If you were a kid growing up in the nineties in the UK, then you most definitely cherished those super cringey school disco days where the tuck shop was the only thing that really mattered. You know, that as well as sliding on your knees and pretending to be an airplane or something.
I remember a certain batch of sweets in specific, and they will always hold a place in my heart no matter where I go or what I do. Every time I pass an old sweet shop I can't help but stop and stare at the few items that bring me back to primary school. We can all reminisce over the days of being given a single pound just to go to the local shops and being able to return home with a handful of sugary goodies.
Those were the days, unlike today where a Freddo pretty much costs you an arm and a leg.
But let's talk about the older days, when things were much simpler. Let's talk sweets, and remember those flavours as if they were imprinted on our tongues forever.
May I present to you,Sweets 90s Kids Will Remember
1. Fun Gums
Admit it. This brought back memories of those super cool school disco nights, didn't it?You and your mates, leaned against the wall, yamming on fifty packets of these Fun Gums varieties and loving the sugary feel on your teeth.
Back in the day, these were the greatest, and for 10p you just knew one packet was never enough. You had AT LEAST five.
Anybody else remember trying to stuff a hundred of these in your pocket before school? I do. In fact, I managed to get an assortment of about forty once and let me tell you that was a seriously good day at school. My tongue oozed colour and the clash of flavour was incredibly sickly. I was in sheer bittersweet ecstasy from nine to three, pure and simple.
To this day, Bubbaloo still holds a spot on any old sweet shop shelf. Just the way they should be.
3. Rainbow Drops
Rainbow drops were those soft and puffy pieces of sugar coated in a mix of colour flavouring.They were sweet and so damn satisfying. Anyone can vouch for that.
These were insanely popular at the school disco, and also reasonably priced of course.Guaranteed a pack of Rainbow Drops was on your sweet shopping list when you had your pound coin in hand.A whole world of weirdness exploded in your mouth when you shoveled these bad boys in on the route home.
4. Candy Necklace / Bracelet
Candy necklaces were the fashion accessory you could quite literally chew off whenever you got bored of wearing it around your neck, which was about ten minutes or so, because the hunger was real when you were ten years old.
You'd cover your arms in dozens of these bracelets, only to admire them for a minute or two before annihilating them. Tasty, but so damn sickly.
5. Candy Cigarettes
That's right—this actually happened.
Chocolate filled candy cigarettes with an edible paper wrapper. In this day and age this would never happen, but back then you were the coolest kid on the block if you had one of these hanging out of your mouth.
The chocolate was vile, but with the fact you looked like a ten-year-old dropout badass, you didn't care. The world was your oyster. You were the Clint Eastwood of the Wild West.
Essentially a floppy piece of marshmallow with absolutely no taste whatsoever. And yet, it had character.To this day I'll always remember falling asleep and waking up to an entire Flump licked and glued to my forehead and one older brother in hysterics on the floor.Amusing, cheap, cheerful, and one heck of a glue substitute.
7. Toxic Waste
Let me guess. Somebody tricked you into eating one of these? Yeah? Me too. I was one of the stupid gullible kids that choked on these insanely sour and sinister things when I was about twelve.
Eating these was like being punched in the throat by a combination of a fist and an apple. You'd cringe, you'd laugh, and you'd eat another one.
8. Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape
The longest piece of gum in existence it seems?
Pocket-sized and pretty quirky. Cool enough to tuck in your pockets at school and whip out when the teacher wasn't looking.You'd be cutting off strips of this stuff all day long. Chewing, chewing, chewing, until your jaw ached something awful.
Hubba Bubba was the real deal, and every nineties kid loved their products, for sure.
9. Trolly Gummi Burgers / Hot Dogs
Without doubt my personal favourite of this era.
I mean, what's not to love about these little things? A jelly burger you could construct yourself? Right on.
Jelly bun, jelly tomato, jelly cheese slice, jelly lettuce—boom! Chuck that in your mouth and you've got yourself an explosion of gummy goodness.
Or, you know, just eat them in whatever order you want. Either way, these were iconic.
10. Ring Pops
About the size of your tiny palm and as durable as an old Nokia brick mobile.
Ring Pops were the next fashion accessory you could own next to those candy necklaces of yours.You could also propose to the girl of your dreams in the playground with one of these.
Regardless of what you did with one, they were winners on all levels. Tasty, trendy, and so solid your teeth could shatter at just one bite. Perfect.
11. Fireball JawBreakers
Anybody else remember Edd, Ed n Eddy on Cartoon Network? How they used to scam the other kids for quarters just so they could purchase a single jawbreaker to share?
Like me, did you also get that temptation to try them out for yourself?
If you tried these Fireball Jawbreakers then you most definitely know that they were not for kids.
If you were lucky to have any teeth left by the end of the packet then you were one of the lucky ones.
Rock solid, fiery, and just plain crazy; Jawbreakers were not to be messed with, period.
12. Sherbet Straws
Easily the most simplistic design of the entire batch.
Plastic tubes filled to the brim with flavoured sherbet.
You could easily snip away at a handful of these and slam one after the other, pretending as if you were necking shots down at your local bar.
Literally every kid had pockets full of these back in the day, guaranteed.
13. Double Dip / Dib Dab
To sum this up, a Dib Dab was a piece of candy shaped like a nail file with two separate pouches of flavoured sherbet you could dip it in to.
Simple, effective, and so damn enjoyable.
Tackling one of these required patience, because they quite simply took about an hour to power through.
Or, if you were like me, you just tossed the nail file and pretty much just emptied the sherbet on to your face.
Just me? Alright, moving on.
14. Jelly Monsters
A favourite for sure. These jelly monsters came in all shapes, sizes, flavours, and styles. Whatever the occasion, there was a jelly monster to accommodate to the time of year.Great to buy, especially when they offered a peel and stick tattoo or collectible sticker.A must-buy for any kid seeking a top bargain on a low pocket money budget!
How could I not include the iconic Freddo in this list? A timeless classic that still melts the hearts of both kids and adults today. Even if you do have to take out a loan to buy one nowadays.But back in the day you could buy a fistful and still have enough for a drink and a WHAM bar at the end of it.
Those were the days.
16. Sherbet Fountain
To be honest, these weren't high on my list. And yet, they were still engraved in my mind when thinking up the most memorable sweets of the nineties era.
A dark liquorice lace and a packet of sherbet to scoop into?
Sure, why not?
Not for me, but maybe you liked the idea of these things.
17. Looney Tunes Sweet Strips
Usually found at your local pound shop, these endless strips of boiled sweets came in a huge variety of colours, all as rancid as the other funnily enough.
Not the most enjoyable sweets in the world, but a classic for nineties kids nonetheless.You'd usually end up getting a strip of these from your grandparents who thought they were doing you a favour by buying you something 'nice' after a long day at school.
Truth is, you probably hated them. I think we all did.
18. Werther's Original.
I'm just going to go out on a whim here and say your Granddad probably had a stash of these in his car glovebox, right?
Mine did, and some of the best days of my life were spent sat in the back of the car headed somewhere on a Saturday morning with him and Nan.He'd pop the glovebox and dish out these little hard toffee flavoured gems.
I'll admit it, old people sweets were sometimes better than our own. Especially Werther's Originals.
19. Love Hearts Lipstick
I don't suppose you like licking the concrete do you? Because if you for some strange reason find that enjoyable then you'd probably like Love Hearts weird and wonderful lipstick creations.
Personally, I'd prefer the concrete, but hey ho.
These were essentially slabs of roll-out hard candy that tasted of bricks and cheap strawberry juices.
I guess they were more of a fashion accessory for the gals than a piece of sugary heaven in the shape of a lipstick.
20. Penny Sweets
White chocolate mice, milk chocolate buttons, blue and pink bubblegum bottles, red gummy lips and fizzy sour dummies; all options presented to you at the checkout of most sweet shops in the UK.
Whatever money you had left from your pound coin you'd spend on as many penny sweets as you could cram into your pockets.
Back then eight pence could take you a long way, and that's what we loved about the nineties. More bang for your buck per se.
The list goes on...
Refreshers, Stingers, Fruit Winders, Frosties Cola Cubes—the list is endless!
I could sit here and think of a dozen more sweets from the nineties, but this to me seems like an appropriate place to end the article.
I've hand-picked some of the most memorable sweets of our generation, knowing full well I'll kick myself tonight for forgetting something more iconic than the Freddo. But that's that.
Sweets are forever changing and becoming more and more creative by the day; expanding into new styles, shapes, and flavours.
Sure the rise in Freddo prices may have caused mass depression across the country, but we still remember to cherish the fact it's still around and available to purchase from most local shops. That's something at least.
As we grow older our sweet tooth fades and the thought of sour candy makes us quiver in our boots. But we'll always remember the first time we tried these sweets back at the school disco. We'll always smile knowing the nineties had some of the greatest treats of all time.
That's something that'll never change.
So what about you?What was your favourite sweet?
- J Tury