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Confectionery Products

What Are Confectionary Products?

It's no secret that we all love a sweet treat, and there's certainly plenty to choose from. Whether it's your favourite chocolate bar, a bag of sweets or a delicious cake, people around the UK are spoiled for choice.

While some people believe confectionery products are mainly chocolate and sweets, the term encompasses a range of delicious treats. There's also a rich and exciting history that goes back a lot further than you might think.

Let's dive in and discover what constitutes confectionery products and where sweet treats come from.

What is Confectionery?

Confectionery refers to a range of treats that wouldn't be considered part of a traditional daily diet. For example, meats, vegetables, and many dairy products are staples for the average person, but sugary snacks are more indulgent.

Chewing gum and sweets are also big sellers, with people worldwide enjoying an assortment of jelly, boiled and chewy treats.

Surprisingly, Europe is the largest chocolate-eating continent, with Statista reporting that Switzerland is the biggest chocolate-loving country. Austria isn't far behind, with the UK coming in 4th place and the USA in 8th.

China eats the least chocolate, with Japan consuming slightly more, so it's clear that Europe and America have the sweetest tooths.

According to US news, the USA and China consume the most candy, with the UK eating considerably less.

We can see from these statistics that both chocolate and sweets are staples in most households around the world.

So, why is confectionery so popular? More importantly, how did our ancestors enjoy sweet treats?

The History of Confectionery

It might surprise you to know that historians have traced confectionery back to the cavemen days! OK, so they weren't opening packets of Haribo Starmix, but ancient drawings depict men taking honey from beehives and eating it.

In ancient Egypt and China, people combined honey with fruits and nuts to make treats. During this time, people also discovered liquorice originally used as people believed it had healing properties.

Then, during the Roman era, everything changed. People discovered sugar, and it would change the way we live and eat.

The Middle Ages Sugar Rush

The Romans understood that sugar was an essential addition to food, but it didn't become popular until the middle ages when confectioners first started to appear. Initially, they used sugar to create sweetmeats and biscuits, which were popular among the aristocracy.

An average working person in the middle ages would never afford confectionery, but the people who created these treats were often treated like royalty themselves.

The rich would also offer a sweetmeat or biscuit at the end of a meal, also known as the 'grand dessert'.

Industrial Revolution

Perhaps the most critical time for confectioners in the industrial revolution, which was the first time the concept of mass production was introduced. Machinery made it possible for the quicker production of sweet treats, which meant they became more accessible to the average person.

Instead of confectioners spending ages making each treat by hand, the technique of mass production meant that the treats decreased in price. Without this significant advancement in technology, confectionery would have remained out of the reach of general workers and peasants.

When Did the Concept of Chocolate Happen?

Now for the most important question; how and when was chocolate invented? Well, cocoa dates back all the way to the Aztecs, but they used it as a bitter-tasting drink. Fast forward many (many) years, and some bright spark had the idea of adding sugar to the cocoa.

In 1657, the world's first chocolate drink was introduced to London, and it paved the way for confectioners to continue making delicious sweet treats.

Confectionery Today

The first chocolate bar was created by Fry's in 1853, and many confectioners consider this to be a significant leap in the industry. John Cadbury followed suit and made the flagship Dairy Milk in 1905, which is the most famous chocolate bar in the UK.

We've seen plenty of companies rise to the challenge and create their delicious confectionery throughout the years. Still, the early pioneers were probably the most important people because they broke boundaries with their ideas.

For example, did you know that Wrigley's Juicy Fruit and Spearmint gum has been around since 1911? What about the Milky Way bar, which dates back to 1935, along with Kit Kats and Aero.

Today, these chocolates, sweets and gum brands are still fan favourites, despite technological advances.

At Appleton Sweets, we live, breathe, and eat confectionery. Our selection of wholesale sweets is handpicked by a team of seasoned candy connoisseurs, which means we know what's hot and not.

So, which confectionery is the most popular? Let's find out.


It's no secret that Cadbury chocolate is insanely popular in the UK. For many, the classic Dairy Milk is a go-to favourite, but the company has so many delicious creations, it's impossible to choose just one. From fudge treats to nougat delights, Cadbury's chocolate keeps getting better.


There's something special about Galaxy chocolate; it's silky smooth. The unique taste, along with a creamy texture, makes Galaxy the ultimate indulgent treat. Whether you prefer a simple chocolate bar, the flakey Ripple or crispy, yet delicious Minstrels, Galaxy is a firm favourite.


As one of the oldest confectioners in the UK, Rowntrees have provided children and adults alike with delicious sweets for decades. Some of the most popular additions include Fruit Pastilles, Jelly Babies and Jelly Tots.


We couldn't leave Haribo out; it's probably the most famous confectionery brand in the world. Whether it's delicious gummy sweets, chewy Maoams or foam eggs, Haribo is a company that brings a lot of happiness.

The Takeaway

So, now you know what counts as confectionery and the complete history of sweets and chocolates. Not to mention information on the UK's favourite brands that are always sure to sell.

Now all you need to do is choose your favourites and stock up on delicious confectionery! Whether you want to sell sweets or just love great wholesale deals, our treats are sure to please.