Sweets evolve and those lining the shelves in the 00s were a far cry from those of 60 years earlier. In the 40s hard boiled sweets, liquorice, sherbet and maybe the odd jelly bean was as good as it got, a limited range and due to wartime rationing and a limited supply. Boileds continued but had had their heyday, jellies and imports steadily rose throughout the latter half of the 20th century and the Millennium marked the point of ‘out with the old, in with the new’. There were to be subtle changes to our sweetie collection but it would take more than Y2K to threaten the longevity of the astonishing array of sweeties that the 20th century had amassed. The 00s developed themes that the 80s and 90s had started: fizzy. Fizzy was good but now we wanted sour and very sour. The good thing here is that we still wanted sweets - thank goodness for that because the child’s world of entertainment was changing out all recognition. Toys, what toys!!?

The 00’s was to give a whole new meaning to the term toy. If we had paid attention we’d have seen it coming, electronic toys like Furby, Tamagotchi and the Game Boy of the 90s had foretold of catastrophic change. For adults the term toy had given way to gadget or computer game and with them came a whole new language. Adults had to be rewired to join the 21st century, for children it was just how it was, they were being wired for the 21st century.  Adults had to get to grips with the new toys while grieving the loss of the old ones like Lego, Airfix, Barbie, Thomas and Sylvanians. They still existed, but oh my goodness, the competition was now of a whole new order. The PS2, along with a plethora of other things with plugs on, had arrived. Never did the phrase “Out with the old, in with the new” have such resonance. The introduction of Transformers, Beyblades and Bratz  tried to get our children out of darkened rooms but it was hard work. Little children were catered for with animatronic toys resembling their pets but they too were only a hop away from the PS2 and the darkened room to come.

However Cinema was having a revival: CGI computer animation took films to a whole new stratosphere of effects. We got Shrek, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean and Toy Story.  Buzz and Woody bookended the decade with Toy Story 2 in 1999 and Toy Story 3 in 2010. And then there was Harry Potter. This is the Harry Potter decade. HP is credited with getting children to read and for every child’s reading achievement there was a reward: an HP film. Fantastic! At the same time as the release of The Philosophers Stone in 2001 The Lord of the Rings also hit the big screen and like HP was also massively successful. Fantasy worlds were being created for our children at every level and then, as if the world sensed they needed a dose of reality we got Sudoku. Sudoku was as far removed from the fantasy world of Hogwarts and Middle Earth as you could get. It had its place stretching the cognition of young minds but didn’t last.

We owe a lot to the film industry of the decade, as it was the films that generated new toys for our children, Buzz, Woody, and vibrating broomsticks to name a few. Woody had a reassuringly retro pull string that would have him speak: “Reach for the Sky!”- great! TV also played a part with Dr. Who and his sonic screwdriver likewise Hello Kitty with endless permutation of toy.

After the drama of Harry Potter and the emotional demands of competitive computer games a tonic was needed and a tonic is what we got: Vimto! Vimto has a long history, 


t was first marketed as a revitalising tonic and an alternative to alcohol for the temperance movement (a social movement urging reduced or prohibited use of alcoholic beverages) of the early 1900s. It was registered as a medicine in 1912 and sold as a health drink, but a year later was rebranded as a cordial or soft drink.  100 years later it expanded into sweets and the 00s saw the introduction of Vimto lollies, bars  bonbon and chews. These ‘healthy’ sweets were great but not to miss a trick they palled up with the sours and we got Sour Vimto Sprays and Vimto Sour Belts.  Sweets were getting more and more sour with Toxic Waste and Mega Sour topping the charts. Sweets were also being treated to a technology make-over and as if we had lost the ability to pop a sweet into our mouths we now had special gadgets to get them there - rollers and sprays.

Jamie Oliver was not very impressed with the nation’s diet and couldn’t see that Pear Drops were one of your five a day. He along with Tony Blair tried to make us wholesome but sweets are bigger than politics and sweets and retro sweetie shops were set to make a bit of a comeback. Woolworths was partly responsible, it’s tragic demise in 2009 left a great hole in the British psyche, the high street and sweetie supply, thus new retro sweet shops emerged.

The 00s jar brings you a compote of sweets representative of the decade, sweet and sour, home grown and imported. Enjoy your sweets and spare a thought for Harry Potter and his Bertie Bots Every Flavour Beans.

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Noughties Jar
Sweets evolve and those lining the shelves in the Noughties were a far cry from those of 60 years..