Manufactured by Fox’s Confectionery in Leicester since 1918, these best-selling mints were developed by Eric Fox, one of the original founders of the company.
The transparent peppermints were originally sold in large glass jars under the name Clear Mint Fingers. A year later, in 1919, Eric took his wife’s advice and registered his unique mints under the Glacier trademark.
Since 1922 the mints have been sold with the Peppy the polar bear icon, depicted standing on one of the mints (which resemble miniature blocks of ice and are translucent). Artist Clarence Reginald Dalby (1904-1983) designed the logo. He would later illustrate the Rev W Awdry’s Railway Series books, featuring Thomas the Tank Engine.
Fox’s commissioned a taxidermist to shoot and stuff a real polar bear, which was displayed at public events, such as football matches, to advertise the mints.
It was taken all over Britain and eventually as many as four other stuffed polar bears joined him.
After Rowntree acquired Fox’s in the 1960s, exhibiting a symbol of the threatened environment was deemed unwise, so the stuffed bear was replaced by a cartoon version of Peppy.
The original Peppy, measuring almost 5ft high and 7ft long, was eventually donated to Leicester’s New Walk Museum.
In 1988 Rowntree Mackintosh was acquired by Nestlé which, in 2001, sold Fox’s to Northern Foods. Two years later, Big Bear Ltd acquired the company from Northern Foods. A decade after that, Big Bear was bought by Raisio. In 2015, Big Bear Confectionery was formed. It was bought by Valeo Foods in 2017.