Customers in a fizz over sweet-shop favourite

For the hardcore sentimentalists it is a step too far. First Fairy Liquid replaced its squeezy white bottle (and perfect water pistol substitute) with a snazzy but less fun clear container.

Then Smarties swapped its tubular packaging for the modern but preposterous-sounding "hexatube".

Now the makers of Sherbet Fountain are dispensing with the sweet's iconic paper packaging.

Tangerine Confectionery, the Blackpool-based manufacturers of Sherbet Fountain, are abandoning the cardboard tubes that have housed the fizzy concoction and liquorice straw in favour of resealable plastic tubes, which they believe will be more hygienic.

The change means that children will no longer have fond memories of wrestling with soggy paper packaging as they try to work out how to suck the sherbet through the ever-useless straw. Many fans and nostalgics say they are mourning yet another rebranding of an iconic sweet.

In a letter sent to suppliers, seen by The Independent, Tangerine explained they had decided to redesign the packaging because "consumers wanted a more hygienic pack that can also be resealed". They start shipping the sweet in its new packaging next month. The manufacturers have slightly tweaked the ingredients, replacing any artificial colours and flavourings with natural ones, as well as making the famous dipping sweet halal.

Michael Parker, who runs, an online shop that stockpiles and specialises in sweets of yesteryear, says he has been inundated by emails from customers who don't want to see the packaging changed.

"The response has been phenomenal," the Blackburn-based entrepreneur said. "I'm sure Tangerine have good reasons for changing the packaging but people are passionate about their sweets and they tend not to react too positively when packaging is changed. Perhaps it's because we like rediscovering our childhoods through sweets, but people cling to nostalgia when it comes to sweets."

Mr Parker questioned whether hygiene really was a concern. "No one has dropped down dead from eating Sherbet Fountains out of paper containers for the past 70 years so you've got to question whether it was really necessary to swap to plastic."

The packaging change is a gamble for Tangerine, which bought Sherbet Fountain from Cadbury last year for £58m. The company makes sweets including Refreshers and Butterkist Popcorn but Sherbet Fountain, which was launched in 1925, is one of their core products. Historically, consumers have reacted negatively when manufacturers modernise the packaging of a confectionery item, although sales usually pick up again.

One customer of, who replied to a poll as to whether they approved of the redesign, said: "Leave my favourite sweets alone! The best bit of sherbet fountains is their very 1970s-ness (I'm sure that's a real word) and the slightly stale liquorice. Not to mention the paper and cardboard tube. Why can't things just stay the same?" Only 1 per cent of respondents approved of swapping the cardboard tubes for plastic ones.

Stephen Joseph, Tangerine's chairman, said he hoped customers would realise that the new design closely mirrored the old. "I know it sounds a bit anaemic to say that we changed the packaging for hygiene reasons but it did need to be done. The new design keeps the sherbet much fresher and means the liquorice stick no longer pokes out of the top. I hope people won't mind too much and we have tried to redesign the new package to looks as much like the old one as possible."

Meanwhile, Mr Parker is busily trying to stockpile as many boxes of the old-fashioned Sherbet Fountains as he can manage to find.

Bittersweet: Rebranded icons

Golden Syrup

Tate and Lyle's famous green and gold Golden Syrup tin has morphed into a plastic bottle. It may be more practical, but it lacks the nostalgia factor of a tin that was surely one of the building blocks of the British Empire.

Kit Kat

Faced with flagging sales and stiff competition from Cadbury's, Nestlé ditched Kit Kat's famous thin foil packaging in 2001 for a sturdier plastic wrap. Three years later it got rid of the equally famous "Have a break ... have a Kit Kat" slogan.


Another Nestlé rebranding. In 2005 the company announced that Smarties would be housed in a "hexatube" – the kind of marketing double-speak that sends nostalgics into fits of apoplectic rage. The old circular tube and plastic cap, which made a pleasing pop when squeezed, was no more.

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice