We’ve used AI to imagine the nation’s favourite confectionery brands as ancient Gods. See if your favourite is amongst the pantheon.

A brief history of the modern Confectionery Industry

The love story between humans and sweetness traces back to ancient times, well before the emergence of the contemporary confectionery industry.

The seeds of were sown by tribes such as the Mayans and the Aztecs who revered cacao, considering it a divine gift.

By the Middle Ages, sugar was a rare commodity, reserved for the affluent and frequently used as medicine. As global trade routes expanded, sugar became more accessible, slowly finding its place in ordinary people’s meals.

The 17th century represented a significant milestone in Britain’s sweet history as tea and coffee, both naturally bitter beverages, gained popularity. Their widespread consumption led to a surge in sugar used to temper their bitterness, igniting the British love affair with sweets.

However, it was in the 19th century when the seeds planted by ancient tribes truly bore fruit. The first chocolate factories opened in the UK, marking a pivotal moment in the development of the confectionery industry. It was then that sweets like lollipops began to be mass-produced, becoming an integral part of everyday life and paving the way for the flourishing global confectionery industry we see today.

The UK’s Favourite Sweet Brands in the 20th Century

While the rising affluence of the 20th century meant that people had more disposable income to spend on treats, the development of new technologies, such as the mass production of chocolate, made it possible to produce sweets more cheaply.

The rise of advertising helped to create a demand for sweets and to make them seem more desirable.

The World’s Top Confectionery Brands by Market Share

CompanyMarket ShareBrandsHeadquartersFounded
Mondelez International40%Cadbury Dairy Milk, Oreo, Toblerone, Milka, LU, Nabisco, Tang, Halls, Sour Patch Kids, Trident, Dairy MilkDeerfield, Illinois, USA1923
Mars25%Mars Bar, Snickers, Twix, M&M’s, Milky Way, Skittles, Celebrations, Starburst, Galaxy, Maltesers, BountyMcLean, Virginia, USA1911
Nestlé15%Kit Kat, Smarties, Aero, Lion, Quality Street, After Eight, KitKat Chunky, Aero Bubbles, Rolo, Aero Peppermint, Fruit PastillesVevey, Switzerland1866
Ferrero10%Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Kinder Surprise, Kinder Bueno, Tic Tac, Raffaello, Mon Chéri, Ferrero KüsschenAlba, Italy1946
Lindt & Sprüngli5%Lindt Chocolate, Lindor Truffles, Excellence, Excellence Intense, Lindor Assortment, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Russell Stover CandiesZurich, Switzerland1845


  • The 2022 Global Confectionery Market Report by Mordor Intelligence
  • The 2022 UK Confectionery Market Report by GlobalData
  • The 2022 Confectionery Industry Report by IBISWorld

The Pantheon of ChocoDeities

Dairy Milk


Kit Kat