15 Aug
The Fizzy History of the Sherbet Fountain

The Barratt Sherbet Fountain has been hugely popular with British consumers since it was introduced by Barratt in 1925. The fizzy delight will be celebrating 100 years of production in 2025, so let's take a nostalgic look back at its history. 

Its inventor is Henry Edward Brunt, who sold the concept to Barratt, who then rebranded it.

Barratt Sherbert Fountain tube with red background

Now that the product is almost a century old, there will be a new generation of sweet consumers who are asking "What is a Sherbet Fountain?". It consists of a tube filled with sherbet (a sugary powder that fizzes and dissolves in your mouth) and a liquorice stick, which pokes out of the top, giving it the appearance of a stick of dynamite or a firework - the sherbet gives a fizzy "explosion" in the mouth.

The liquorice stick was originally designed to be used as a straw and had a hollow centre. However, this soon became solid, requiring the consumer to dip the stick into the sherbet and lick it off.

Sherbet powder can be bought in packets and is sold as Dip Dab by Barratt, which comes with a dippable lollipop.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

The tube was originally made from paper and cardboard until 2009, when it became plastic, with the liquorice stick now covered by a black plastic cap. The environmentally unfriendly move proved to be controversial, and led to an outcry by the British media. However, the makers, Tangerine Confectionary, defended the move, and argued that the packaging is more hygienic, tamperproof, and resealable with a twistable top, keeping the contents fresher, and that the natural flavours and colours have replaced any artificial ingredients.

The Daily Mail reported that "Killjoys take the fun out of the Sherbet Fountain to make it more hygienic".

Barratt was bought out by Cadbury Schweppes in 1988, who then sold the brand to Tangerine Confectionary (now Valeo Confectionary) in 2008, for £58 million. 

The Barratt name was rebranded as Candyland in 2013, but was reintroduced again in 2018, marking the return of the Barratt Sherbet Fountain, which left fans overjoyed. However, the plastic packaging remains for now.

A Barratt Sherbet Fountain from the 1970s with paper tube, black background.

A classic Sherbet Fountain from the 1970s with paper tube and liquorice stick poking out of the top


Sugar, Treacle, Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Cornflour, Sodium Bicarbonate, Acids (Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid), Colour (Plain Caramel), Liquorice Extract, Anti-Caking Agent (Tri-Calcium Phosphate), Flavouring, Aniseed Oil.

The Candyland Sherbet Fountain (2013-2018)

The Explosive History of Popping Candy

* The email will not be published on the website.