“Ski, the full of fitness food for all the family:” was that how the song went on the television advertisement for the yogurt? Was Ski the only variety of yogurt on the shelves of the supermarkets? A website search says it was the first brand to introduce yogurt with fruit – in 1963. Yogurt with fruit in the early 1960s must have seemed something very exotic.
Ten years after its introduction to British shops, Ski yogurt was still a treat in our house. I remember coming home from a supermarket one Saturday lunchtime with an orange yogurt to eat that afternoon. Typing “1973 FA” was sufficient to discover the date, 5th May. It was the day of the cup final, the final in which second division Sunderland beat Leeds United. The wait, from the moment when Ian Porterfield of Sunderland scored the only goal of the match, to when the final whistle confirmed a most unlikely of results, lasted forever. The taste of orange lingered on.
Treats in those childhood years were simple, the choices then were few. There seems to have been an exponential growth in the confectionery available.
Perhaps a small village in Somerset was not typical of the sweet market, but there seemed only a small fraction of what we can now buy. The village shop had sweets in jars, lemon bonbons being the best option; the post office sold chews, as cheaply as eight a penny; and the mobile shop that visited the village on a Monday evening was the only source of sherbet fountains. If the temptation to buy ice cream could be withstood, the Wall’s van that did a round at teatime on a Sunday sold peanut brittle – a wonderful combination of toffee and nuts that could cause irreparable damage to one’s teeth, a treat still available in old-fashioned sweet shops.
But how did we know what treats to buy? Yoghurt would have been something bought by parents, not by boys,and Ski obviously invested strongly in their advertising. Few other advertisements remain in the memory – Cadbury’s Fruit and Nutcases, roaring Lion bars, Polos with holes in the middle, Mars bars that helped you work, rest and play, Maltesers that melted in your mouth and not in your hand, Opal Fruits made to make your mouth water – but they were hardly the stuff to capture a child’s imagination. Not once did I see an advert for lemon bonbons, but they still remain a favourite. How might the 1973 FA Cup Final have been remembered with the taste of lemon rather than orange?