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A Definitive Ranking Of Penny Sweets, From Worst To Best

Not all penny sweets are created equal.

We stopped off at a proper old sweet shop on our drive up to Manchester. So many jars filled with lollies, reminds me of my lolly jar necklaces! #pennysweets #lollyshop #nostagia Instagram / saturdaylollipop Instagram / saturdaylollipop / saturdaylollipop

WAS THERE ANYTHING nicer than getting a whole 50p to spend on sweets? Of course you’d get your bars and crisps, but the real task was spending the change on penny sweets.

This is a ranking of the most popular penny sweets from worst to best - our decision is final.

Clove rock

clove-rock-sweets-100g-1698-p Confectionaffection Confectionaffection

Kind of rude that they even tried to peddle these as ‘sweets’.

White bon bons

toffee-bonbons Chocolatebuttons Chocolatebuttons

Oh, that’s supposed to be toffee flavour? Could have fooled us.

Licorice Allsorts

6402628 Hubimg Hubimg

They may be quite pretty to look at, but the texture is that of an old shoe. No thanks.

Black Jacks

Black-Jacks-1BAR-CHE-BLJ Keepitsweet Keepitsweet

A big fat NO to the black teeth and tongue that swiftly followed eating a Black Jack.


candy-foam-bananas Mycandyshop Mycandyshop

They’re fine, but definitely a last resort, penny sweet-wise.

Cola bottles

kingsway-cola-bottles-3kg-bag-44078-p Americansweets Americansweets

These pale in comparison to their fizzy brethren.

Sour ropes

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There was perhaps too much sugar to deal with here. That isn’t to say they tasted bad, but that eating one was a quick way to a sore tummy.

Green bon bons

chewy-apple-bon-bons-203-p Weluvsweets Weluvsweets

The only bon bons that matter. However, there are points lost for the workout they’d give your jaw as you tried to chew them.

Rhubarb and custard

Rhubarb_and_Custard Sweetieworld Sweetieworld

One of the few hard sweets that actually paid off, taste-wise. Mmm.


Refresher-Chews-1SWI-CHE-RCH Keepitsweet Keepitsweet

So hard to get that blue wrapper off. So hard to stop yourself eating the thing whole, blue wrapper and all.

Fizzy cola bottles

fizzy-cola-bottles Weddingsbyclaire Weddingsbyclaire

Really, the only cola bottle sweet you’d actually want. It’s all about that extra layer of sugar, man.

Milk bottles

milk_bottles3 Allsorts4u Allsorts4u

Foamy, vanilla-flavoured goodness. Not an exciting sweet, but an essential addition to any bag nonetheless.

Those big sour keys

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These could be a little more expensive (3-5p instead of 1p, perhaps) but by god did you get a lot of bang for your extra few pennies.

White mice

White_Mice Sweetieworld Sweetieworld

There’s something about that cheap white chocolate that enchants us, even now.

Milk teeth

100581 - Barratts Milk Teeth-500x500 Thesweetiejar Thesweetiejar

That powdered sugar residue they’d leave on your actual teeth. Divine.

Fruit Salad

fruit-salad-chews-464-p Weluvsweets Weluvsweets

Sweet manna from heaven! (We’d totally buy a Fruit Salad-scented perfume, BTW.)

Flying saucers

Flying-Saucers-1KIN-SHE-FLS Keepitsweet Keepitsweet

Let’s consider what’s amazing about flying saucers:

  • With those bright colours, they looked TERRIBLE for you, and would definitely have had your mam muttering about E numbers.
  • They were filled with sugar.
  • The edible paper ‘saucer’. Delightful.
  • Did we mention they were filled with sugar?

No other sweet could conceivably take the top spot. Now, meet you at the corner shop for some pick’n'mix?

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