Fox’s Glacier Mints Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

This month, Fox’s Glacier Mints, a famous candy brand from the United Kingdom, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The Fox company was founded in Leicester by Walter Richard Fox in 1895. However, the glacier mints were created by Fox’s son Eric Smart Fox by mistake in 1918. His modified candy recipe resulted in a transparent peppermint, which he named “Clear Mint Fingers.” The candies not only looked like glaciers, with their clear appearance, but many people also thought they tasted like them. As one customer, a woman named Sandy, told GlacierHub in the candy section of a local Bronx Target store in New York City, the mints are “refreshing and cool.” She added, “When you think about it, the name Glacier Mints is quite apt.”

Fox’s Glacier Mints (Source: Fox’s Glaciers/Twitter)
Fox’s Glacier Mints (Source: Fox’s Glaciers/Twitter).

In five years, Fox managed to expand his business to have a space in London’s Oxford Street by 1923. Since then, the image of a polar bear has been used in the marketing of these “Glacier Mints.” Known as Peppy, short for peppermint, the polar bear soon became the official mascot and icon of the brand. With a limited budget for marketing, Fox started to display a 1.5-metre-tall stuffed Peppy at football matches and carnivals to advertise the product in the 1920s, legend has it. This form of marketing continued for some decades, all the way until 1960.

In 2006, the company donated the polar bear to a museum in Leicester. According to Moran, the firm’s brand manager said in an interview that Peppy “had been left forgotten in a factory for over 20 years” since its public appearance drastically declined after the 1960s and was mostly in storage thereafter. However, little was known about the polar bear, including who the designer was, its gender or where it was made.

From 1970 onward, while the original Peppy sat n storage, his or her image was used for print and TV campaigns, joined by other characters, including an arctic fox. In the short commercials, a love-hate relationship developed between Peppy and the fox, often capturing the audience’s attention with a traditional British sense of humor. The mints also alluded to glaciers frequently, with words like “cool,” “clear” and “refreshing” in the advertisements.

However, the Fox brand may still be unfamiliar to many Americans. Through a short survey, admittedly unscientific, conducted in the candy section of the previously-mentioned Target store, GlacierHub discovered that only three out of 15 customers had ever heard of the candy brand. In fact, none had any recollection of watching the TV commercials. Sadly, the Target store also did not carry any Fox’s Glacier Mints, but the mints are available online through sites like Amazon.

Mascot Peppy Display (Source: Carmel Clapson/Twitter)
Mascot Peppy Display (Source: Carmel Clapson/Twitter).

“Although I have never had that particular brand of mints, when you asked me about my opinion on glaciers, the thought of a mint just kept resurfacing now that you mentioned ‘Glacier Mints.’ Whoever thought of associating mints and glaciers is a genius!” exclaimed a customer named Andrew.

“I always associated glacier mints with clear mints, although I did not know it originated from Fox’s. I think there are other brands selling clear mints in the market now– they are not the only one,” another customer Amy told GlacierHub. Indeed, other brands such as Perugina and Cristal have marketed their clear mints as glaciers and crystals.

Perugina’s and Cristal’s Clear Mints (Source: Amazon)
Perugina’s and Cristal’s Clear Mints (Source: Amazon).

With the demand for candy high nowadays, the competition remains fierce for brands in the market. However, Fox’s found the perfect marketing for their clear mints, cleverly using the “cool” and “refreshing” glacier theme. The next time you need a chill pill, you now know the perfect glacier candy.


Leave a Reply