Is there any other lolly currently on sale in Australia that delivers as much as the Fantale? There’s the luscious chocolate smothering a creamy, chewy caramel – the curse of many a lost filling. There’s the endless stream of entertainment trivia printed on their yellow wrappers illuminating the careers of Hollywood idols. And if that’s not enough, how many of us have gone on to tear the wrapper into as long a piece as possible?
With so many pluses, how can it be that the production of Fantales, a favourite burst of sweetness for almost 100 years, is about to cease? Turns out it’s our fault. Not enough packets of Fantales are being sold. We may have many fond memories of buying two for one cent and then chewing them in maths class, but according to Allen’s Lollies, the makers of Fantales, nostalgia does not sustain the company’s economic requirements.
“Despite the sense of nostalgia Fantales evoke, unfortunately people simply aren’t buying them as often as they used to,” their statement read. “In addition, our Fantales equipment needs significant investment. It’s become increasingly difficult to get the parts we need to maintain it, and with declining sales, replacing it isn’t viable.
Fantales are not the first lolly to go the way of the economy, nor will they be the last. In 2015, Allen’s killed off Green Frogs and Spearmint Leaves, although there was such an outcry that the leaves were brought back in 2020. Fans of the fruity chew Starbursts were dismayed in 2022 upon learning via TikTok that Mars-Wrigley were discontinuing the brand.
In 2009, poor sales of the Polly Waffle, a marshmallow-filled tube covered in milk chocolate, meant the end of that mouthful. Production was due to resume in South Australia in 2020 until Covid-19 stalled its return. At least we still have the Wagon Wheel, although they seem much smaller than those we bought at the tuckshop.
Other favourites like Lifesavers peppermints, Rosy Apples, Choo-Choo Bars and Sherbet Fountains are still around, if you know where to look.
Allen’s assures us that Minties, which recently turned 100, are here to stay – but what of Freckles, Jaffas, Sherbies, Snakes, Red Frogs …? How long will it be until another iconic lolly is lost?
Besides, Australia’s lolly manufacturers have a duty to ensure there will always be appropriate decorations to meet the requirements of that other nostalgic icon – the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book.
As for Fantales, fans are scouring shelves to secure one last taste of their favourite chocolatey caramel before production stops in mid-July.
“I love a good chew and yes, I have lost a filling but to a Malteser, not to a Fantale – yet,” says fan Annie, clutching her last bag.