Food&Drink Editor Anisah Qazi issues her recommendations and warnings of the ever-expanding Percy Pig range

Written by Anisah Qazi
2nd year English Literature student and Redbrick Food&Drink Editor.
Images by Anisah Qazi

M&S’ Percy Pigs have created a cult following. They have established themselves as a go to snack to pick up from petrol stations, services and train stations, providing a kick of sweetness to keep you awake on a long journey. The cute packaging and adorable shape of these little Percy Pig sweets is simply fabulous, and appeals to families and nostalgic adults alike.

Lured in by the promise of yummy chewy cuteness

Realising the joy that Percy Pigs have brought to the British public, M&S have gradually released a seemingly never-ending array of Percy Pig confectionery, offering alternative flavours, sizes and formats.

Whilst I would not claim to be a Percy Pig expert, and unfortunately have not tried every variety, I have found myself time and time again lured in by the promise of yummy chewy cuteness. 

So should you find yourself at a station craving a sweet treat but overwhelmed by the range of Percy Pigs available, here are my rankings of the highs and lows of the Percy Pig range.

The Highs 

Percy Pig and Pals

Percy Pig and Pals was a selection that I first tried on a cold, wet train station platform. Featuring a mixture of three animals: Percy Pigs, cows, and sheep, this packet offers more variety than the average Percy Pig bag

The cola flavoured cows and fruity sheep work to nicely break up the taste of the Percy Pigs, and all three have a perfect texture. The highlight for me are the cola cows, which are perhaps the best cola flavoured sweet I have tried. This packet has become my go-to.

Percy Pigs

The original. The classic. Percy Pig’s distinct fruity flavour has made it a trademark amongst fans, perfect for a quick sweet treat, easily enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Its soft chewy texture and its mouth-watering sweetness makes for the perfect sweet. Percy Pigs are always a safe and happy choice from a shelf full of options.

Whilst cute for kids, amongst adults it is prized and loved for its sentimentality above all else. Whether it is fond memories of ripping into a packet on a long and tedious family car journey, or as a reward for acing a test, Percy Pigs are the beating heart of childhood joy. If you have been deprived of this experience, and have never before tasted a Percy Pig, I mourn for you.

Percy Pig Phizzy Fruit Juice Drink

Something that I picked up on a whim, the Percy Pig Phizzy Fruit Juice Drink did not disappoint. The fizz of this drink is excellent and works very well with the Percy Pig flavour, whilst the pink packaging is just adorable. If you ever feel the desire to have a fun little drink in hand to sip, this juice is the one to go for.

I am unconvinced that this can really be classified as ‘Fruit Juice’, as it seems more like a sister of Grape soda, and tastes very chemically. My only wish for this drink is for it to have a stronger Percy Pig flavour, rather than the good but unspecific fruity taste that this has.

The Lows

Percy Pig Phizzy Pig Tails

Now, I love tangy fizzy sweets as much as the next person, but these Phizzy Pig Tails have got to go. Whilst the texture and swirly shape of the sweet is fun, cute and enjoyable, the taste lets it down. Awkwardly straddling the line between sweet and sour the strong sourness of the sugar coating on these swirls is for me a little too much to handle.

A selection that I first tried on a cold, wet train station platform…

Percy Pig Phizzy Chews

Worse are the Phizzy Chews. Whilst these are conveniently sized in bitesize pieces, the texture is very average and not at all as satisfying as the original Percy Pigs. What really lets it down however, is the flavour. These are simply unbearably tangy and sour. Adding to this uncomfortable combination is a shocking level of fizziness. At this point I wonder why M&S insist on these ‘Phizzy’ variations of Percy Pig sweets, which consistently miss the mark.

Percy Pig 1/3 Less sugar

My one reservation with the classic Percy Pigs is that they sometimes feel too sweet. But the 30% less sugar option is… honestly just miserable. The flavour is nowhere near as strong so the punch of the sweet vanishes. But the flavour is not the only let down with this variety, as the texture is also affected by its sugar reduction. The Pigs are less bouncy and much harder, the soft juicy texture of the originals has been all but cast out.

You are left with a hard, flavourless clump of a sweet to chew on. My gripe is that if you are going to have a sweet commit to it. Its not meant to be healthy. If you want something healthy just have a grape instead? I don’t get it. I truly think this variety is a failure on all levels.

The Percy Pig sweet has a never-ending range, designed to satisfy all needs and wishes. Whilst some variations may not be so good, there are many which are absolutely brilliant, so next time you are in the Percy Pig aisle, I recommend that you try something new!

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