13 things you (probably) didn't know about Colin the Caterpillar as the cake turns 30 - and what the first version looked like

Colin the Caterpillar, arguably the nation's favourite birthday cake (no matter what your age) turns 30 today, 26 August.

Published 26th Aug 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

To celebrate, Marks and Spencer set up a Colin the Caterpillar Instagram account and is selling a bumper Colin celebration pack - with a cake, mini chocolate Colin faces, mini cakes and three packets of Colin sweets.

While he may have graced party tables across the country for the last 30 years, how much to do you know about the supermarket's smiling Caterpillar cake? Here are 13 facts you (probably) didn’t know:

He's popular with celebrities

David Beckham and Dame Judi Dench have celebrated their birthdays with Colin the Caterpillar cakes.

Apparently former prime minister, David Cameron has a 'love affair' with the famous critter cake.

He has a big entourage

It takes a team of 47 people to lovingly make each Colin cake from start to finish.

His look has changed over the years

Colin in 1990

Those who remember Colin in the 90s will notice that he looks a bit different now, with a changed face and the addition of white chocolate feet.

He's got a signature style

Colin has six white chocolate feet and 15 colourful milk chocolate sweets on his back.

Each year, M&S uses 8.4 tonnes of chocolate sweets to decorate Colin with his signature markings.

He's married

 Colin the Caterpillar
Picture: M&S

Colin and Connie married in 2017, and Connie was introduced to the M&S cake range - followed by mini Connie cakes, to go alongside the mini Colin's.

Connie is a milk chocolate-coated chocolate sponge roll, but instead of being filled with chocolate buttercream like Colin, she's filled with strawberry buttercream and decorated with pink chocolate sweets.

Award-winning Skye restaurant named in world's top 1000

With a couple of kids, of course

M&S sells 1.4 million  individual mini Colin's and 1.6 million mini Connie's every year.

He's very popular

M&S sells over 450,000 Colin the Caterpillar cakes - and over 175,000 Connie cakes each year.

There have been Christmas and Halloween Colin cakes

 Colin the Caterpillar
Picture: M&S

Yes, Colin has had a festive and spooky makeover for Christmas and Halloween.

Halloween Colin launched last year and featured a green-face and was decorated with chocolate maggots.

Festive Colin became the ultimate Christmas treat as M&S sold over 175,000 of the limited edition cake last year.

Ubiquitous Chip announce Christmas food and drink menu - including festive cocktails and cosy roof terrace

He supports charity

In September 2019, M&S sold over 85,000 Macmillan Colins and mini Colins - with 10 per cent of each sale going to the charity.

He's big in Kent

Party animals in Kent love Colin the most, as he's bought more there than in any other region.

Connie is most popular in Cheshire and Londoners love the mini caterpillars, as Waterloo commuters buy the most mini Colin and Connie cakes.

You can buy Colin all over the world

Colin cakes and sweets are sold in 17 countries overseas. The United Arab Emirates sells more Colin the Caterpillar cakes than any other destination, closely followed by Hong Kong.

The French love the Colin sweets the best, as over 60,000 bags are sold every year.

Two Scottish takeaways feature in Deliveroo top 100 worldwide roundup - including acclaimed Thai restaurant

He's probably taller than you think

Stacked face to bottom, it'd take 1108 Colin's to reach the top of the Shard in London.

He's a trendsetter

Fans of Colin can try Sainsbury's Wiggles the Caterpillar, which launched in 2011. At that time, Asda launched Bonnie and Clyde the Caterpillars as well as a free-from caterpillar cake, Frieda.

In 2015 Waitrose joined the caterpillar cake brigade, though theirs had no name.

In 2017, Tesco added to their caterpillar range with a free-from cake, Carl.


Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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