Sweets are special. Every generation, culture, or family has a list of favourites that they always return to, and there are some incredible sweet types and brands that have stood the test of time. From old-fashioned Pontefract Cakes and Rosy Apples, to retro Fizzy Cola Bottles and Flying Saucers, each loved through the decades!
Here at All Things Sweet, we’re constantly immersed in the wonderful world of sweets. So we thought we would share 10 top facts about sweets with you from British History.
1. Sweets price increases!
Sweets are often used as landmarks throughout the decades to compare generational favourites, and even the change in the economy and price inflation! (Does anyone remember a 10p Cadbury Freddo in the 90’s?!) Today this small chocolatey delight will likely set you back 25p instead!
2. Some Popular Sweets Are Not Suitable For Vegetarians or Vegans!
Whilst our collection of sweets is certified vegan, there are a few common sweets that contain ingredients derived from animals. Traditionally sweets often contain gelatine, which vegetarians and vegans avoid. Gelatine is used to ‘set’ the sweets (a bit like jelly!). However, there are now plenty of alternative ways to create a delicious gummy texture with plant-based ingredients instead!
3. Sweets, Candy, or Lollies?
Around the world, sweet treats go by a number of different names. Here in the UK, sugared confectionery is known as ‘sweets’! However in the US, they’re ‘Candy’, and in Australia and New Zealand they’re known as ‘Lollies’!
4. The Rise of Sweets!
Until the industrial revolution, sugar sweets were typically only available to wealthy families. Sugar was combined with honey, spices, fruits, and nuts to create small treats and comfits that were even once considered a digestive aid! Soon the Victorian era saw a rise in factories, technology, and trade, and the price of refined sugar began to fall. Marshmallows, toffees, boiled sweets and Liquorice allsorts were all Victorian-era creations!
5. The Oldest UK Sweet Brands!
As more affordable sugar entered the scene in the UK, lots of exciting new sweet brands started to pop up. Amazingly some of these brands are still well-loved today. From Rowntrees (1881) and Cadbury (1824) to Bassett’s (1842) and the famous Yorkshire Pontefract Cakes (1779).
6. Mark Your Calendars for the ‘Sweetest Day’!
Once a year, on the third Saturday of October, a special day comes around… The day was created to inspire people to share sweets with friends and loved ones. Although it doesn’t yet have the popularity of Valentine’s Day, it’s definitely becoming more and more popular!
7. The Most Popular Sweet in the UK
The most popular sweet currently in the UK at 83% is Cadbury Buttons! Quickly followed by Maltesers but then in third place is Cadburys Chocolate fingers so Cadburys are top of the charts right now!
8. When Did Fudge Arrive in the UK?
The first fudge recipes emerged in the mid 19th-century within the US! It soon found its way across the World. Sugar, butter, and milk were mixed together to create a dreamily soft and creamy sweet treat. We have a lovely vanilla fudge available to buy…
9. A Pick ’n’ Mix History!
Penny sweets, bulk confectionery, weigh-out-sweets. The art of selecting your own sweets has been around since the 19th century, but the phrase ‘Pick ’n’ Mix’ was first used in the USA (around the 1950s) as sweet shops and brands finally took on the term that their customers were already using! Don’t you just love selecting your own sweets?
10. Why Do Sweets Taste So Good?
It’s believed that sweets cause a feeling of happiness and pleasure when eaten because of an evolutionary trait! During hunter-gatherer times, sweet wild fruits were a packed source of energy, but they were often scarce. So the brain was trained to reward us for foraging and eating sweet things!
Which sweets were popular during your childhood?Let us know in the comments below.