Life Saver lollies are back to being made in Australia, with the brand changing hands from Nestle to Australian-owned confectionery company Darrell Lea.
A Darrell Lea spokeswoman reassured The New Daily it had “no current plans” to change the recipe of the old-time favourite lollies.
Life Savers, which resemble a life preserver ring, were first created in the United States in 1912.
According to Darrell Lea, Australian World War I servicemen devoured them by the handful, the lollies evoking memories of favourite beaches and the sweet joys of life back home.
While Darrell Lea has never previously owned the Life Savers brand, the lollies were manufactured in Australia in Victoria during the 1920s.
It changed hands to British-owned Rowntree before being acquired by Swiss-owned Nestle in 1988, but Life Savers continued to be manufactured in Australia until the early 2000s.
Life Savers will return to Australian factories by January 2019, where 20 million packs are expected to be produced every year.
“As part of our business growth ambitions, we are in the market for great confectionery brands and Life Savers is certainly that,” Tim York, Darrell Lea’s chief executive, said.
“We believe there is significant growth potential for the Life Savers brand through new product innovation and gaining additional distribution in Australia and New Zealand.”
The purchase price has not been publicly disclosed.
Darrell Lea is the largest independently-owned confectionery player in Australia and was recently purchased for $200 million by Quadrant Private Equity.
Nestlé confectionary general manager Martin Brown said that Nestlé regrets the agreement will mean up to 55 job losses at its factory in Wiri, New Zealand.
All affected staff will be offered a redundancy package and access to outplacement services, he said.
“This doesn’t reflect on the personal efforts of our staff,” he said.
“It has been based on a careful consideration of how to focus our activities and resources, recognising that our sugar confectionery range in New Zealand is largely made up of smaller local brands.”