Milk Bottle sweets (gummies) are a creamy penny sweet from the 20th century, and are still hugely popular today. They are now considered to be a retro classic, and were invented in a time when fresh pasteurised milk was delivered to the majority of households in the United Kingdom.
The sweets are designed to look like classic dairy milk bottles, complete with a bottleneck and cap - this unique shape sets them apart from other sweets. It was once very common for cow milk in bottles to be delivered to UK households, usually on an electric milk float by a local milkman in the early hours of the morning. There has been a resurgence in the popularity of ordering milk directly from a local dairy in recent times, although in 2023, the majority of milk is sold in plastic containers at supermarkets.
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The original and best quality sweets are made by Barratt, and are dusted with a white powder coating. The company is still making them today, although the confectionary brand is now owned by Valeo Confectionary, who were named Tangerine Confectionary when they took over Barratt in 2008. They also own the Fox's Glacier range of sweets.
The ingredients of a Barratt milk bottle are glucose syrup, sugar, sweetened condensed milk (milk and sugar), maize starch, beef gelatine, flavouring and salt, with no artificial colours or flavourings. They are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
Milk bottle sweets have a soft texture and, as you would expect, taste of full cream milk. The sweets that are not made by Barratts often don't come with a powder dusting.
Milk Bottles can be bought loose, in jars and in bulk buy or small 150g sharing bags. They are available in local sweet shops, online sweet shops, local sweet shops/newsagents and Amazon.co.uk.
Some creative cooks and bakers incorporate milk bottle sweets into dessert recipes, such as cupcakes or cakes, to add a nostalgic and playful touch to their creations. This Milk Bottle Slice Recipe has certainly been inspired by them, and there are numerous other recipes available online.
Giant Milk Bottle sweets are produced by Swizzels and come in large plastic containers containing around 120 sweets.
Another variety that can be bought is Strawberry Milkshake Bottle sweets.
Thank you for reading my post about milk bottle penny sweets. You may also like my Top 5 Facts About Haribo Fried Eggs