Old Fashioned vs Retro Sweets: What’s the difference?

Old Fashioned vs Retro Sweets: What’s the difference?

We have a happy mixture of vegan pick n mix sweets for you to choose from here on Sweet Love of Mine, including retro sweets and old-fashioned sweets! But what helps us define a retro sweet from an old-fashioned one? And what exactly is the difference?

Bringing out the dictionary

To help us break down the two terms, let’s bring in the ol’ Oxford dictionary. Officially, ‘retro’ is defined as being imitative of a style or fashion from the recent past. And ‘old-fashioned’ is instead defined as in or according to styles or types no longer current; not modern.

Seems simple enough! However, according to our list of the best old fashioned sweets in the UK, the humble Sherbet Lemon, Bon Bons and Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles are as current and loved as ever! So there has to be something more.

Read more: Discover our list of the best retro sweets in the UK

So, what’s the difference between retro and old-fashioned sweets?

It all comes down to the individual! Depending on our generation, we each have a selection of sweets that define our childhoods. Whether it’s Lemon Refreshers, Millions or Bon Bons — your judgement of sweets will differ from your grandparents!

Old Fashioned vs Retro Sweets: What’s the difference?

Lines of coloured sweets! | Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash

Retro Sweets

Generally, retro sweets are considered to be at least 20 years old. It’s not an official cut off point, but it helps us judge which category a sweet belongs in! Just like fashion and designs that defined the 80s and 90s, retro sweets are famously inventive and colourful. Some of the UK’s favourite retro sweets include unique and colourful creations like Fruit Salads, Drumstick Chews, Flying Saucers and Candy Necklaces!

Create your own jar or pick n mix pouch of vegan retro sweets.

Old-fashioned Sweets

Compared to retro sweets, old-fashioned or ‘traditional’ sweets are usually considered to be over 40 years old. They come from brands with a long sweet-making heritage and they’re often sweets that were found in the sweet shops our grandparents visited. Because of the technology and industry at the time, most old-fashioned sweets were hard-boiled. Some of the UK’s favourites include Pear Drops, Rhubarb and Custards, Sherbet Fountains and Sherbet Lemons!

Old Fashioned vs Retro Sweets: What’s the difference?

Old-fashioned sweets including a packet of Rainbow Drops and a Sherbet Fountain! | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Often, some old-fashioned sweets become so well-loved that they transcend each generation. And if the brand has an excellent marketing team, they’re even more likely to stay current! This is especially true for Rowntrees and Maynards. 90’s millennials will remember enjoying packets of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, but as Fruit Pastilles were invented in 1881, parents and grandparents will likely remember them from their own childhoods too! Rowntree’s, Barratts and Maynards are all old-fashioned sweet brands that have been around for over a century, and are still hugely loved today.

Fancy creating your own jar of pick n mix full of old-fashioned sweets? Discover our collection of old-fashioned sweets here on Sweet Love of Mine and create your own marvellous mix! You’ll find popular favourites like Fruit Pastilles, Jelly Tots and even Bon Bons!

Old Fashioned vs Retro Sweets

While there’s no official age where sweets switch from current – to retro – to old-fashioned. There are definitely a number of generational differences that help us decide which category a sweet belongs in! Old-fashioned vs retro sweets… really there’s no competition, each has an incredibly tasty mix of sweets that can bring warm and bright childhood memories!

Ask a friend, parent or grandparent and see which of the following sweets they remember!

Pear drops, Edinburgh rock, Squirrel gums, Pineapple cubes, Wine gums, Love Hearts and Skittles!

Old Fashioned vs Retro Sweets: What’s the difference?

A mixture of retro sweets, including Love Hearts and Lemon Refresher Chews | Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash


Featured Image: Old fashioned vs retro sweets | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart
No products in the cart.