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The nations favourite sweets

The nation's most famous newsagent, Rita (far right) has been serving up sweets since the 1970s in her Kabin shop

Health and Mental Health

The nations favourite sweets

New research has revealed the nation’s favourite sweets of all time, with Jelly Babies (65 percent) taking the top spot…

Invented 160 years ago in 1864, confectionery historians believe the earliest Jelly Baby was the work of an Austrian confectioner who worked for Fryers of Lancashire. It is thought he was asked to make a mould for Jelly Bears, but the resulting sweets looked more like newborn infants and were subsequently named thus so. They were relaunched as “Peace Babies” after the First World War by Bassett’s Sweets in Sheffield, the brand which continues to make them to this day.

Following close behind the babies on the list of favourite goodies were Rowntrees’ Fruit Pastilles (62 percent), and in third place, Fruit Gums, which are also made by Rowntree’s. The research from Perspectus Global found as many as two-thirds (65 percent) of Britons of all ages agree many of the old classics are back in fashion.

Other retro classics which made the poll were old-school cola bottles (59 percent) and Werther’s Originals (59 percent). Also chosen by Brits in need of a sugar rush were Skittles (58 percent), Tangfastics (57 percent),  Liquorice Allsorts (57 percent) and the classic Rhubarb and Custard (56 percent).

Childhood favourites like Jelly Tots (56 percent), Love Hearts (54 percent) and Pear Drops (53 percent) are also enjoyed by Brits with a sweet tooth. So, it’s no surprise that a third of the 2,000 Britons polled admit they love eating sweets as it transports them back to their childhood.

In fact, 27 percent are thrilled that sweets from when they were young are now back in the shops. The nation’s most famous sweet-seller is of course Rita in Coronation Street who has been overseeing everything from wine gums to mint imperials since May 1973; and still does so regularly in the thrice-weekly Weatherfield saga. Although it seems Rita herself is more partial to a nice box of chocolates.

Jonathan Horsley of Perspectus Global:

“Sweets are one of life’s simple pleasures. You can see how they provoke feelings of nostalgia, as childhood classics like Jelly Babies, Fruit Pastilles, Pear Drops and Dolly Mix made the list of best loved sweets.”

The research also reveals that on average, Brits chew on an average of 19 sweets a week, with 78 percent saying there’s something magical about enjoying the same sweets you ate as a child. 77 percent admit they would choose a bag of their favourite sweets over pudding every time, while 70 percent prefer sweets to chocolate. 

Top 30 Favourite UK Sweets

  1. Jelly Babies    65%
  2. Fruit Pastilles    62%
  3. Wine Gums    60%
  4. Cola Bottles    59%
  5. Werther’s Originals   59%
  6. Skittles     58%
  7. Starburst    57%
  8. Liquorice Allsorts   57%
  9. Tangfastics    57%
  10. Rhubarb and custards   56%
  11. Jelly Tots    56%
  12. Fruit Gums    55%
  13. Love Hearts    54%
  14. Dolly Mix    53%
  15. Lemon Sherberts    53%
  16. Pear Drops    53%
  17. Turkish Delight    52%
  18. Maoam Stripes    52%
  19. Kola cubes    52%
  20. Daim bars (formerly Dime)  52%
  21. Black Jacks    52%
  22. Toffee Bonbons    52%
  23. Tunnocks Snowballs   51%
  24. Drumstick Squashies   51%
  25. Drumstick Lollies   51%
  26. Polos     50%
  27. Fruit-tella     50%
  28. Tic tacs     50%
  29. Flying saucers    49%
  30. Mentos     45%

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