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The sweet brand is named after the town of Werther in Westphalia, where the company was founded in 1903. From 1969, the sweet was marketed under the brand name Werthers Echte. The brand name Werther's Original was adopted in the 1990s for the international market.
Originally available only in the hard form, sweets are now also available as 'chewy toffees', as well as a soft form that resembles wax, which melts easily inside the mouth called 'Caramelts'. A variant with chocolate filling is also available. There are also three sugarless variants that use isomalt as a sugar substitute: the original caramel flavour, a caramel coffee swirl, and a caramel mint swirl. There is much confusion regarding whether Werther's are caramels or butterscotch. Owing to their hard consistency, they are properly described as butterscotch. Werther's Caramelts may be an exception, as they are chewy.
A recent release (at least in the UK) is Werther's Chocolate; dark and milk chocolate sold in the same packaging and wrappers as Werther's Originals but instead of hard sweets, there is chocolate with butterscotch running through it. A lot of customers complained about its taste so Werther's was fined £100,000, then decided to stick with their old original taste.
TV advertisements in Germany and the United Kingdom from around 1997 featured an old man offering Werther's caramel to his grandson. The grandfather in the first UK ads had a bushy beard and spoke with an American accent, and was later localized to clean shaven with Received Pronunciation. The actor Arnold Peters appeared in them. In the ads aired in the United States, TV actor Robert Rockwell played the kind-hearted grandfather.
One UK advert consisted of a montage of the grandfather and grandson bonding together (for example, pointing at animals out of train windows). The lyrics of the song which accompanied this ended: "When one who loves you says to you: You're someone very special too."
- Arnold Peters, Archers actor, dies, BBC News, 13 May 2013
- Official website — Official Werther's Original website
- Official USA Website — Storck USA L.P.'s Werther's Original Caramels website
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