This is the Lancashire sweet rated as the nation's favourite - and the other retro favourites making a comeback

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It all started back in 1864

New research has revealed the nation’s favourite sweets of all time, and it's a Lancashire invention that is a clear winner.

In a survey of 2,000 Brits aged 16 to 85 plus, Jelly Babies were named by 65 per cent of people as the best.

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Following close behind the babies on the list of favourite goodies were Rowntrees’ Fruit Pastilles (62 per cent), and in third place, Fruit Gums, which are also made by Rowntree’s.

The research from Perspectus Global found as many as two thirds of Britons of all ages agree many of the old classics are back in fashion. Other retro classics which made the poll were old school cola bottles (59 per cent) and Werther’s Originals (59 per cent). Also chosen by Brits in need of a sugar rush were Skittles (58 per cent), Tangfastics (57 per cent),  Liquorice Allsorts (57 per cent) and the classic Rhubarb and Custard (56 per cent). Childhood favourites like Jelly Tots (56 per cent), Love Hearts (54 per cent) and Pear Drops (53 per cent) are also enjoyed by Brits with a sweet tooth.

Jelly babies Pic: David Pimborough/AdobeJelly babies Pic: David Pimborough/Adobe
Jelly babies Pic: David Pimborough/Adobe

So, it’s no surprise that a third of the 2,000 Britons polled admit they love eating sweets as it transports them back to their childhood. In fact, 27 per cent are thrilled that sweets from when they were young are now back in the shops. Jonathan Horsley of Perspectus Global, which conducted the research said: “Sweets are one of life’s simple pleasures. You can see how they provoke feelings of nostalgia, as childhood classics like Jelly Babies, Fruit Pastilles, Pear Drops and Dolly Mix made the list of best loved sweets.”

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The research also reveals that on average, Brits chew on an average of 19 sweets a week, with 78 percent saying there’s something magical about enjoying the same sweets you ate as a child. Seventy seven per cent admit they would choose a bag of their favourite sweets over pudding every time, while 70 per cent prefer sweets to chocolate.

The 'birth' of Jelly Babies

Invented 160 years ago in 1864, confectionery historians believe the earliest Jelly Baby was the work of an Austrian confectioner who worked for Fryers of Lancashire, based in Nelson. It is thought he was asked to make a mould for Jelly Bears, but the resulting sweets looked more like newborn infants and were subsequently given their name. 

They were relaunched as “Peace Babies” after the First World War by Bassett’s Sweets in Sheffield, the brand which continues to make them to this day.

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