cultural characteristics. Among them, Australia has many amazing and delicious sweet treats to offer, and therefore, most of the Australian candy have become famous around the world.

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Australian Candy Favourite Sweets From Down Under

Lollies – Australian Candy or Significant Cultural Artifact?

Australians do not use the words “candy” or “sweets” as commonly as people do in the United States or Great Britain. Instead, they use the word “lolly” to describe the piece of confectionery. The world has been used since 1850. 

But why “lolly”? There are different thoughts about why people call all candy “lollies.” Even when they do not have sticks and have nothing to do with a typical lollipop. According to some sources, the word “lolly” is associated with the sound of licking or sucking, and the word “lollipop” actually came later.

The Most Popular Australian Candy

Time goes by, some candy brands disappear and only remain in our sweet memories. Some of them provide us with new experiences. It would be such a wonderful experience to taste the delicious Paddle Pop frozen thick shake or Calippo Shots that create fireworks in our heads.

Some of the most delicious and well-liked Australian candy, or as they call them, “lollies,” have survived for a longer period of time, are still manufactured and are popular among different generations.

Here is the list of the most famous Australian candy and lollies that remain popular nowadays. 

Cherry Ripe

Cherry Ripe
CHERRY RIPE

The Cherry Ripe Bar was manufactured in 1924. The chocolate was made by the Australian company MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery. The company itself was founded in 1880 by Macpherson Robertson. Currently, this Australian candy is manufactured by Cadbury Australia

MacRobertson’s confectionery was acquired by Cadbury Australia in 1967. They continued making some of the most popular candies, including Cherry Ripe Bar. The packaging remained the same, with the old logo and design, until 2002. 

Cherry Ripe is now considered the oldest chocolate bar in Australia. Considering this, it’s no wonder why people all over the world still adore ordering this Australian candy. Since its appearance, people loved it, and that is why it lasted for generations. It was even announced that it was one of Australia’s most popular chocolate bars.

The bar has a cherry and coconut mix filling and is covered in dark chocolate. The name “Cherry Ripe” was used in the food industry way before chocolate was invented. It was a name for the cake and then the biscuit. 

The chocolate was packaged in the boxes. It was designed beautifully and was intended to be reused for storing some other stuff. Kids used them to store marbles and their little toys. 

Freddo Frog

Freddo Frog
FREDDO FROG

Freddo Frog is an Australian candy from the 1930s. It’s a chocolate bar that was introduced in 1930. The invention of the candy belonged to Harry Melbourne. Freddo was manufactured by MacRobertson’s company. The inventor of the candy was an 18-year-old factory employee.

Freddo, currently manufactured by Cadbury, is being acquired by Macrobertson’s company. This Australian candy had four flavors at the beginning: strawberry, peppermint, fruit, and nuts. However, later on, varieties of different flavors have been added. 

As the story tells us, Harry Melbourne interfered with the discussion about the design of a new candy. It is supposed to be in the shape of a mouse. He said that the frog design would be better because people were afraid of mice, but kids especially loved the frogs. He was given a day to fulfill his idea and create the molds. Harry was eventually promoted. He asked his boss to call it “Freddo,” after his mate at the factory. That’s where the name “Freddo the Frog” comes from. 

The chocolate bar is one of the best-selling products in Australia today, and people love it. Every year, around 90 million Freddo Frogs are eaten in Australia. 

Caramello Koala

Caramello Koala
CARAMELLO KOALA

Caramello Koala was first introduced in 1966. This Australian candy is currently the second most popular candy on the local market after Freddo Frog. Currently, the candy is manufactured by Cadbury Australia

The Caramello Koala has a caramel filling and a chocolate coating. Koala chocolate has a koala shape. In the advertisement, the chocolate koala is called “George.” In South Africa, it is called “Caramello Bear.” However, when it entered the Australian market, for marketing purposes, “bear” was changed to “koala” to the model Australian fauna. 

The bar is sold in various sizes. There is a “giant one”, a medium, and a small one. Every year in Australia, 50 million Caramello Koalas are sold. 

There are some crossover products around the Caramello Koala Bar. For example, the Caramello Koala Sundae Ice-cream was on the market in 1997. The packaging of Bar was changed and updated in 2000.

Fantales

Fantales
FANTALES

Fantales candy is another popular Australian candy, first created in 1928. Originally, it was manufactured by Sweetacres. However, later on, it was acquired by Allen’s, which actually was a competitor of Sweetacres. Currently, Nestle is a manufacturer of candy. 

It was advertised to be sold to people visiting movies. The wrapping of the candy was very interesting and unique. It had a brief biography of movie stars written on it. Currently, the traditions go on and the information is updated every two years. 

This Australian candy is made out of caramels covered in chocolate. Fantales was so popular that in 1988, they became “the most popular childhood candy.” 

Minties

Minties
MINTIES

Minties was invented in 1922 and patented in 1926. Candy is made by the Sweetacres company and is currently distributed by Nestle. It was invented by James Noble Stedman. Minties was originally manufactured in Australia. However, they are also produced in New Zealand. 

Minties are white, chewy confections. They are hard and have a rectangular shape. The flavor is Mint, as you might have guessed from the name. This Australian candy is packaged in cardboard boxes and is wrapped in waxed paper. 

Every year, nearly 500 million Minties are sold and consumed. In 2013, a new variety of Minties was introduced by Nestle. One of them is  “Smooth Mints Choc & Vanilla”

There is a caption written on the packaging: “It’s moments like these that you need Minties.” The caption actually became the longest-running line in advertising history.  As part of the advertisement, cartoons were used to make Minties more popular among adults and kids. 

By the 1940s, they already had three different cartoons every week. Cartoons appeared on the packaging, in newspapers, on railway station hoardings, and generally in printed advertisements. The catchphrase “It’s moments like these” became so popular among people that it became part of Australian culture and language. It even found its way into Australian dictionaries. 

Cheekies

Cheekies
CHEEKIES

Cheekies is a candy made by Allen’s. Currently, they are manufactured under the brand Nestle. 

Lollies look like Jelly Babies.However, they are different in color and flavor. It has more of a cocoa flavor, giving a chocolate taste, and the color is dark brown. 

Candy originally contained gelatin, but it was removed and replaced in 2015. This caused Cheekies to become available for vegetarians too. 

Lolly became subject to criticism from the public and caused polarized opinions. The reason for it was that the original name of the candy was “Chico”. which in Spanish means “boy.” There is also another translation of the word: it is considered to be a derogatory term, describing those of Latin American descent. In June 2020, since some people considered the name to be “racist”, it was changed and the candy was renamed “Cheekies”.

Australia’s Favorite

Even though we discussed some popular and widely admired lollies from Allen’s and Cadbury’s, there are still many more candies to be noted. Who would forget the taste of the delicious and amazing cookie “Tim Tam”? Or the sweet and chocolaty taste of Violet Crumble. Let’s take a look at the candies that local Australians take pride in.

Violet Crumble

Violet Crumble
VIOLET CRUMBLE

Violet Crumble is a local Australian candy or lolly. First, it was made in 1913 by Hoadley’s Chocolates in Melbourne. Later on, the brand was acquired by Adelaide and is currently made by the same brand run by Robern Menz.

Violet Crumble’s main advertising slogan is “It’s the way it shatters that matters”. This Australian candy has a honeycomb inside and chocolate outside. Abel Hoadley was the inventor of candy. At first, he wanted to make plain honeycombs. However, after they cooled, they started to stick to each other. The “solution” to that problem was chocolate, which actually worked out pretty well and created a wonderful duo with a crunchy texture and a sweet taste. 

At first, Violet wanted to just call his invention “Crumble.” However, he changed his mind when he found out that the name was unprotectable. Then, he decided to name the chocolate after his wife’s favorite flower name. That was how “Violet Crumble” was created. The wrapper is purple in color and has a tiny flower logo on it. 

Tim Tam

Tim Tam
TIM TAM

Tim Tam is a cookie created in 1958 by Ian Norris. He was the director of food technology at Arnott’s. The idea of creating delicious biscuits came to him while he was visiting Britain. There, he found the “Penguin Biscuit” and wanted to create something better. Currently, candy is manufactured by Arnott’s. 

The cookie is made from a malted biscuit, which is separated by chocolate cream. It is like a little sweet sandwich with creamy fillings and biscuits. Then it is dipped and covered in chocolate. A Tim Tam is a sweet little cookie that has various flavors such as mint, double chocolate, caramel, etc. 

Cookies became so popular that every year, 36 million packages are sold in Australia. Practically, it has become a must to have lolly in Australian households. Australian people even have a national day to celebrate Tim Tam Cookies—the 16th of February. 

There is a practice in Australia called the Tim Tam Slam. According to the practice, a cold beverage (usually milk-based) is drunk from a Tim Tam. But are you wondering how this can be accomplished? Contrary to popular belief, Tim Tam is usually bitten off. Then the end is dipped in the beverage, and from the other side, we are supposed to suck the drink. It is like a sweet straw. After a while, when the biscuit becomes soft and the inside melts, it becomes even more delicious to eat.

A Brief History of Australian Confectionary 

Now as we already reviewed the most popular Australian candy, let’s dive deeper into the history of this country’s candy industry. Even though the country has a tradition of centuries, candy in Australia started to become popular at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is recorded that the fishing fleets carried sugar canes to Australia in 1788. 

At first, growing sugar cane was impossible due to the strict climate around the Sydney region. Later on, locals moved the sugar cane to the north, where there was a warmer climate and, as a result, they received the source of sugar. After that, the manufacturing of sweets became very active. 

Today, there are many confectionery manufacturers in Australia who create awesome candies. However, their two largest candy brands on the market are Cadbury and Allen’s, which is currently owned by Nestle. Even though those brands are not Australian, they have acquired many local confectioneries and given them a second life.

Australian Candy Brands – Cadbury & MacRobertson’s

MacRobertsons
MACROBERTSON’S

We already mentioned Cadbury a few times while discussing Australian candy but you should know that it’s not an Australian candy brand. However, it is one of the largest candy manufacturers in Australia and the second-largest candy brand in the entire world. Cadbury products were imported to Australia in 1853. Its first factory in Australia was opened in 1920 in Claremont, Tasmania.

The brand was founded in Britain and is owned by Mondelez International. It appears to be the second-largest candy manufacturer in the world after Mars. The brand owns MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery, which was an Australian candy manufacturing company in the eighties. Some very famous candies from the confectionery are Cherry Ripe Bar, Freddo Frog, Caramello Koalas, Chomp, Picnic, Clickers, and others.

Allen’s

allens
ALLENS

Allen’s is another popular Australian candy brand that was founded by Alfred Weaver Allen. Alfred was employed by MacRobertson’s company. By 1909, the company became the third-largest candy manufacturer in Melbourne. 

Even though it was abandoned after World War II, it later became Australia’s largest confectionery company. In 1987, Allens was acquired by Nestle. The brand is best known for its Minties, Fatales, Cheekies, Red Ripperz, Cobbers, Milko Chews, and others. 

Bottom Line

Candy is usually strongly attached to Australian culture and traditions and somehow tells us their story. For example, Caramello Koalas represent the nature and fauna of Australia. Tim Tam has become ingrained in popular culture, and no holiday is complete without it. Minties’ advertisement caption made its way into the Australian language. It has become slang and can be found in the dictionary. 

After reviewing the most popular Australian treats, now you probably understand that Australian lollies are truly unique treats and have a lot of cultural characteristics. Please, share which Australian candy was your favorite and which you’d most like to try in the comments.

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