Gavle is famous for a few things, but for a long time it has been a producer of different kinds of candy. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) for me, not chocolate, but the town is famous for bilar (marshmallow cars)… called “Sweden’s best selling car”. Along with Cloetta Kex, they are the best-selling candies in Sweden.

Andrea beside a retro Läkerol dispenser. We got two packs out of this one, since it had been retrofit to a modern price!

World-wide, however, there seems to be more knowledge of  Läkerol.  I bought some in Hong Kong complete with Chinese characters on the package, and they are for sale in many other countries (although I don’t recall ever seeing them in Canada.)  They come in lots of flavours, but the original menthol/eucalyptus/medicine-y one is still the one people think of. 

The creepy Läkerol guy. They obviously choose him without any market testing, and I am sure he scared lots of kids by seeming to offer them candy. Creepster!

At one time they were advertised for health: as a cure for sore throats, smoker’s cough, strained singing or speaking voice.  Andrea and I went to the local city museum which has a ncie display on the local bussinesses throughout the town’s history.  The old Läkerol advertisments are a lot of fun, complete with endorsements from Fred Astaire and Josephine Baker, and later from Björn Borg.   My beginer’s Swedish doesn’t catch everything, but the televisions showing the old ads are great to show how communication, advertisement, and hairstyles have changed over the decades.

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