During the Comic-Con@Home panel for the BBC and HBO's His Dark Materials, Andrew Scott and Lin-Manuel Miranda talked about something that Scott introduced him to when filming in Britain – and that made him an addict. Percy Pigs. But what are they? And what do the Brits know that the Americans are discovering?
Percy Pig is a British brand of pig-shaped gummy sweets made by the Germans exclusively for British upper market high street retailer Marks & Spencer, as they are basically middle-class crack. First appearing 1992, with the promise that they contain real fruit juice (just 3.5%), they have also recently returned to being vegetarian – they originally included real pig in the form of pork gelatin, as opposed to pectin.
They also happen to be utterly delicious and are head over heels above any other such gummy sweets. And their reputation amongst kids, parents, and anyone who picked up a pack on a whim is unparalleled. In 2008, the Percy Pig sweets made UK Vogue's 2008 hotlist at number 11 on the top style bible's 40 hottest people and trends to watch over the coming months.
With strawberry, blackcurrant, and raspberry flavours, other variations include cola and grape flavors, known as Percy Pig & Pals. Lemon-flavoured Penny Pigs and smaller Percy Piglets were added to the line, and ten years ago, my own favourite, Phizzy Pig Tails were introduced. Reversy Percys are primarily made up of the dark pink jelly as opposed to the light pink foam. Percy in The Pink sweets are flavoured with dried raspberry and strawberry are free from artificial flavours and colourings. Globetrotting Percy sweets feature Percy, along with elephant, panda, and tiger flavoured sweets.
Other stores have emulated the line, including Eric the Elephant from Sainsbury's, Tesco Cool Cats line, while Asda has Stanley Snail and Fredrick Frog. They are all pathetic. I always include packs when sending care packages to American friends. And if you want to pay over the odds, Amazon will be able to sort you out. If nothing else, you can use them to get Lin-Manuel Miranda to do anything you want.