Cadbury Curly Wurly is a type of chocolate bar manufactured by Cadbury and sold in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Portugal, The Netherlands, Malta, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland. It was launched in the UK in 1970 and its shape resembles two flattened, intertwined serpentine strings. The bar is made of chocolate-coated caramel.
This design was created by David John Parfitt a long-serving research confectioner while experimenting with some surplus toffee from another piece of work.
Also available are “Curly Wurly Squirlies,” which come in a bag and are just the cross beams of the ladder. This design was created by Charlie Simmonds a worker and an apprentice at Cadbury.
The Curly Wurly Machine was redesigned in 1982 by Tony Wright at Cadbury’s Bournville under contract from Harvey Design Company. His brief was to produce 3 times the amount of “ropes” from 8 to 24. The machine was known as a 24 rope extruder.The design office manager at the time was one Arthur Musson. Improved design of the nozzle heating system (borrowed from the injection moulding industry) meant for better and consistent flow.
The UK TV adverts for Curly Wurly in the 1970s featured comedy actor Terry Scott as the schoolboy character he’d played on the novelty record My Brother. His catchphrase was “Hands off my Curly Wurly!”
A French version of the Curly Wurly, known as “Mousquetier” or “Mousquetaire” was available in the 1970s and 1980s.
A Canadian version of the Curly Wurly, known as the “Wig Wag” was available in the 1970s.
A US version of the Curly Wurly, known as the Marathon Bar was available in the 1970s and 1980s.
German versions were called “3 Musketiers” and “Leckerschmecker”.
A 2004 online poll of retro confectionary aficionados found that the Curly Wurly was the most popular chocolate bar still in production.