A Job for David
Trebor produced this lovely film in 1957 to help young people consider working in a sweet factory. It’s a pleasure to watch today because it provides a surprisingly honest, and fun, insight into a world so different from our own.
Saucy product names
Today’s supermarket shelves seem bland and prim when compared to the past.
These are all actual sweet names from the early twentieth century. Trebor’s massive product range
The shrinking product range
In 1936 Trebor sold 452 product lines. By 1988 this had shrunk to 111 lines. By 2012 there were only seven.
People still buy Trebor sweets. Lots of them. It’s just they have far fewer different products to choose from. Back in the Thirties you could spend hours deciding between Inky Dinks, Snooker Snax or Bo’sun Bars. Much of this variety had gone by the Eighties, but even then you could find Flutterbys, Woppa Chews or White Mice. Now we’re all too busy. We simply select gum or mints. Admittedly Trebor is now an adult brand, and a few of the old names still appear as niche products elsewhere. But back in the day, even adults had hundreds of sweets to consider.
Given the opportunity, most people would like more choice. Unfortunately, global food manufacturers have little interest in giving us that choice. It’s much easier for them to produce a handful of lines and spend their money promoting the overall brand. Yes, it’s gospel that the convenience of modern corporation-driven capitalism gives us a better life. But let your mind wander through these names of sweets from the Thirties. Think of the people who made them and the people who ate them – and ask yourself whether buying and eating sweets in those days wasn’t perhaps, in some ways, a bit more fun.
Download a PDF list of product lines from 1936, 1988 and 2012.