1982: The launch of Skullcrushers sweets from Kirkcaldy

The 1982 launch of Skullcrushers at Alma Confectionery
The 1982 launch of Skullcrushers at Alma Confectionery

Everyone remembers Skullcrushers – the sweet made in Kirkcaldy that took the country by storm.

Alma Confectionery scored a huge hit with the product from the moment it launched in 1982.

Skullcrushers initially turned heads at an international exhibition which resulted in £180,000 of orders.

The sweets were disembodied sunken-eyed, white chocolates which oozed a blood red strawberry fondant filling ... and kids loved them!

They were such a hit that Alma was churning out 210,00 boxes of 150 pieces a week.

You may also be interested in:

Funeral probe ‘could cover £250,000 and more than 80 families’

Woman robbed on Kirkcaldy street

Violent criminal escaped secure hospital through window

They made over 50 million Skullcrushers and that demand saw the company’s turnover soar from £500,000 in 1978 to an estimated £9,000,000 in 1982.

In October of that year the company, run by Mario Maciocia, launched chocolate fanged heads of Count Dracula in time for the Hallowe’en market.

Alma was one of the many big successes stories to emerge from Kirkcaldy.

It went through a period of rapid expansion, and employs over 1100 people at its plants in Dundee, Kirkcaldy and Stockport.

Its range of sweets were instantly recognisable – as well as Skullcrushers they produced Munchy Maggots and Snotty Slurps, and won the licence to produce the “Batman” range of sweets.

By 1989 its headquarters was in the Dundee factory of James Keillor and Son, and they had the honour of a visit from Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher – although she didn’t sample any of the sweets!

She said Alma was “a tremendous example of Scottish enterprise,” ... and also took part of the credit, stating its success was thanks to the Tory policy of “bringing new propserity to Scotland.

Or maybe it was down to the hard-work and vision of the Maciocia family ...