Sunday, November 8, 2009

Would you like a Jelly Baby?

While attending the Toronto Hobby Show 2009, it was something other than the scale models and hobby models that caught my attention. There was a stand, a candy stand that was selling imported sweets and snacks from UK, and immediately I thought of the one single thing I knew about English snacks. Jelly Babies.

Now, there were quite a few kinds of Jelly Babies, as it turns out, so since I didn't know which ones were the ones that Doctor Who was so very fond about, I decided to get two of the most legit looking ones. As it turns out after a bit of research, the show doesn't seem to mention specifically the brand, which is quite different from things are done here in North America, where brand names are everywhere.

Further research revealed that Jelly Babies were first launched in 1919 under the name Peace Babies to celebrate the end of the First World War, but production was suspended when WWII started due to both a shortage of material supply and the irony of the name. All is not lost, since after the war, the brand was relaunched in 1953 as Jelly Babies. In 1989 however, the company that was producing the Jelly Babies, Basetts, was taken over by Cadbury Schweppes, but the production of the product Jelly Babies, thank goodness, was not stopped.

By this logic, if the 4th Doctor Who's tenure, who single handedly gave Jelly Babies more publicity than it will ever need, lasted from 1971 to 1981 then it is reasonable to conclude that, unfortunately, it will be quite impossible to enjoy the exact same kind of Jelly Babies that Doctor Who was so obsessed about since the company that produced the Jelly Babies at the time was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes.

I cannot say persoanlly if the quality and taste of Jelly Babies changed at all since I wasn't even born at the time of the aquisition, but if Coca-Cola is any good comparison, then I'm fairly sure that over the years, the product would have changed regardless of whether the acquisition happened or not. Products must change in order to keep up with the times and meet the requirements of the customers. Change is both a proactive force and a reactive response, which over time will produce something different, even if the name remain the same. One does indeed grow tired of Jelly Babies, but so as long the Jelly Babies continue to change and evolve, it will be nigh impossible for people to stop asking the question "Would you like a Jelly Baby?"

Have a Jelly Baby, and good day to you.

Is it just me, or does this barely look like a baby at all?


  1. Anonymous10:14 AM

    kind weird

  2. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Tom Baker's periode of Doctor Who was 7 years from 1974 to 1981. As far as i noticed it, he was the only Doctor who ever mentioned Jelly Babies (still watching doctor 5 and later as of this writing).

  3. I've only found about this after it has been turned into a meme by compilation videos on Youtube to be honest. Though I guess the overall strangeness of the fourth Doctor meshed so well with his obsession with jelly babies that the image has become iconic.