Quality Street boxes really do contain fewer of our favourite chocolates, Which? study finds

‘It’s not your family’s fault that your favourite disappears so quickly,’ consumer group says

Adam Forrest
Saturday 08 December 2018 13:58 GMT
The Purple One was found to be most popular, yet only five on average are to be found in every tub
The Purple One was found to be most popular, yet only five on average are to be found in every tub (Getty)

Chocolate manufacturers put fewer of their most popular sweets inside Christmas selection boxes, according to research by consumer group Which?

The new study shows customers are not being paranoid about favourites running out too soon – popular assortments like Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations really do contain fewer of our preferred choices.

Which? asked more than 1,000 of its members to choose their favourite Quality Street, Roses, Heroes and Celebrations chocolates before working out their average distribution.

Quality Street fans choose the Purple One as their favourite, closely followed by the Green Triangle.

The “ideal” number of these sweets – based on their popularity – was deemed to be 11 and 10 respectively. Yet there are only five Purple Ones and six Green Triangles in an average 720g tub.

Nestlé, maker of Quality Street, explained that it selected its sweets to provide an even mixture of three broad categories: chocolates, fruit cremes and toffee/fudge.

It explains why the Strawberry Delights – despite being unpopular – are so plentiful. They are one of only two fruit creme types in the box, so are used to fill up the category. Although the ideal number of Strawberry Delights was found to be five, there are 10 in an average box.

Harry Rose, editor of Which? magazine, said: “Our analysis shows that it’s not your family’s fault that your favourite disappears so quickly – there really are too few Purple Ones to meet demand.”

A spokesperson for Nestlé said the company had decided to increase the number of favourites in this year’s Quality Street assortment.

“Part of the fun of Christmas is the family discussion about each of our favourites and who gets the last sweet.”

The Which? analysis also found that Wispas and Twirls were the most popular chocolates in a box of Heroes, but were also among the least abundant, with only 9 and 6 in an average tub.

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The Hazelnut in Caramel was by far the most popular kind of sweet in a box of Roses. Yet there are only five in an average selection.

Cadbury’s, manufacturer of both Roses and Heroes, told Which? its team “handpick” the selection of sweets and aims to create tubs “that provide a variety that suits all tastes”.

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