Why American Sweets are Popular

5 minute read

Jolly Rancher Sweets

The UK is renowned for its chocolate, and with flagship brands such as Cadburys and Galaxy, it's easy to see why we love our candy. As a country that has an option for every sweet tooth, it's surprising that people are willing to spend more money on treats from overseas. In this post, we'll look at why American sweets are popular. 

Why Do People Buy American Products? 

If you set foot in the country's biggest supermarkets, you can almost guarantee that there will be a small shelf stocked with food from the USA. From Pop-Tarts to Reeses, as a nation, we love treats from our greatest ally. 

It's no surprise why because America has significantly more choice than the UK. For example, both countries stock Monster energy drinks, but while the UK has a few flavours to choose from, the US has around 27. 

People love having choices, and US products deliver. There are plenty of sweets, chocolate, cakes and cookie treats to choose from, and high sugar treats give people an energy boost. Sugar is known to trigger the hormone dopamine, which results in a happier mood. 

While it's inadvisable to eat sugary snacks all the time, the odd treat won't hurt. Most people regard American sweets as a decadent treat, which makes them perfect for seasonal gifts. 

In some cases, it's because a product unique to America becomes a household favourite. For example, while we have peanut butter in England, it lacks the dense flavours associated with brands such as Reeces. 

To understand why we love American sweets, we need to compare their most popular offerings with our own. 

The Chocolate

In the UK, Dairy Milk is the most popular chocolate bar, as is Hershey's in the USA. Let's look at the differences between both. 

Dairy Milk vs Hershey's 

Without a doubt, Dairy Milk is the UK's flagship chocolate. Children and adults alike love it because there are so many flavours available. As its name suggests, the chocolate contains a lot of milk which gives it the rich taste and creamy texture. 

The traditional dairy milk bar features plain chocolate blocks that focus on texture rather than adding lots of exciting flavours. You can, however, find whole nut and fruit and nut versions of the creamy treat. 

Hershey's is the USA's flagship candy bar, and there are numerous conflicting opinions about its taste. America has less strict rules when it comes to the minimum cocoa content, each chocolate bar must-have, and Hersey's contains only 10% cocoa. 

For many people, the low cocoa amount affects the taste, but Hershey's offers unique flavours such as cookies and cream. 

The Main Difference

While many people (including Americans) prefer British chocolate, there is one notable difference that explains why some might choose Hershey's over Dairy Milk. 


The average bar of British chocolate focuses more on cocoa than sugar, which provides the rich, creamy texture in your Dairy Milk or Galaxy. But Hershey's bars have less cocoa and more sugar, which means they give a sweeter taste that some people prefer. 

America is known for its abundance of high-sugar treats, and for individuals that have a sweet tooth, Hershey's would be a natural choice. 

The Sweets 

When it comes to sweets, both the USA and UK have an abundance of sugary treats. But we've got to give it to our overseas cousins; they know how to produce irresistible sweets. Let's take a look at each country's most famous sweet offerings. 

Boiled Sweets 

If you grew up in the UK, then you'll be all too familiar with the selection of boiled sweets. Our grandparents and parents adored classical flavours, which still exist today. Some of the most popular British boiled sweet flavours include: 

  • Aniseed Balls 
  • Mint Humbugs
  • Lemon Sherbets
  • Banana & Custard
  • Barley Sugars
  • Clove Balls 

There are many more flavours to choose from and sugar-free versions for people with diabetes.

American Hard Candy 

While boiled sweets contain traditional UK flavours, American Hard Candy is distinctively different. The sweets focus on childhood favourites, which includes grape, cherry, lemon, cola, cinnamon and root beer. 

Instead of larger sweets in a jar, you'll find small bite-sized pieces of candy which often comes in a box. Some of the USA's most popular hard candies are bottle caps, which are small candy circles and gobstoppers. 

UK Soft Sweets 

Soft sweets include everything from foam-based candies to fruity chews. Both countries have an abundance of soft sweets available, but the UK is famous for its 'pick n mix' offerings. 

Some popular options include milk bottles, foam shrimps and bananas, with fizzy cola bottles. People enjoy soft sweets from the UK, because of their subtle flavourings and consistency. 

American Soft Sweets 

One of the most popular choices for American sweets is gum. The country stocks weird and wonderful flavours of bubblegum, including raspberry, watermelon, grape and cinnamon. But, there are many other options, including fruit gums and popping candy. 

Popping candy comes in an assortment of flavours and is especially popular with younger people. Two of the most popular varieties are bubblegum and cotton candy, which are both staples in the USA. 

Two of the most significant imports from the US are Twizzlers and Red Vines. Both are thicker, twisted versions of the UK's strawberry laces and Twizzlers come in a range of flavours. 

Are American Sweets Here to Stay? 

It would be impossible to say whether UK or USA sweets are better because it all comes down to personal preferences. As human beings, we're driven to seek out new experiences, and foods from other countries will be eternally popular. 

Just as people from the US enjoy English sweets, we actively seek out American sweets because they offer something new and exciting. It makes sense for business owners to stock a selection of treats in their shops, especially around special holidays. 

Many consumers would choose to give US sweets as gifts because they're something original and exotic. With so many incredible options to choose from, you can build a successful business and look forward to long-term success.

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