26 Jul
Whatever Happened to Spangles?

Although Spangles were actually launched in 1948 by Mars (just a few years after the end of the Second World War), the once popular boiled sweet is more often associated with the 1970s by the media. But whatever happened to them?

Before we find out, let's wallow in nostalgia for a while and discover some interesting facts about Spangles.

Each sweet was square shaped with rounded corners and a circular indentation in the centre, and they came individually wrapped. They were the sister product to Tunes, a very similar-looking cherry menthol sweet, which was produced by Mars Wrigley.

Spangles Fizzy Lemonade - yellow and white wrapper

1950s and 60s

Spangles were in great demand during the post-war years when sweets were rationed. Only one token was needed to purchase them, unlike rival sweets and chocolate bars which required two tokens, which made them a popular choice. 

The original flavours in the 1950s included strawberry, orange, pineapple, blackcurrant, lemon & lime and cola.

There were several flavours launched which were relatively short-lived, and these included golden mint, peppermint, spearmint, barley sugar and liquorice.

"The sweet way to go gay"

Believe it or not, one of the slogans used in the 1950s advertising campaigns was "The Sweet Way to Go Gay". During the post-war period, the word "gay" had a very different meaning, and was applied to someone who is happy or carefree. It was during the 1960s that the word became associated with homosexuals, and the slogan would certainly not be used in advertising today!

"Hoppy's favourite sweet"

Another slogan used was "Hoppy's favourite sweet". This referred to the movie character Hop-along Cassidy, who was played by the actor William Boyd, in no less than sixty-six films and a TV series.

The Spangle Polo 

Mars attempted to compete with Polo by releasing a mint-flavoured Spangle with a hole in the centre. However, it was short-lived and never really captured the public's imagination.

1970s makeover

Spangles were given a makeover in the early 1970s, and the packaging became more distinctive and trendy. The fat and funky typeface on the wrapper was created especially for the decade, along with the launch of new fizzy flavours, and this helped Spangles to become as iconic as Space Dust and the Raleigh Chopper.

In the 1970s, the following flavours were available... 

Fizzy Orangeade - orange and white wrapper

Fizzy Lemonade - yellow and white wrapper

Fizzy Cola - brown and white wrapper

Super Fruit - red and white wrapper

Old English Flavours - black and white wrapper. This packet included mint humbug, liquorice, aniseed, pear drop and treacle flavours.

End of production

Along with flared trousers and side burns, Spangles soon fell out of favour during the 1980s, and declining sales led to Mars taking the decision to end production in 1984. It was certainly a sad time for loyal consumers.

1990s resurrection

Spangles made a brief comeback in the 90s when they were relaunched during 1994. The limited editions came in four flavours; Tangerine, Lime, Blackcurrant and Old English. 

Spangles Old English Flavours wrapper, black and white

We hope you enjoyed discovering what happened to Spangles. You may also like...

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