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Sweet Memories, Jaffas (in a box) and Polly Waffles

Today, let’s take a sweet trip down memory lane to when Jaffas were made by a company called ‘Sweetacres’ and came in a box, Hoadleys made something called a Polly Waffle and a box of MacRobertson ‘Old Gold’ had soft and hard centres.

It’s amazing to think that such a simple thing as the packaging of a chocolate bar can revive so many memories.

Candy bars and lollies were a pretty rare treat when we were growing up. Our parents had very little spare income to spend on such indulgences for the kids, but occasionally there might be a 3d or a 6d from grandma or grandpa, a kind old great aunt, or something left in the bottom of the Christmas pillow case.

Photo from 'longwhitekid'. This Jaffa Box is likely from the early-mid 1960s. I think they were running this design for a while so it could have been around up to the late 60s. Imperial weight only shows  it was definitely produced before 1972 .

Photo from ‘longwhitekid’. This Jaffa Box is likely from the early-mid 1960s. I think they were running this design for a while so it could have been around up to the late 60s. Imperial weight only shows it was definitely produced before 1972 .

My first memory of Jaffas was in the box.  Jaffas were sold in movie theatres and have gained iconic status because of the noise they made when dropped (accidentally or deliberately) and rolled down sloping wooden floors.

James Stedman-Henderson’s Sweets Ltd first made Jaffas 1931. The orange coating on Jaffas was developed by a Sweetacres food chemist, Tom Colston Coggan. He experimented with many syrups before settling on the flavour that is unique to Jaffas.

The confectionery is still made in Australia by Allen’s Sweets (a division of Nestle), and are now sold in cellophane bags and (I think) still taste the same.

Polly Waffles first came onto the market in 1947, made by Hoadleys. Apparently it was conceived by the company accounts supervisor and family friend Mayfield B. Anthony. Hoadleys was sold to Rowntrees in 1972 and then onsold to Nestles in 1988. In mid-2009 a new recipe for Polly Waffle was released along with new packaging. The new product was the same in appearance as the older product, but contained a more sugary centre and a more brittle wafer.

Nestlé announced on 23 November 2009 that Polly Waffle was being discontinued after 62 years due to poor sales. (Damn, I’d love a Polly Waffle).

Photo from Pinterest. The original Hoadleys range including the Polly Waffle and Violet Crumble

Photo from Pinterest. The original Hoadleys range including the Polly Waffle and Violet Crumble

The original Violet Crumble came to the market in 1913, Hoadleys had produced a chocolate assortment and packed them in a purple box decorated with violets. The packaging was in tribute to Mr Hoadley’s wife, whose favourite colour was purple and favourite flower was violets. Within the box assortment was a piece of honeycomb that became so popular that Hoadley decided to produce an individual honeycomb bar and the Violet Crumble was born.

Hoadley again used his wife’s favourite flower, the violet, and registered the name Violet Crumble, using a purple wrapper with a small flower logo. It was an instant success.

Nestles still produce a Violet Crumble but in 2009, changed the shape to a wider, flatter bar. The honeycomb formulation was also changed to make it shatter into small pieces when bitten into.

Remember when dad used to buy mum a box of MacRobertson Old Gold chocolates for her birthday and we’d all get to choose a chocolate from the box. They were all in little brown patty pans and we’d always like the hard centres because they lasted longer.

Photo from Pinterest. The Old Gold box of chocolates had soft and hard centres.

Photo from Pinterest. The Old Gold box of chocolates had soft and hard centres.

Macrobertson Chocolates was founded in 1880 by Sir Macpherson Robertson. They made the original Freddo Frogs, Cherry Ripes, Old Gold (box of chocolates) and Snack chocolate blocks. MacRobertson was sold to Cadburys in 1967 and they dropped the Old Gold box and the Snack block but kept Freddo and Cherry Ripes.

What are some of your memories of lollies and chocolates as you were growing up?

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20 Responses to Sweet Memories, Jaffas (in a box) and Polly Waffles

  1. Ian Kershaw November 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Cadbury did continue with the Snack chocolate block, as they did with Cherry Ripe and Freddo Frogs. I’m sure you can still get them!

  2. Ros Coutts November 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Polly waffles will be available from Jan 2015..

  3. Ros Coutts November 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Being made I think by Nestles

  4. Peter Vasic November 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Wonderful Australian companies and products, all now gone…although still made in Australia, ( some of them), those original formulas that endeared them to our people have been altered by overseas company financial interests and ingredient agreement sourcing contracts. The profits now are siphoned off to overseas moguls and share holders..driving their Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals down wall street…..watching their computer screens as the profits are sucked out go our economy, fueling their Super yachts and schooling for their own overseas children…and smiling as we gleefully munch on what we believe are Australian icon products…their laughs are reverberating from their wall street boardrooms……….Bwahahahahaha…Fools , thank you …

  5. Marilyn Brazel November 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    My sister and I went to the movie ” The Story of Ruth” a rather gory biblical type film. Lots of blood and lepers etc. I fainted during the film and dropped the Jaffas. They rolled away and my sister still reminds me of my ‘crime’.

  6. Peter Taylor November 29, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    Hoadleys also did if I remember correctly a rocky road, the best rocky road ever, I sure wish you could still get them. And the old Polly Waffle was a treat, I can’t understand why sales dropped.

  7. Graeme November 29, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    I believe you are correct with that Jaffas packet around the mid 60s. I was about 10 at the time and have vivid recall of it. I would guess around 1967-68 they changed to the longer white box with the orange jaffas on the cover wrapped in plastic.

    As stated, it was inevitable that each visit to the cinema was met with someone losing their entire stash of jaffas on the wooden floors just after intermission. Things were never the same when they started putting carpet on the floors.

    I see a picture there of the Luncheon Bar. That was one of my absolute favourites but would have gone out of circulation in the late 60s or early 70s. Seems everything I really liked went off the market early, I could write volumes on it 🙂

    • Robyn June 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

      I agree with you. The Luncheon Bar was awesome. I would love one now!!

      • Peter August 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

        Luncheon was the one chocolate bar that I was addicted to. I often used to get one for the trip home from work in 1979 – so they were still making them then. There is nothing like them on the market today. I DO wish I could still get one for a treat! They were the BEST! 🙂

    • "Peter Ferguson April 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

      I think Luncheon went out earlier than that. It hasn’t been around for a long time. Tex Bars were also discontinued probably in the 60s. They seem to have suffered the same fate as Marella Jubes and Chocolateens, two of my Sweetacres favourites.

      “They don’t make lollies like they used to!

  8. Kerrianne Springford November 29, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Polly Waffles suffered poor sales purely because of the change of recipe. Nestle ruined a beautiful bar with that sugary cone. It was terrible.

  9. Louise November 30, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    MacRobertson chocolates were always delicious. Modern cherry ripes taste nothing like the old ones. In fact, no chocolate in the last few years tastes as good as it did in the past. I don’t think it is me but that they have changed the composition and added more sugar. The dark chocolate was always so smooth and rich but not too strong.

  10. Liz K November 30, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Does anyone else remember Black Cat chocolates? They came in a flat white box with (I think) a red ribbon and a small black plastic cat attached?

  11. jo January 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Bring back the original Poly Waffle

  12. Helen Maurovic January 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    Well I could never afford a box of Jaffas cause I think they were around a shilling a box. My shilling went on 2 ice blocks, 1 choo choo bar cause it lasted ages and 3 d worth of lollies, man oh man that was good. Every Saturday at the bug ‘ouse in Salisbury. Shilling to get in and a shilling to spend. Awesome and very rich ha ha ha

  13. Brian Lamprell November 14, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    Was it you in the Regent Theatre in Rundle Street firing Jaffas at the bald head of the organist who was playing movie melodies at the left of stage prior to the films starting ????

  14. Sue January 11, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    Thank you to Robern Menz a South Australian who has bought Violet Crumble back fro Nestles! Could you please buy back Polly Waffle and return to the old recipe?

  15. Jan Delany January 16, 2018 at 12:29 am #

    Also the Luncheon Bar! My husband has been lamenting the absence of the Luncheon Bar for years.
    He says it was the the best chocolate bar ever.

    • Annabel January 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm #

      Me too – Luncheon was my absolut favourite – a bit similar to a picnic but sooooo much better -vanilla cream,wafers, peanuts and a thin coating of chocolate – please Robert Menz bring it back if you can😋

  16. Trevor January 26, 2019 at 10:38 am #

    Peter Ferguson was the only person to mention the Tex Bar. My favourite when going to the flicks in the 50s. A chocolate covered bar with a delicious light malty fudgy centre the likes of which has not been around for decades.

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