Wagon Wheels

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For the 1934 film, see Wagon Wheels (1934 film).
Wagon Wheels
Wagon Wheel.JPG
Wagon Wheel circa. 2012 (smaller than its predecessor)
Place of origin
Australia, Canada, Iran, United Kingdom
Creator Arnott's Biscuits, Burton's Foods
Main ingredients
marshmallow, chocolate flavoured coating
Variations Jammie, Toffee, Double Choc, Caramel, Banoffee
Cookbook:Wagon Wheels  Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels are a snack food sold in Australia, Canada, Iran, Malta, Ireland, Russia, the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom. They are comprised of two biscuits with a marshmallow sandwich filling which is then covered in a chocolate flavoured coating.[1] The biscuit itself is round to represent the wheel of a wagon (hence the name).

Wagon Wheels were created by Garry Weston, (son of W. Garfield Weston).[1] Garry Weston worked for his father's business in Australia before taking over his family's UK business. The biscuits were first launched at the 1948 Olympia Food Fair.[1] The name was derived from the fact that the Wild West was very popular at the time. They were originally marketed as Weston Wagon Wheels.

Production and size[edit]

In the United Kingdom they are produced and distributed by Burton's Foods who separated from the Weston family connection when they were sold out of Associated British Foods in 2000.[2] The original factory which produced the biscuit was in Slough but during the early 1980s were transferred to an updated and modern factory in Llantarnam in South Wales.[1] Weston had been producing biscuits on the Slough site since 1934[3] and the Llantarnam site since 1938.[4]

In Canada, Wagon Wheels are produced by Dare Foods Limited.[1] They come in Original, Fudge, Choco Cherry, and Raspberry flavours.[citation needed]

In Iran, Wagon Wheels are produced by Shirin Asal.

In Australia, Wagon Wheels are produced by Arnott's Biscuits. George Weston Foods Limited sold the brand to Arnott's in August 2003.[5][broken citation]

There have been many debates amongst fans of the biscuit about its size. Wagon Wheels have supposedly shrunk in size as time has progressed, but Burton's Foods Ltd have denied this. It has been suggested that the supposed shrinkage is due to an adult's childhood memory of eating a Wagon Wheel held in a much smaller hand. In Australia however, Arnott's have stated that tray packs of Wagon Wheels were in fact Mini Wagon Wheels and have re-released the original 48g Wagon Wheels.[6][broken citation]

The original factory in Slough produced the biscuit with crinkled edges and corn cobbs rather than the updated smoother edges. This caused the overall diameter of the biscuit to shrink slightly, but not as much as fans of the biscuit believe.[citation needed]

Also, although the UK Wagon Wheel has barely shrunk, it is still noticeably smaller than the Australian equivalent. As of 2006 the diameter of the Australian version is measured at 88 mm which is 14 mm larger than the UK version, while the UK Wagon Wheel is notably thicker by 4 mm.[1]

As of 2006, the Canadian Wagon Wheel measured 67mm x 18mm,[1] but was reduced to 65mm x 16mm in 2010. Note the diameter of the marshmallow middle is smaller than the top and bottom biscuit diameters.[citation needed]

Advertising[edit]

Interest in Wagon Wheels was at an all time peak when the British comedians French and Saunders made a sketch with Jennifer Saunders dressed as a schoolgirl stuffing a Wagon Wheel into her mouth.

British 'comedians' Hale and Pace used Wagon Wheels in their recurring "Curly & Nige" sketches, as the Curly and Nige characters won Wagon Wheels from each other by doing self-mutilating and dangerous bets.

Wagon Wheels are thrown into the audience by Berwick Kaler during the popular annual York pantomime.

Wagon Wheels were "re-launched" in 2002.

Previous slogans for the product have been:

  • "A taste for adventure."
  • "If there's a bigger bite, it can't be found."
  • During the 1960s the slogan in Australia was "It's more than a biscuit, it's a mighty big snack!"
  • "Eat the Wagon Wheel!" was the catchcry of a campaign where viewers were informed of what items were typically available as snacks in countries where Wagon Wheels were not available. The voiceover would then ask which you would rather eat. Then the reply would come from, for instance, one of the pickled herrings on offer, "Eat the Wagon Wheel!"

The current slogan is "You've got to grin to get it in".

Flavours[edit]

The original wagon wheel which is now called "chocolate" had a marshmallow centre and not a jam centre.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Wagon Wheels". Practically Edible. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Benjamin Wootliff (31 Oct 2000). "Wagon Wheels roll west as ABF sells Burton's". Daily Telegraph. 
  3. ^ "1900 - 1945". Slough History. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Cwmbran: Llantarnam - The Biscuit Factory and Brickworks". Industrial Monmouthshire - The Leftovers. Phil Jenkins. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  5. ^ GWF Media Announcement 29 August 2006
  6. ^ Arnotts Wagon Wheels

External links[edit]