Once marketed as "The mint with the hole", Polo is a white, circular sweet with a 0.8cm hole in the centre. The Polo Original is a peppermint flavour and each one contains 6kcal and 25kJ. Here are more of our Top 10 Facts about the popular British mint sweet...
The original peppermint Polo was launched in 1948 by Rowntree's and produced at their York factory in England. They came in the classic blue and green wrapper, as they do today, albeit with a less modern design, of course.
Polo Fruit was launched soon afterwards, and included five different flavoured sweets; orange, lemon, lime, strawberry and blackcurrant. The same five flavours are included in the current Polo Fruits, which include no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. However, they used to contain the E numbers E104, E122, E110, E142, E133 and E120.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The reason for the hole in the centre of each Polo sweet is a life-saving one. Should the sweet become lodged in your throat, the hole will allow air to pass through it, enabling you to breathe.
Have you ever wondered how many Polo sweets are in each tube? A standard, individual pack of Polo contains 23 sweets, and they are wrapped in a thin layer of aluminium foil with a paper backing. Each sweet has a diameter of 1.9cm.
Although the word Polo can also refer to the ball game played by rich people on horseback, a car made by Volkswagen, and fashion clothing such as T-shirts and sweaters, the name for the mint sweet has nothing to do with any of these. In fact, it is based on the word Polar, because the mint is cool like the Arctic regions, and also based on the letter "O", because it is shaped like the mint sweet itself.
During the 1980s, several fruit flavoured Polo were launched, including lemon, orange and tropical fruit. However, they were all short-lived and Polo Fruit was still being produced during this period.
Polo Globes were also launched in the 80s, and each sweet was a capsule filled with a liquid mint. They came in a small box with a flip lid, and were produced as a rival to Tic-Tac sweets.
In 2016, the Polo packaging was given a fresh new look by Taxi Studio, including a new, more contemporary logo.
In 1999, Nestle produced a Butter Up Polo, which was a butterscotch mint flavour. Now, while people may adore the taste of butterscotch and mint flavours on their own, combining the two flavours just wasn't a great idea! They also launched a Citrus Sharp Polo in 1999, which was actually vibrant and zingy, but this was also short-lived.
In 1998, the Super Mint was introduced and marketed as "the powerful miniature mint with the hole" that would give "instant refreshment". It was launched as a rival to Trebor Extra Strong Mints, and came in a dispenser shaped like the mint itself. A sugar-free Extra Strong Polo is currently available to buy.
Last Of The Summer Wine actor (and later the voice of the stop-motion animation Wallace and Gromit) provided the narration for a series of Polo TV adverts that aired in the 1980s on British TV. Interestingly, the producers of Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Productions, also produced a 1995 animated advert for Polo.
During World War 2, Rowntree's produced Life Savers under licence for the U.S. troops. This is an American candy which also has a hole in the centre, and which looks quite similar to Polo Fruit. They are currently produced by Mars Inc.
This is a 4 pack of Polo Spearmint from 2015 (pre facelift)
I hope you enjoyed reading our top 10 facts about Polo. You may also like our Top 10 Facts About Fox's Glacier Mints