A history of Australian lollies

Australian lollies

There’s nothing quite like tasty Australian lollies to satisfy a sweet tooth, and while the Australia’s candy offering has evolved over the years, there are some iconic sweets that have stood the test of time. From the firm favourite Violet Crumble to the country’s oldest chocolate bar, read on for a brief history of some of Australia’s most iconic candies.

Violet Crumble

First created in the early 20th century, the Violet Crumble was the brainchild of Abel Hoadley, who came up with the winning combination of chocolate and honeycomb in 1913, much to the delight of chocolate aficionados across Australia. The honeycomb became so popular that Hoadley set about inventing an individual honeycomb bar, however, it was not as easy as he had hoped. Due to the nature of the honeycomb, as it cooled, it absorbed moisture and started sticking together, which led to Hoadley dipping the honeycomb bars in chocolate, keeping the honeycomb dry and crunchy. Thus, in 1913, the Violet Crumble bar was born. Named in honour of Abel’s wife Susannah Ann’s favourite flower – the violet – Hoadley soon after registered the name Violet Crumble and wrapped it in an eye-catching purple packaging.


Dating all the way back to 1931, Jaffas are the much-loved chocolate-coated brainchild of James Stedman-Henderson’s Sweets Ltd in Sydney. Baptized as Jaffas by artist Len Gapp, after a town in Palestine where oranges were grown for export, the unique orange flavouring was concocted by Tom Colston Coggan, who formulated several different syrups before landing on the Jaffa coating whose taste has long defied replication by rivals.

Cherry Ripe

The Cherry Ripe Bar is Australia’s oldest chocolate bar, first devised way back in 1924 Australian company MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery Works. First founded in Melbourne by Macpherson Robertson in 1880, in addition to the Cherry Ripe, the company is also beloved for an array of sweet staples including the Freddo Frog. Larger than life, Robertson was renowned for his white suits, instinct for successful chocolate products, sponsoring an air race between Australia and England in 1934, participating in novelty bicycle displays, and opening a cycling school among other things. A tasty treat consisting of cherry, coconut and creamy dark chocolate, in 2013 a Roy Morgan survey in 2013 named the Cherry Ripe Australia s most popular chocolate bar.

Freddo Frogs

Just shy of a century old, Freddo Frogs date back to 1930 and were the invention of 18-year-old Harry Melbourne, who proposed the new product shape to his boss. Harry fashioned the moulds from German silver and, not long afterwards, he was promoted to foreman, thanks to his much-loved creation. Adding a touch of marketing savvy to his creative flair, he’s also behind the name of the tasty chocolates, having told the owner of the company, Sir Macpherson Robertson: “Call it Freddo, after Fred.” – one of his friends at the factory. Today Freddo is one of Cadbury Australia’s best-selling products – with a whopping 90 million Freddos eaten each and every year in Australia.

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