Wagon Wheels are a popular biscuit in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom which have a marshmallow centre and are covered in a chocolate flavoured coating. They are produced and distributed by Burton's Foods. The biscuit itself is round to represent the wheel of a wagon (hence the name).
Wagon Wheels were invented by Garry Weston (1927-2002) (son of W. Garfield Weston). Garry Weston worked for his father's business in Australia before taking over his UK family business. The biscuits were first launched during the 1940s at the time of the 1948 Olympia Food Fair. The name was derived from the fact that the Wild West was very popular at time, and in particular the film Wagon Train. They were originally marketed as Weston Wagon Wheels
Interest in Wagon Wheels was at an all time peak when the british female comedians French and Saunders made a sketch with Jennifer Saunders dressed as a schoolgirl stuffing a Wagon Wheel into her mouth. Wagon Wheels were "re-launched" in 2002.
Two previous slogans for the product have been:
the current slogan is "You've got to grin to get it in".
In Canada, Wagon Wheels are produced by Dare Foods Limited. They come in Original, Caramel, Fudge, and Raspberry flavours.
In Australia, Wagon Wheels are produced by Arnott's Biscuits. George Weston Foods Limited sold the brand to Arnott's in August 2003.
The original factory which produced the biscuit in Slough during the early 1980s were transferred to an updated and modern factory in Llantarnam in South Wales. The original factory in Slough produced the biscuit with crinkled edges and corn cobbs rather than the updated smoother edges. This caused the overall diameter of the biscuit to shrink slightly, but not as much as fans of the biscuit believe.
Also, although the UK Wagon Wheel has barely shrunk, it is still noticeably smaller than the Australian equivalent. The diameter of the Australian version is measured at 88 mm which is 14 mm larger than the UK version. Even though the Australian version is wider in diameter, the UK Wagon Wheel is notably thicker by 4 mm.
As of October 2006, the Canadian Wagon Wheel measured 70mm x 17mm.
The original wagon wheel which is now called "chocolate" had a marshmallow centre and not a jam centre.
Actor Berwick Kaler is famous for throwing them, like Frisbees, to the audience at the end of the annual pantomime at the Theatre Royal in York, though he had to stop throwing them after someone was allegedly hit by one and complained.
Surfacing of flanges of wagon wheels after annealing of the rolling surface in wagon-repairing companies in Ukraine
May 01, 2006; In braking, the rolling surface of wheels is characterised by the formation of a number of defects as a result of plastic...