Britain is a nation of sweet lovers and there is one time of year in particular when we can’t get enough of our favourite sugary treats. Whether it’s a bumper tube of Fruit Pastilles given as a stocking filler or a large tin of Quality Streets that is just right for sharing, confectionery sales always soar in the run up to Christmas.
But which of these confectioneries started life right here in the UK and which parts of the country were responsible for them?
Holiday cottage provider Gorgeous Cottages has investigated the counties behind the creation of our favourite British sweets, revealing the top 5 candy capitals of the UK:
1st place – Yorkshire (Home of: Smarties, Liquorice Allsorts, Quality Street, Fruit Pastilles, Yorkshire Mixture)
2nd place – London (Home of: Flumps, Black Jacks, Dolly Mixture, Maynard’s Wine Gums)
3rd place – Derbyshire (Home of: Love Hearts, Parma Violets, Refresher Bars, Drumstick Lollies)
4th place – Lancashire (Home of: Jelly Babies, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, Fisherman’s Friends, Pear Drops)
5th place – Berkshire (Home of: Skittles, Starburst, Celebrations, Maltesers)
Other honourable mentions go to Merseyside for Chewits and Leicestershire for Fox’s Glacier Mints
Why Yorkshire is the UK’s candy capital
Yorkshire was behind the very first UK sweet so it’s only fitting that it has taken the crown as the candy capital of the UK. Since the early Pontefract Cake, Yorkshire has been the county responsible for confectionery brands such as Rowntrees, Bassetts and Mackintosh inventing sweets that include Smarties, Liquorice Allsorts, Fruit Pastilles, Jelly Tots, Quality Streets, Yorkshire Mixtures and even seaside rock.
Not only is Yorkshire responsible for a bumper collection of our favourite sweets but it is also home to The Oldest Sweet Shop in the World. The traditional sweet shop in Pateley Bridge has been given the title by the Guinness Book of World Records and is filled with row upon row of old-fashioned glass jars containing classic pick ‘n’ mix sweets.
To solidify Yorkshire’s position further as the Candy Capital of the UK, we also investigated how many sweet shops there are in each county and Yorkshire, according to data on Yell, ties for the top spot for this too.
Yorkshire, Lancashire, Hertfordshire and Greater London all have 250 sweet shops listed on Yell, with Herefordshire coming in next with 214 confectionery shops. The full top ten are:
Yorkshire – 250
Lancashire – 250
Greater London – 250
Herefordshire – 250
West Midlands – 214
Greater Manchester – 184
Kent – 129
Hampshire – 128
Devon – 115
Essex – 106
Yorkshire is also a hub for the UK’s sweet factories with large sites in Sheffield, York, Castleford and Pontefract now responsible for Maynards, Bassets, Trebor, Barretts, and Haribo ranges of sweets. The factories produce everything from Jelly Babies and Flumps to Haribo Starmix, with Pontefract Cakes still made at the Haribo’s Yorkshire factory.