Midget Gems

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Midget Gems
Mini Gems
An assortment of Midget Gems.
Alternative namesMini Gems
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsGelatine, sugar, citric acid, fruit flavouring

Midget Gems (also known as Mini Gems) are chewy, firm sweets similar to wine gums but much harder. They are manufactured from sugar and glucose syrup, corn starch and/or various other starches, animal gelatin, and various colourings and flavouring.

Midget Gems were extremely popular in the North of England and were one of The Lion Confectionery Company's biggest selling brands. In 1995 the company joined forces with Cadbury Trebor Bassett brand Maynard's to market the sweet across the country.[1] At the time the sweet was re-branded under the Maynard's banner, the black Midget Gems were changed from liquorice flavour to blackcurrant, but only in the bagged product – those sold loose, from jars and boxes, remain liquorice. Some of the newer bagged product now have reintroduced the liquorice flavour.

A leading selling point for Midget Gems is that they were often sold loose from a jar or barrel. This made them inexpensive and helped bolster their popularity.[2]

Midget Gems are produced by a wide variety of other companies. Glisten Confectionery manufacture them under their Victoria brand, and in 2007 announced that they were removing all artificial colours and flavourings from the sweets.[3] Many supermarkets and stores such as Asda,[4] Tesco,[5] Marks and Spencer, and Sainsbury's manufacture their own versions.

The sweet is so popular that Liverpool Football Club at one point sold their own branded tubs of Midget Gems,[6] and the sweet frequently appears in lists of "Favourite sweets".[7]

Midget Gems are now sold in wide variety of colours and flavours, adding to the choices consumers have when purchasing them.

In January 2022, Marks and Spencer announced their plan to change the name of their sweet to 'Mini gems', after a campaign by Liverpool Hope University academic Dr. Erin Pritchard who complained the word 'midget', considering its origin in a Victorian freak show which exploited disabled people, was offensive to people with dwarfism.[8] The reaction on social media was mixed. Tesco and Maynards Bassetts followed suit later that year.[9][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sweet success is target for Gems". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 11 April 2005.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Victoria sweets remove artificial colours". Talking Retail. 7 July 2007. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Confirmed sighting: Asda Smart Price Midget Gems". snackspot.org.uk. 10 January 2008.
  5. ^ "Tesco Midget Gems Review". DooYoo. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  6. ^ "Midget Gems Tub". Liverpool Football Club. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  7. ^ "Space dust!". BBC Lancashire. 21 March 2006.
  8. ^ "Midget Gems change name after academic's campaign". BBC News website. 13 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Tesco Mini Gems 200G". Tesco. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  10. ^ "Midget Gems: Bassetts agree to 'Mini Gems' rebrand following Liverpool academic's campaign". Liverpool World. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  11. ^ "MAYNARDS BASSETTS MINI GEMS 160G (BOX OF 12)". Cadbury Gifts. Retrieved 11 October 2022.