Sweets bite back

Recession has boosted our desire for retro sweet-treats

Mary Poppins famously said: ‘A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down’. And new reports suggest the Victorian nanny was right.

Because this year – the darkest economic year ‘since records began’ – sales of sweets in the UK have sky-rocketed, with Marks and Spencer reporting a massive 70 per cent increase in sales of fizzy cola bottles, rhubarb and custard and wine gums.

And it’s not just the high street that’s buzzing with sugar addicts. According to reports in the The Times, luxury department stores House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols are reportedly in talks with confectionery makers to revive popular sweets sold in old-fashioned sweet shop jars.

Analysts say that the closure of Woolworths (and with it the demise of ‘pick’n’mix’ aisles) has helped to drive the revival. High street stores have been quick to identify the trend and retro sweets are being promoted in most chains.

Market research analyst Mintel is forecasting a growth in sweets sales by 9 per cent within five years, which will lift the market value close to £2 billion a year, compared with £1.7 billion now.


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