Following the devastating news that chocolate Pods were being discontinued, Stewart Sowman-Lund dug deep into the confectionary graveyard to reminisce about other deceased sweets.
This post was published in April 2021.
When I was a child, the cinema-going experience was incomplete without a small box of Snifters. That soon evolved into a family bag of Pods (Snickers, of course). Now I’m left wondering if it’s even worth going to the movies. Maybe it’s better to curl up on the couch, watch something bad on Netflix and eat some old leftovers from the fridge.
New Zealand suffered an immense blow last Friday after the rumour was confirmed: Pods would not be returning to shelves. For those of you sadly not in the know, Pods are a bite-sized, crunchy, almost cereal-like chocolate snack filled with either a Snickers or Mars filling.
With Pods gone for good, and the Pod-shaped hole in my heart still aching, I was prompted to consider all the other iconic confectionery that New Zealand’s future generations will go without.
For succinctness, this list is not including limited edition runs like Snifter Lumps or S’mores Pods. Nobody wanted them at the time and there is no need to include them here today. They’d all be at the bottom, anyway.
Here is our official ranking of New Zealand’s top 10 most memorable discontinued confectionery.
10. Peppermint and Strawberry Roses
Roses chocolates should probably be discontinued altogether. They’re what you give your grandparents if you don’t love them or forget to go Christmas shopping until the night before. And even then…
The 2018 rebrand of the supposedly popular chocolate range saw peppermint crème and strawberry crème kicked out of the box in favour of a crunchy mint alternative and some sort of white chocolate raspberry combo. I personally don’t think this made the chocolates any better or worse and in all honesty Cadbury probably did the right thing.
I truly struggled to find any reason why Cadbury Chocettes – basically, small bite-sized choccies – were discontinued in New Zealand. They seem to have just… vanished. It’s a mystery that someone with more time on their hands should solve, so in the meantime simply enjoy this truly surreal advert with Mini Me from Austin Powers.
Clinkers were small, randomly coloured candy covered in chocolate. You never knew what colour/flavour you were gonna get. I don’t think I ever personally clinked a Clinker, but here’s what some fellow Spinoffers had to say:
“It tasted like chalk but in a good way.”
“The stalest marshmallow you’ll ever eat… I loved it.”
Honestly, they sound quite bad. I found two reviews where people complained of breaking their teeth after a cheeky clink.
7. Peach Fruit Burst
I don’t know if anyone really misses peach Fruit Bursts, or they’re just conned into thinking they do because of societal pressures. Only two Fruit Burst flavours are actually good: lemon & lime and wildberry. There, I said it.
Peach Fruit Bursts were mysteriously removed from the mixed bags around 2013. Nobody knows why and despite thousands calling for a comeback, they’ve never returned.
6. Pods – Mars flavour
If you’re lucky, you’ll still be able to find a lone pack of Pods staring at you from the confectionery aisle at your local supermarket before they’re rudely taken away forever. Sadly, it’ll probably be the inferior Mars variety. They’re not great but a world without Pods is not a world I want to live in.
5. Fairy Mushrooms
I never knew these were called Fairy Mushrooms and always just described them as those weird coconutty mushroom-shaped things. They’re not great but the fact they’ve been discontinued feels like an attack on New Zealand identity. Made exclusively by Carousel Confectionery in Palmerston North, Fairy Mushrooms are intrinsically linked with the after-school dairy lolly experience. Won’t somebody think of the children!
Sparkles were one of the big three along with Snifters and Tangy Fruits. It’s now been 13 years (!) since they were on the shelves and it’s time for a comeback. It’s been so long I don’t even really know how to describe them, but I have vivid memories of them being sharp. Too sharp. And orange.
Please, don’t even think about making “sparkle lumps” – I want the original spiky Sparkle and I want it now.
3. Tangy Fruits
Another of the classic big three. Tangy Fruits were the perfect cinema snack due to their weird punnet-tub thing preventing any disturbing rustling sounds. Any tense movie moment is now guaranteed to be punctuated by the sounds of someone digging through their Jaffas bag, whispering an apology for being too loud, then stuffing a handful of popcorn into their mouths and crunching away.
I’m also obsessed with this unverified line on the Tangy Fruits Wikipedia page: “They rolled well down the aisles and were perfect for throwing/biffing.” No citation needed; this is unquestionably very true. RIP.
2. Pods – Snickers flavour
It’s a tight battle for the top two, but the recently deceased Pods (Snickers flavour) land in a cosy second place. I think you can judge a person based on what Pod type they prefer. If it’s Mars, get out.
It’s been more than a decade since Snifters were dramatically and offensively pulled from the shelves. I have never recovered. Just the thought of these crunchy, minty, chocolatey orbs makes my mouth water. According to Pascall, Snifters were discontinued due to a lack of interest. Sure, in 2008 – but this is 2021 goddammit, the interest is well and truly back.
Last year, Pascall brought out Snifter Lumps – the latest in a series of disappointing Pineapple Lump spin-offs. Just yesterday, Cadbury released Dairy Milk Snifters chocolate, a collab nobody asked for and yet, it’s what we’ve got. The closest we’ve come to returning to the Snifter heyday.
No surprises: the Snifter is number one.
Honourable mention: Pineapple Lumps
I will hand in my New Zealand citizenship and say Pineapple Lumps are NOT VERY good and should be discontinued and only sold in frozen form. Honestly, those weird Jaffa Lumps were nicer. While I’m here: ban marshmallows.
Honourable mention: Strawberry Toppa
Very much not confectionery but very much something that should be brought back immediately.
Honourable mention: Spaceman candy sticks (specifically with the red stripe)
These should very much not be brought back, but wild to think we were selling fake edible cigarettes until less than 10 years ago.
Honourable mention: Air New Zealand blackcurrant lollies
These would have made the list were it not for the valiant efforts of one Hilary Barry. They’re back, baby.