A glimpse inside Swizzels Matlow sweets
Swizzels Matlow are one of the most recognisable sweets on the sweet shop shelf. They are synonymous with childhood, and that includes all childhoods within living memory. And why is this something to be celebrated? Because Swizzels remain England’s largest family owned confectionery company and from the very beginning they have been innovative, inventing new sweets that have fast become household names.
Swizzels Matlow was founded in 1928 by brothers Alfred and Maurice Matlow as Matlow Bros. Ltd, making simple jelly sweets in a factory in London. They then joined forces with another sweets manufacturer, Swizzels Ltd, under David Dee and Swizzels & Matlow Bros Ltd. was born.
The factory relocated from the capital to New Mills in Derbyshire during the blitz of the second world war. This move was only meant to be a temporary one until the end of the war, but it’s from this countryside location that they’ve been producing some of the nation’s most loved sweets ever since.
One of Swizzels earliest sweets they produced were the Rainbow Drops, launched in the 1930s. Originally sold loose in a small paper cup and costing 1d, they were later bagged and sold for 3d. Today, you can still get your hands on Rainbow Drops, but their packaging has changed slightly from paper to plastic and their price has increased a tad from 3 pennies to 10p.
These two tone lollies have been around for 60 years. Their chewy texture and two flavour combo have been winning over sweet lovers for generations. Drumsticks like the refresher bars, were the inspiration between the new and increasingly popular Squashies.
Swizzels launched fizzers in 1933, this was their earliest invention and the original compressed fizzy sweet, and until the second world war, each fizzy little tablet was packed by hand. However as their popularity grew, a roll wrapper was purchased to package more efficiently. These fruity fizzers are as loved today as they were back then. And each pack contains 6 fruity flavours: pineapple, lemon, orange, cherry, lime and blackcurrant.
This quirky way to say I Love You was first introduced in 1954 and was originally destined to be a feature of the Swizzels Christmas Cracker over the festive period, however their popularity quickly grew, and for the last half century they have been used in everything from weddings to art shows to clothing launching to the Royal Family. To this day, the production of the Love Hearts with their cute messages and edible ink remain one of the factory’s closest guarded secrets, and as such, they are unique to Swizzels.
These iconic chewy bars in their distinctive blue wrappers were first brought to market over 60 years ago when one of the Swizzels brainy inventors figured out how to put the fizz inside a chewy sweet. The Refresher chew bars with their unique fizzy sherbet centre are a happy childhood memory for so many of us. If however you prefer your sweets a little less chewy and a little more squashie, you’re in luck as Swizzels adapted the recipe to create the delicious Squashie, a soft version of the lemon and strawberry perennial favourite of old.
The marmite of the sweet world, Parma Violets have been gracing our shelves, and our mouths, for 70 years. These iconic purple sweets with their unique violet flavour have been dividing the nation since 1946 yet they remain just as popular today as they do divisive.