Five retro Aussie food brands worth resurrecting.
Perhaps it’s the lockdown effect, but our Melbourne-based Hunters have been reflecting on iconic Aussie food brands that have simply disappeared. Here's their pick of five Australian products worth resurrecting. Sure they are not all Aussie owned, but all were much loved for a time.
Note: Rose-tinted filters were applied during the extensive Google search.
The original Sunny Boy (left) was magnificent. A frozen triangle block that didn’t fit neatly into your mouth. It was an awkward, messy challenge and that was the beauty of it. The tail end of a Sunny Boy was a lump of ice so sucked dry of flavour it became useful only to chuck at friends.
The Sunny Boy died a slow death, ending its life looking more like a stubby Calippo bearing the graphical equivalent of a dad dance. We say bring back the original format with the matte finish and beautiful block graphics. But do it in collaboration with Proud & Punch to bring it into this millennia.
OK, so it’s an international brand, but Claytons achieved cult status in Australia in the 1980’s as “The drink you’re having when you’re not having a drink”. The trouble was that drinking a faux alcoholic drink was deeply uncool back then.
Non-alcoholic spirits are now a growing market alongside seltzers. Claytons have reinvented the brand somewhat to set out its stall as a “Kola Tonic” internationally. We think the time is right to reconnect with a younger audience thirsty for brands with retro appeal.
3. The original Milo Bar
The best thing about Milo is putting a few scoops directly into your mouth. And that’s exactly what the original Milo Bar delivered. The bar has evolved into a shadow of its former itself - a cereal bar aimed at mums filling lunch boxes.
Whilst we agree with cutting the amount of sugar kids consume, we think there’s room for an adult Milo Bar to sit alongside Mars Bars and Twirls. Surely that’s not too much to ask for is it?
4. Tasty Toobs
Tasty Toobs were kinda like Cheezels, but only in shape. They were light, tangy and delicious without the hint of regret that Cheezels deliver. When they disappeared off shelves, even Shane Warne got involved in campaigning for their return.
We think Toobs could return in a packaging format that is more distinct to set them apart from their holey cousin. Perhaps they even come in tubes or in a brown cardboard box to indicate the humble honesty of a Toob.
5. Castlemaine Rock
Castlemaine Rock is a Victorian gold rush legend. First made in 1853 by Thomas Barnes, a baker from England, the company used the original cutting equipment right up until its closure in 2018. Its formula was simply sugar, water, peppermint oil and antelope (a leavening agent).
Peter Barnes, the 5th generation descendant of Thomas cited the rising costs to import the iconic tins from China. Surely this is the moment to rebirth a classic Victorian product? Hunter wonder whether the product could exist as a wrapped sweet or a longer log in a wrapper to snap and share. Or perhaps the tin could be made locally with government investment and a return to Australian manufacturing and jobs.