Reason Polos Have A Hole In The Middle Leaves People Stunned

The reason why Polos have a hole in the middle has left people stunned.
Credit: Alamy

People are only just finding out why Polos have a hole in the middle.

The popular breath mint was intended to be released by manufacturer Rowntree’s during World War Two, however, due to rationing, they didn’t actually get developed until 1948 by George Harris, as per Nestle.

Harris was inspired by the US brand Life Savers and felt that the UK needed a similar product.

He came up with the name Polo as it ‘derived from Polar and he thought that this implied the cool freshness of mint’.

Despite being around for over 70 years, people are only beginning to realise where the mint’s signature hole-in-the-middle design came from.

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The question was posed by someone on Quora, who asked if there was a ‘logical reason’ behind the design.

People immediately started to share their theories.

One person believed that the purpose of the hole was to get consumers to buy more Polos…

They suggested: “The hole increases the volume of the candy in the package saving the company money in candy material. Kind of like putting glue and sand on only one side of a book of matches saving half the cost of doing both sides.

“It also quickens the time it takes to melt it in your mouth so you are likely to eat more of them in the same time frame. This makes it likely for you to buy more.”

The trademark hole in the middle of the Polo Mint is there for safety purposes. Credit: Alamy

However, there doesn’t seem to be any truth behind this theory.

Someone responded and explained that Life Savers sweets were developed after an increase in the number of child deaths – as a result of choking on hard sweets that had got stuck in throats.

The purpose of the hole in the middle meant that a person could still breathe if the sweet did find itself lodged in their throat – hence why the sweets were named Life Savers.

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They explain: “In the early 20th century, a number of child deaths in the US were reported in the press due to choking on bar candies.

“An enterprising candy manufacturer came up with the idea that if there was a hole in the candy, even if it became lodged in the throat, a person could still breathe. The new candy was marketed as a ‘Life Saver’.

“The fact that the candy now resembled the flotation devices on ships served to reinforce the image and attractiveness of the product to the public. And the rest is history.”

Another adds: “Is it not in case you choke on them (well, more kids)? Just like pen lids, they have a hole on the top.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.