80s Sweets: Do You Remember These Retro Sweets?

By Cara Dudgeon

4th May 2020

80s Sweets: Do You Remember These Retro Sweets?

The 1980s is remembered for many things – the fashion, the TV shows, but how could you forget the 80s sweets? Our favourite old fashioned sweets include:

Black Jacks

Aniseed flavoured chews, a black jack was a love it or hate it treat. As of 2019, gelatine was removed from the recipe so they can now be enjoyed by vegetarians.

80s sweets - Black Jacks

Image Source/ Sweet Tweets Gloucester

Fruit Salads

You can’t have black jacks without its sister sweet, Fruit Salad. Also a chew, these are flavoured with raspberry and pineapple. Like Black Jacks, the Fruit Salad recipe was altered so that the sweet is suitable for vegetarians.

You can now get the sweet in iconic Barratt ‘softie’ form as well as a sour version!

Love Hearts

Love Hearts are a fruit-flavoured sherbet-style sweet. They come in six different flavours: vanilla, cherry, lime, orange, lemon and berry.

However, what they’re most remembered for is their messages, such as ‘Be Mine’; ‘Call Me’; and ‘You’re Mine’.

To keep up with modern society, the messages now include emojis, SMS ‘language’ and references to modern technology, for example, ‘Email Me’.

Love Hearts - the 80s sweet

Image Source/ greysqrl 

Sherbet Fountains

These may be an oldie, but they’re still a goldie.

A liquorice wand is supposed to be dipped in the sherbet; however, the original cardboard packaging meant that the sherbet often lost its freshness. Barratt’s updated the packaging so that it is now a resealable, plastic tube. This may not be the best for the environment, but it does make the sherbet fresher for longer.

The Sherbet Fountain is free from artificial colours and flavours as well as being suitable for vegetarians.

Parma Violets

A flavour which is now better known for being a gin liqueur, parma violets are a soapy or floral flavoured sweet. Similar to Love Hearts in texture, they are named after the flower of the same name.

Parma Violets - a sweet from the 80s

Image Source/ Amazon UK

Wham Bars

Wham Bars are a thin, chewy bar with sherbet inside available in regular, mini or mega sizes. The bars come in a range of flavours including the Original Raspberry flavour; Cola; Strawberry; Brew (a flavour reminiscent of Irn-Bru). The bar also comes in some ‘Extreme’ flavours including Apple, Cherry and Blackcurrant.

2009 saw the brand launch ‘Wham XTRM Sherbet Dips’; a blackcurrant lollipop with a sherbet dip. A year later they introduced a ‘Glam Bar’ in Luscious Strawberry.

Barley Sugars

Sometimes known as Barley Sugar Candy, Barley Sugars are a traditional boiled sweet. The hard candy is usually made with an extract of barely – hence the name.

It is similar in caramel in texture and flavour.

Barley Sugar - 80s Sweets

Image Source/ Amazon UK

Spearmint Chews

Unlike usual mints, Spearmint Chews are a mint with a chewy, toffee like texture. Spearmint has a softer mint flavour compared to peppermint.

Chocolate Limes

Perhaps not the sweetest of sweets, it doesn’t make chocolate limes any less delicious.

They are a lime boiled sweet filled with a chocolate centre.

Chocolate Limes are a sweet from the 80s

Image Source/ TMB Notes


Bonbons are a classic in the 80s sweets world. They come in multiple flavours such as apple, toffee, strawberry, blue raspberry, lemon and blackcurrant to name just a few.

Super chewy and flavourful, bonbons are a favourite for so many people!

Aniseed Balls

Aniseed balls are a dark, red/ brown ball with a texture similar to gobstoppers.

They are flavoured with aniseed oil – which tastes similar to liquorice.

Aniseed balls - 80s sweets

Image Source/ Made by Many

Midget Gems

Midget gems are a hard, chewy gum sweet; similar in texture to wine gums.

The little sweets have undergone many rebrands and changes, for example, the black midget gems were originally liquorice in flavour but are now blackcurrant.

In 2007, the recipe removed all artificial colours and flavourings. Nowadays, the sweets are varied in flavours and colours.

The sweet is extremely popular, to the extent that Liverpool Football Club made and sold their own at one point!

Milk Chews

This is an old favourite! Milk chews are a creamy, chewy milk flavoured chew – just like the name suggests.

Milk Chews - the sweet

Image Source/ Flossy Treats


Gobstoppers – also known as jawbreakers – are round, hard sweets that are usually layered in colours and sometimes flavours, especially the giant ones.

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by children’s author Roald Dahl, confectionery connoisseur Willy Wonka created an ‘everlasting gobstopper’:

Video Source/ YouTube


How can you not love these sweets> Flumps are made from marshmallow which is twisted into a helix shape of blue, yellow and pink marshmallow.

Nowadays, Barratts also sell the sweet in bags of ‘mini’ flumps.

Liquorice Torpedoes

Another liquorice sweet! Torpedoes have a hard, sugar coated outside with a liquorice centre. They are often a mixture of brightly colours.

Liquorice Torpedoes are a sweet from the 80s

Image Source/ Amazon UK

Pineapple Cubes

Pineapple cubes are a hard-boiled sweet coated in sugar. As the name suggests, these 80s sweets have a tropical, pineapple flavour.

Giant Mice

White chocolate mice have been part of the sweet world for decades. They are usually either left white or sometimes coloured using pink food colouring. Why confectioners chose mice for their shape is a mystery!

Giant Mice - an 80s sweet

Image Source/ The Sweet Scoop

Sweet Peanuts

The original sweet and salty treat (move aside popcorn) these peanut flavoured hard-boiled sweets had a salty kick.

Candy Jewellery

A party bag staple, candy necklaces and watches were a classic 80s sweet that has survived generations.

candy necklaces and watches

Image Source/ SweetCo

Foam Shapes

Foam bananas and shrimps are a childhood favourite. Sweet giant Barratts created these banana and raspberry flavoured chewy sweets; why they didn’t just make the raspberry flavoured sweets a raspberry shape, is up for debate.

Pear Drops

Although this is a flavour that is now used in many desserts and cocktails around the world, originally a pear drop is a hard-boiled sweet which is half red/ pink and half yellow.

Nowadays, the sweet is sold in bags with each drop either being yellow or red, rather than a combination of the two.

Pear Drops are an 80s sweet

Image Source/ Wikipedia

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