Nestlé Smarties

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on February 6 2007 | Leave A Comment

SmartiesO Smarties! Why have you forsaken me!

There was a time when a tube of Smarties was the best thing on earth. Notice I say ‘tube of Smarties’ – this is about more than the chocolates themselves. This is about the very essence of what makes Smarties Smarties.

But first, for those that don’t know, Smarties are another spheroid chocoalate drop covered in a brightly coloured crispy sugar shell. They’re smaller than Galaxy Minstrels and tastier than M&Ms. They’re kids’ chocolate – and if you live in the UK, you will almost certainly have eaten at least 3 tons of them before you turned 18.

SmartiesSo what made Smarties special? Strangely, not the chocolate. Although it’s nice enough and very brightly coloured, it’s nothing special. But I’m not going to talk about the chocolate today. This is about packaging.

Yes, packaging.

Until recently, Smarties came in a thick, cylindrical cardboard tube with a ‘pop-off’ plastic lid. The lids came in different colours, and each had a letter of the alphabet embossed on it. Collect the lids and make rude words – what more could a kid ask for!

Then, in 2005, everything changed. Nestlé announced they were replacing the packaging with thin, hexagonal tubes… and no plastic lid. We were told this was to keep the brand ‘fresh’, but the real reason was cost. These lighter, plastic-free packages are cheaper to produce and can be stacked more efficiently in boxes saving space and transportation costs. Pah!

You may think I’m mad going on about a cardboard tube with a plastic lid, but this is important! There are even museums and swapping sites dedicated to it. The new hexagonal tubes just aren’t as cool. They’re flimsy, and I can no longer spell out ‘nestle sucks’ with the lids.

So is the new packaging really that bad? Well, no.. but they’re just not Smarties any more. Nestlé messed with a British institution and completely destroyed it. Will they ever return to the cylindrical tubes? Frankly, I doubt it… but only Smarties have the answer.

<end of rant>

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Comments On This Post

  1. Oh my god what have they done?

    I use to spend hours putting the lid on and seeing how I could make it fly by squeezing the tube!

    I feel your pain.

    Someone get me a paper bag!

  2. Chocstress (Chocablog Staff)

    Making that lid fly!? Oh yes! – the best way was with a karate chop.
    …and no more games of smartie-winks!

    These days Smarties have to be hidden at the top of my cupboard, only to be eaten by me once my son is safely out of the way……. ever since that day 6 years ago when son was 4 yrs old and someone gave him 5 Smarties. Oh what fun we had that day! Have you ever seen a four yr old climb the walls? (literally) The curtains (and track) crashed to the floor, the sofa cushions landed on the cat (who left home for a few days as a result)Lego landed amidst the shoes that ended up strewn across the hallway. The elderly neighbours came out to help, and between us we restrained and walked the 4 yr old smartie additive junky up and down the street until the Smartie drugs were out of his system. Oh yes – what a day that was.

  3. The new packaging is a travesty – and I say that as an ex-employee (okay, I worked in Food & Beverage and not confectionary, but hey…)

    I’m quite gutted that my kids will never know the joys of collecting smartie lids.

  4. Hmmm, not sure I agree that smarties taste better than M&Ms. Perhaps they do in the the UK but here in Oz the ‘chocolate’ they have inside the shell would equate to a compressed bird turd.

    Sadly though, we never got ours in tubes, just boring little rectangular boxes – ironically the same size as toothpaste cartons

  5. Wow, I have to say that until I read this post I never knew that Smarties could be had anywhere other than Canada. And in a TUBE? You Brits get all the fun. Mind you, I still remember the flat card boxes that would squeak and squawk when we exhaled forcefully through them after the Smarties were gone – until some angry parent/schoolteacher convinced the Smarty-People to make the boxes without the squeak. Shame, that.

    “When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last..?”

  6. maria joao

    Oh, the tubes, the tubes… We had them here in Portugal too. And the plastic lids! There’s no fun in the hexagonal box!

  7. annonymous

    We just bought some of your smarties from a dollar store. We bought them because we thought there was a contest for a smart car to be won but when we went to the website to enter our pin the contest was long over. i am complaining to tell u to put an expiry date in big letters on the front of ur containers so that we don’ waste our money on contests we can not win. Thank you for having read this letter please take it into consideration for next time. also you should have an expiry date on ur smartie boxs and a comment board on ur main website. I enjoy smarties but may just stop buying them if this continues.

  8. Chocoholic123

    i remember the tubes with the little laetters on the lid :D they were much better when i was a ickle kid i used to collect them haha!

  9. Lauren

    This is a disaster! Smarites will never be the same again
    Im devestated!!!!

  10. Tommy

    We still have the round tubes in Sweden however long that will last.

  11. Ellie

    How sad am I looking for a website so I can have a moan at the new smarties!!!!! But low and behold I am not the only one! I totally miss the pop off lids, my children will never experience the hours of fun they brought, but then again gone are the days of kids finding fun in small mundane things.

    I used to buy them in the box, that way I could eat more for my money but you dont get them any more either???? I dont know how I ended up only 9 stone and not 99.

    But my problem is the new “no artificial colours” OK I must be silly or thick because how do they make them the same colour?? and secondly they taste RANK, man I love smarties but they dont even taste very nice now, bring back the artificial ones even if it does make the kids go nuts!!! Let us have the choice of one or the other. I used to suck the shell off then eat the chocolate but now the shell tastes really nasty, no I mean it REALLY nasty.

    Lastly who else used to put them on the radiator so when you squeezed one between your tongue and the roof of your mouth it popped melted chocolate???

  12. Jillian

    I too agree with that comment about the smart car contest being over. At my work, we just opened up a huge box of Smarties to be put on the shelves and they were the Smart Car contest boxes. Of course, comsumers will be upset when they find out that the contest ended six months ago. I can completely understand trying to get rid of the abundance of product, but… six months later? Still, an expiry date would help a whole lot. :)

  13. sarah

    On principle it is wise not to consume or purchase any Nestle products whatsoever. 2007 is the 30th anniversary of the Nestle Boycott. Nestle and other baby formula manufacturers continue to irresponsibly market baby formula products in developing countries, which they deny, consequently this leads to serious illness, suffering and death for many infants due to unsanitary conditions in which feeds are prepared. For futher information visit IBFAN (international baby food action network) and babymilkaction websites – charities which monitor and report violations of the World Health Organisations International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Eat Cadbury’s instead- far yummier chocolate anyway, Cadbury’s Bubbles beat Aero hands down!

  14. dude

    how lond does is take to make a damn smartie??

  15. dude

    how long does is take to make a damn smartie??

  16. Habib

    How long does it take to make a freakin smartie?

  17. Habib

    How long does it take to make a smartie?

  18. D

    I agree with the comments about the smart car contest. I just bought a box of smarties today and mostly because of the contest I saw displayed on the box. I did check to see if there was an expiry date because I would not have bought them if the contest was no longer on. Lo and behold when I go to look for the site to enter the pin I find that the contest has been closed for quite some time… and to top it off the smarties did not taste good at all. I don’t know whether my tastebuds have changed drastically since the last time I’ve tried them but they were nothing like they used to be. Maybe it’s because the smarties have been sitting on the shelf FOREVER… hence the expired contest.
    Very disappointed to say the least.

  19. Ranvir

    I have a question. I am from Canada and noticed that our Smarties come in a Rectangle box but how come the packages within the U.K. are tube shapes or even hexigonal shape. Why is Canada the only place in the world that doesnt get those unique packages?

  20. charliewarlie

    i got my pink smarties and their colours were all different if you buy pink smarties you expect pink smarties not ordinary smarties god:(

  21. Janey

    I hate the new taste, box and really understand that hat you don’t know what you have till its gone.. i didn’t think I would miss smarties so much.

  22. Bob

    Bring back the lids!!! I haven’t bought a pack since they stopped the lids.

  23. I love jessica and kaylin they r so cute and smarties r so awsome dudes ayayyayayayayaya doy hahahah lolo.lo.lololololololo oopsidasy

  24. smarties r koole and like totly awsom but chips t beterish

  25. How sad am I looking for a website so I can have a moan at the new smarties!!!!! But low and behold I am not the only one! I totally miss the pop off lids, my children will never experience the hours of fun they brought, but then again gone are the days of kids finding fun in small mundane things.

    I used to buy them in the box, that way I could eat more for my money but you dont get them any more either???? I dont know how I ended up only 9 stone and not 99.

    But my problem is the new “no artificial colours” OK I must be silly or thick because how do they make them the same colour?? and secondly they taste RANK, man I love smarties but they dont even taste very nice now, bring back the artificial ones even if it does make the kids go nuts!!! Let us have the choice of one or the other. I used to suck the shell off then eat the chocolate but now the shell tastes really nasty, no I mean it REALLY nasty.

    Lastly who else used to put them on the radiator so when you squeezed one between your tongue and the roof of your mouth it popped melted chocolate???

  26. Holly

    I’m eating some right now from a stupid hexagonal box eating LIGHT blue smarties that used to be dark blue and realising that the chocolate inside them is now actually DISGUSTING!! :(

  27. BarryD

    All I remember was that different coloured smarties had different chocolate inside. Dark brown and yellow had dark choc and the lighter colours had milk. May kave been a medium one too but too long ago to remember. P.S. the plastic top clicked onto my school blazer buttons in 1958, memories…………

  28. sr

    The chocolate tastes disgusting now…(or is it the shells?!)

  29. Jackie

    The chocolate is vile in Smarties now, Nestle chocolate as a whole is beyond nasty and has been for years, as they changed the ingredients to cut costs/extend shelf life; oil instead of butter and so on. Only regular Kitkats seems to still taste ok out of all of Nestle’s products.

    When I was at primary school, we used to save pennies in Smartie tubes. I still have a tube http://i39.tinypic.com/mvnp6w.jpg
    Sadly it’s a fairly modern Nestle one though, and not Rowntree’s.

  30. Dave

    The new no artificial colours smarties taste like chemicals and death. Horrible flavours now – I can’t stand them anymore.

    The brown ones are the worst – one of the first times in my life that I’ve spit food out of my mouth. Nestle’s FAQ states the taste is the same – that’s a bald faced lie.

    Nestle is evil…..

  31. Jenny Martin

    Where can I Purchace Pink Smarties, I bake for the cancer appeal&
    I find it difficult to get enough pink smarties out of bags of smarties that I buy any help would be appreciated Regards Jenny
    Martin

  32. kerry Krause

    Just got back from visit in canada and brought back our usual stash of canadian candy My kids and i eagerly tore into the box only to discover that our beloved Smarties taste different and not in a good way. How Sad!

  33. Jeff G

    I used to eat 2 tubes of Smarties a day before Nestle bought out Rowntree the original manufactures of Smarties and many other well known products. Nestle chocolate always had a slighly stronger Cocoa taste than British Chocolate, which was a mainly european taste.

    I recently purchased a tube of Smarties in their new hexogan tube and apart from changing the packaging I am positive that they have also swopped the Chocolate recipe in favour of Nestle recipe which tastes stronger than Rowntrees original Chocolate.

    If Nestle have done this after buying the Rowntree Company, then that is the same as buying Harry Ramsdens Fish and Chip Franchise and changing the Batter recipe to which Ramsdens are famous for.

    If so, I do not think his was a SMARTie move by Nestle.

  34. Jeff W

    Seriously, this is the product that you want on the shelves? Smarties used to be my favorite,the flavor now is terrible with a horrible after taste.
    And what’s with the colors,there all a little off!No more green or blue? Are you kidding me! I really dont think I can support this product any longer..Any recommendations on a suitable replacement??

  35. Jane

    I’ve had 2 packets of Smarties in the last few months. Like bobyjoejoe above mentioned I used to suck the shell off them as well. This was nice, it left the middle all melted and delicious.

    I tried this with the new ones, and at first I thought the shell tasted a little bit like honey, until I realised about half a pack in it was a lot closer to sea water, all salty and horrible. My childhood died in that moment.

  36. Nikki

    Actually the idea that they could come in a hexagonal or circular tube, or tube at all, is pretty cool.

    In Canada, we’ve only ever had them come in rectangular prisms.

  37. Godiva 631

    How can I buy Smarties w/o paying for the $54 shipping fee from the UK. I want to buy them for my Canadian BF for Christmas.

  38. Wait! Smarties were a good brand before Cadbury sold it to Nestlé in 1985! Remember the slogans? They were “A handful of Smarties everyday will keep the blues away!” and “They don’t melt in your hand, they melt in your mouth.” They also did NOT have blue Smarties, nor the orange flavoring in orange Smarties. The full name was “Cadbury’s Smarties Chocolate Beans.” There were 7 Smarties per color, and they were very popular.

  39. Cadbury sold KitKat, Smarties, Aero and Caramac to Nestlé in July of 1985 due to bankruptcy. Nestlé was of course inferior.

  40. What is you favourite chocolate?

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