Arnott’s Tiny Teddy biscuits hit the market, becoming the most successful product launch in the company’s history. More than five million biscuits were sold in little more than a month. It was a miniature version of the Teddy Bear biscuit, first produced by Guest’s and popular since the 1920s.
Arnott’s were looking to the launch of Tiny Teddy to help recover the company’s fortunes. At the end of 1989, the company was seeing losses from its pet food division and less-than-expected returns from its venture into snack foods. The pet-food division was sold off to Nestle and the Pioneer jelly brand sold to Cottee’s, but this failed to turn the company’s fortunes around.
Despite the continuing success of the Tiny Teddy, the Arnott family was force to relinquish its remaining interests in the company to the American Campbell’s Soup Company in 1997.
Tiny Teddies continued to be a successful brand for the company and new varieties have been launched over the years including chocolate, chocolate coated and even teddies sprinkled with 100s and 1000s.
The reputation of this hugely successful biscuit was somewhat sullied in 2010 when a police drug bust in Geelong, Victoria, uncovered packs of Tiny Teddies impregnated with LSD. The police arrested 15 people after swooping on 13 homes across Geelong, the Surf Coast and Werribee, seizing drugs, guns, knives and cars. A 19-year-old was arrested after police found a large quantity of LSD, including Tiny Teddies biscuits coated with the drug, inside his Nissan Skyline.