Traditional Czech sweets' 100th anniversary

Hard candy with herb and menthol flavour called Hašlerky celebrates its 100th anniversary this year - over 1,000 tons are produced annually.

The black confectionery is still one of the best-selling sweets in the Czech Republic - it is currently at second place after Tic Tac bonbons. It has traditionally been advertised as helping with hoarseness and cough.

In the past, Hašlerky candies were called Caruso after the famous Italian opera singer whom they helped with sore vocal chords before one of his performances. For a while after that, they were named Destinky after Czech singer Ema Destinová.

In December 1920, the producer of this candy signed a contract with songwriter Karel Hašler, allowing him to rebrand it as Hašlerky. The bonbons were originally produced in Prague's district of Vinohrady and in 1922, the production moved to the district of Michle where it remained until 1948 when the company was nationalized by the communist regime.

The factory in Michle was closed and production moved first to Modřany, then to Holešov, where they still make Hašlerky today. In one shift, up to 1.5 million bonbons are produced.

In the last year, the company expected the revenues to increase as Hašlerky can improve the smell of breath which is more noticeable when wearing a face mask. However, the pandemic ended up having a negative effect on confectionery sales in general.

According to data from the Nielsen agency, in the last 12 months until the end of October, revenues fell by 4% year-on-year to 2.9 billion crowns. Consumptions of sweets declined too - by 3% to 15,000 tons.