26 Nov
Fry's Turkish Delight - History and Facts

Inspired by the Middle Eastern delight known as lokum, Fry's Turkish Delight was an attempt to bring a taste of the Orient to the British palate. The beloved chocolate bar has its roots deeply embedded in the history of confectionery, so join me, as I reveal the story behind it, with essential facts...

Two bars of Fry's Turkish Delight, with and without wrapper.


Did you know that Fry's produced the UK's first solid chocolate bar in 1847?

However, the story of Turkish Delight begins in the 20th century, in 1914. In this year, the British company J.S. Fry & Sons, renowned for its chocolate innovations, introduced this exotic treat to the world. 

Just five years later in 1919, J. S. Fry & Sons merged with Cadbury, although the Fry's brand name has remained ever since.

Turkish Delight, or lokum, has a long-standing tradition in Middle Eastern cultures. Originally crafted in the Ottoman Empire, lokum is often flavoured with rosewater or lemon and dusted with powdered sugar or desiccated coconut. It's considered a luxury treat, enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations.

Fry's Turkish Delight, while drawing inspiration from this tradition, introduced a Western twist by enrobing the soft, fragrant centre in a layer of smooth chocolate. This fusion of Eastern and Western flavours quickly gained popularity, making it a staple in British confectionery and beyond.

During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, a series of exotic TV adverts aired in the UK bearing the slogan "Full of Eastern Promise" - see further down page.

The chocolate bar was made in the United Kingdom from 1914 to 2010, but it has been made in Poland since August 2010. 

Fry's Turkish Delight is still being made by Cadbury and the slogan is still being used on their website.

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Fry's Turkish Delight advert from 1984 with Full of Eastern Promise slogan.

UK Advert from 1984


The flavour and texture of Fry's Turkish Delight certainly divides opinion. While it has a loyal fanbase, there are a great many people who are not fans of the rose-flavoured jelly centre or its chocolate coating. 

The jelly to chocolate ratio is pretty high, and it's a rather sweet combination. It doesn't quite live up to the exoticness that pours out of the classic TV adverts, and the overall taste experience is certainly not the same as your traditional lokum that you would buy in Turkey - this comes without the chocolate coating and has a rather more sophisticated texture and taste, rather than a mass-produced one. 

That said, although the chocolate and jelly combination is an acquired taste, there are many who adore Fry's Turkish Delight, and that includes myself.

Fry's Turkish Delight Lemon 3 pack, with half of a loose bar

Turkish Delight Lemon

A Turkish Delight Lemon was available as a limited edition during 2020, which was sold in Iceland and B&M stores across the UK. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of purchasing a 3-pack, only to discover that I hated the flavour, which reminded me of washing-up liquid! The taste was very sweet and the lemon had no acidity, it was just very odd.

There are reviewers on YouTube who really enjoyed the taste, including Nate from Food Review UK in his Fry's Turkish Delight Lemon review.

Turkish Delight Mini Bars

As well as the standard 51g bar, Fry's Turkish Delight Mini Bars are also available in a 105g bag, which contains seven bars, each of which contains 55 calories.

Has Fry's Turkish Delight become smaller?

While the vast majority of chocolate bars sold in the UK have shrunk over the past couple of decades, surprisingly, this one has NOT shrunk, and still weighs in at 51g, just as it always has. 

You need proof? This Turkish Delight wrapper from 1988 shows the same weight, although the price was just 20p back then!

Full of Eastern promise adverts

"Full of eastern promise" is the unforgettable slogan used in the erotic and mysterious British TV advert for Fry's Turkish Delight, which first aired in 1981, although the slogan was launched in the 1950s. The advert became iconic and is much-loved by the British TV viewing public.

The setting is a sandy desert and is entitled "Shimmering Sands". The exotic ad features a handsome guy and an attractive lady dressed in traditional Arabian/Middle Eastern desert clothes. It's very notable that both of the actors are fair-skinned and definitely not from Turkey, and if such an ad were to be released these days, it would certainly cause a commotion. 

The lady is Vivienne Lynn Tribbeck, and the dashing male sheikh is Graham Rogers.

Now, this certainly isn't an advert that is action-packed, and it involves rather a lot of staring into the camera with alluring gazes. The woman sheds a tear as if yearning for her lost lover, who soon makes an appearance, much to her delight. While the woman is laid on her back thinking about him, the man moves slowly over her towards her face. Instead of a delicate kiss, the man blows over her face. 

Although the couple have the opportunity to get passionate with each other in the desert, instead, they decide to eat a Turkish delight!

The music for the 1981 advert was created by Jeff Wayne, who is best known for his musical version of War Of The Worlds.

Where to buy Fry's Turkish Delight

The standard 51g bar is widely available to buy (singularly or in packs of 3) at most major supermarkets in the UK, including Waitrose, Tesco, Iceland and Sainsburys. It can also be bought from CadburyGiftsDirect.co.uk. 

Buy Fry's Turkish Delight from Amazon


Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Water, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Maize Starch, Skimmed Milk Powder, Whey Permeate Powder (from Milk), Gelling Agent (Pectins), Palm Oil, Milk Fat, Firming Agents (E450, E509), Sequestrates (E452, E341), Colours (Beetroot Red, Carotenes), Emulsifier (E442), Flavourings.

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