If you grew up in the ‘90s, there’s no way you didn’t fake puffing on a Phantom Sweet Cigarette. Those red-tipped faux cigarettes were a rage back then. After all, flaunting one made us look so much cooler, right? They made the ‘90s fun and memorable.
However, they disappeared from the regular Kirana stores, and sourcing them is quite a task. They are no more easily available at general stores. So when you spot one, you can’t help but get all nostalgic. Here are some lesser-known facts about your favourite candy cigarettes.
1. They Are Manufactured In Pune
They are manufactured by a Pune based factory, Harnik General Foods Pvt Ltd. It was founded by NL Hingorani, a food scientist, who was passionate about creating quality and sumptuous food products. Their range of products also includes instant dessert mix and candies like Doc Milk, Sweet Pan, and Kaju Truffles among others.
2. The Phantom Mascot
Ever noticed the masked mascot on the packet who bears a stark resemblance to the titular character of the Phantom comic? The comic character was created by American writer, Lee Falk.
3. Before Phantom, Sweet Cigarettes Were Imported
Phantom is not the first ever candy cigarettes. Gautam Harnik, Hingorani’s grandson and the CEO at Harnik told The Daily Pao, “It’s not like there weren’t candy cigarettes before Phantom. They were imported and not easily available; they had paper rolled on each stick, and the candy seemed to have a mouthfeel that was more like chalk (sic).”
4. Chef Manish Mehrotra’s Signature Dessert Has Phantom Cigarettes
Did you know that these candies are a part of celebrated chef Manish Mehrotra’s menu at his Indian Accent restaurant in Delhi? He serves them as dessert, with ginger ice cream and cheeni ki roti and marshmallows.
5. They Are Available Online
These cigarettes are now being delivered by Swiggy in Mumbai. They are also available on Amazon. You can also get them directly from their website here. A report published in The Daily Pao mentions that the company is not able to keep up with the customer demands as it’s a time-consuming production process. It also states that the head office sends out 100 boxes of 24 packs every week directly to consumers who call them and ask for bulk quantities.
6. Candy Cigarettes Can Cause Diabetes
While we thought these chalky mint and glucose flavoured white sticks were harmless, it’s NOT. Little did we know that it may cause diabetes. A spokesperson from Harnik told India Today, “These cigarettes are made of 75 to 80 percent sugar; the rest of the 20-odd percent is glucose and gelatin. They are not the safest things for those even on the brink of diabetes (sic).”
Written by Anannya Chatterjee.
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