What were Spangles?
They were a brand of hard boiled coloured sweets, who were manufactured by Mars Ltd. Spangles were around between 1950s to the 1980s. They were sold in a paper tube with individual sweets originally unwrapped but later cellophane wrapped. They were distinguished by their shape which was a rounded square with a circular depression on each face.
When these little hard boiled candies were introduced in the 1950s, candies were still rationed and the price of the candies had to be accompanied by token or points from ration books. Spangles were special, they didn’t need two token like other candies or chocolate they only needed one token. An effective marketing scheme that made Spangles even more popular with the general public.
Spangles used an American actor by the name of William Boyd. He was chosen to front the campaign as a character called Hopalong Cassidy and had a couple of famous slogans like “Hoppy’s favourite sweet,” and “The sweet way to go gay!”Unfortunately by 1984, Spangles were discontinued until 1995 when there were briefly re-introduced into outlet stores across the UK. They were only available in two flavours at the time though, one being orange the other being blackcurrant. They were also available as an ice-lolly.
Regular Spangles contained different fruit flavours that were first of all not wrapped, then in a waxed paper and then eventually later on in a cellophane wrapper. In the original “Spangles” the fruit flavours were blackcurrant, strawberry, pineapple, orange, lemon and lime. Originally the sweets were not individually wrapped, but later a waxed paper, and eventually a cellophane wrapper was used. The tube was striped, a bright orange-red colour alternating with silver. It bore the word “Spangles” in a large letters. In the seventies a distinctive, seventies-style font was used. Over time many different single flavour varieties were introduced including Barley sugar, blackcurrant, peppermint, tangerine, spearmint and acid drop. There was a small period of time were there was a “Mystery” Spangle, even though the flavour wasn’t revealed, majority of the public though it to be Grapefruit.
Old English Spangles
The Old English Spangles tube contained “traditional English” flavours. The standard line-up was liquorice (black), mint humbug (brown), pear drop (orange/red), aniseed (green) and treacle (opaque mustard yellow). The sweets’ individual wrappers were striped, distinguishing them from regular Spangles. The tube was black, white and purple, and designed for a more mature and specific clientele than the regular variety.