hf Chocolates supply fine quality chocolate and confectionery to the retail trade and others who wish to buy wholesale quantities. You can order from our Easter & Valentine's Day 2017 and 2016-17 All Year range on this website. Our 2017 Easter & Valentine's Day Brochure is now available for download.

If you are a logged in user, you can download PDF versions of all our brochures from our Brochures page, including our 2016 Christmas Brochure and 2016-17 Main Brochure, both with new prices effective from 22 August as well as our 2017 Easter & Valentine's Day Brochure. Our website is up to date with our full range of seasonal and all year products which can be ordered online, over the phone or by email.

If you would like copies of our brochures, please contact us and we will be happy to post them to you and email you a spreadsheet of the new prices.

Our Promise

With our impressive range of wholesale sweets & chocolates we promise that you will find the great tasting and beautifully presented products that will make your confectionery business successful.

Value & Quality

We're committed to giving you great prices for traditional and contemporary flavours of wholesale sweets, high end chocolate supplies, novelty confectionery, bespoke packaging and many other fabulous confectionery products.

Suppliers of top quality confectionery: Wholesale sweets & chocolates for every business

The Range

As one of the UK's specialist confectionery suppliers, our range of wholesale sweets and chocolates is hard to rival. We are renowned for sourcing our products from exceptional suppliers, some quite large, but many lesser known, guaranteeing you more choice at better prices so you can achieve top sales from your sweets

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Our wholesale sweets and chocolates are supplied from confectioners and manufacturers across the globe. You can select from some of the finest products of Italy, France, Spain, the USA, Holland, Belgium and Germany. We also offer chocolate products from some superb British suppliers, whose high quality standards and understanding of local markets make these chocolates particularly appealing to British consumers.

We know that confectionery sales depend on a host of factors. By regularly enhancing our range of chocolates and sweets, we make sure that you have access to something a little different and a little special to tempt your customers to buy from you. However, we are equally committed to sustaining our supply of the old favourites so you can find a perfect balance between new ideas and tried and tested products when you work with us.

Delivering Safely

When you order from hf chocolates we don't want you to have to worry about the condition in which your wholesale sweets or chocolates will arrive. We make great efforts to reduce the risk of damage when your order is in transit, including minimal handling, dispatch text alerts and specific delivery slots.

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We are very experienced in dealing with the fragile nature of confectionery products. From wholesale sweets, luxury chocolates and chocolate novelties, your order is carefully handled by our trained staff. We have installed the latest climate control technology to ensure that our products are stored at the perfect temperature recommended by the industry (16-18 degrees Celsius). Goods that need even lower temperatures like nougat are kept in a specially designated cool area.

Specialist Packing Area

In addition to storing products in optimum conditions, our packing area has the capacity to deal with your bespoke packaging requirements. We can design bespoke labels or assemble pre-designed products for you with a flair and efficiency that will make our products look attractive and desirable when they sit on your shelves.

You can have your own logo or branding printed on the packaging of selected lines of your confectionery products from hf Chocolates and we are able to offer this service for both small and large orders.

Our Experience

When you buy wholesale sweets from us you aren't just buying confectionery. We build personal relationships with all our clients and we offer you the benefit of our years of experience in the trade. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will advise you on everything from best display practice to bespoke packaging.

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You need to spend your time and energy focused on selling your confectionery and at hf Chocolates we work hard to help you succeed. We have a highly experienced buying team dedicated to finding the special products at competitive prices that give us our loyal customer base.

Wholesale sweets, luxury chocolates and other confectionery products have been our "bread and butter" for decades and it's this long tradition that enables us to meet our clients' needs so effectively.

Our experience in sourcing and supplying confectionery harks back to 1957 when Hans Flatauer (the "hf" in hf Chocolates) established this company to import and distribute the traditional German chocolate novelties he loved so well to the UK market.

September 2016

A Christmas Story

We delve into the history of that Christmas classic, the candy cane, to uncover the legend of its distinctive crooked shape.

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The candy cane is a popular festive motif that springs up in all kinds of Christmas decoration as well as on the counters in sweet shops. One lick of these tasty treats can whisk you back down memory lane, to trading brightly-coloured candy canes with your friends in the playground on the last day of school. Like a sweet-loving Spirit of Christmas Past, let me whisk you even further back to the day that candy canes were invented.

Cologne Cathedral’s Candy Canes

Legend has it that in 1670 the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral was despairing of the noisy children in the church crèche on Christmas Eve. He asked a local confectioner to make a batch of sweet sticks for them to suck to keep them quiet. In order to justify supplying the children with treats, he asked the sweet maker to add a crook (known as the warble) at the top of each straight stick (known as the strabe), to help the little ones remember the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus after his birth. They were white in colour to signify the innocent and sinless infant Christ.

It is said that from Germany these crooked candy sticks spread around Europe, traditionally being handed out during Nativity plays. Although this is a nice story, the fact that the earliest records of candy canes come from over 200 years later suggests that it might not be 100% true....

Delicious Developments

The classic red stripes were added to the candy cane around 1900, as was the distinctive flavour of peppermint or wintergreen.

In 1919, Bob McCormack, a confectioner from Albany, Georgia, started making candy canes for local children. To begin with the canes had to be manually bent as they came off the assembly line, making the process delicate and time-consuming. McCormack's brother-in-law, Gregory Harding Keller, came up with an ingenious solution for this: designing a machine that twisted and shaped the candy while it was still soft and cut it into lengths.

We stock a number of candy cane options to suit your customers’ needs. Take a look at Sweet Boutique’s extra large cane which comes finished with a satin ribbon bow and a tag. For a smaller size, take a look at these mini candy canes which come in six fruit flavours.

August 2015

Marshmallows: Then and Now

You probably know marshmallows as squidgy, sugary little confections, but they weren’t always this way. The original marshmallow was a very different kind of substance.

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Mention ‘marshmallows’ to the modern-day consumer and it’s likely they’ll immediately think of the white, pillow-soft confection so favoured for toasting over a campfire. Sweet, airy, and endlessly versatile, the marshmallow is a familiar sight in modern day confectionery. It can be coated in chocolate, cut into shapes, stuck on a stick, or enhanced with all sorts of flavours and colours. But the marshmallow hasn’t always been the confection we know today. In fact, a look back into the history of this treat reveals a fascinating story.

A Short History of the Marshmallow

First, what’s in a name? The term ‘marshmallow’ derives from the plant of the same name, scientifically known as Althaea officinalis. The species, easily identifiable by its velvety white flowers, is native to Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa.

The leaves, roots, and flowers of Althaea officinalis have long been used in traditional herbal medicine. However, the use of the marshmallow plant to make sweets dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians extracted the sap from the plant and mixed it with nuts and honey to make a deliciously sweet confection. A mixture of marshmallow root and honey was also used by the Egyptians as a remedy for sore throats.

Though the Egyptians were the first to make marshmallow sweets, it was 19th-century French confectioners who brought the confection closer to the form we know today. The French pioneered a method of whipping up the marshmallow sap and sweetening it to make a treat that most of us would recognise.

However, this method of sap extraction was labour-intensive and expensive, and it wasn’t long before confectioners turned to whipped egg whites or gelatine to make the chewy base. This process, plus the extrusion method developed in 1954, made marshmallow production much easier and cheaper. Though the modern confection did not, in fact, contain any extract from its namesake plant, the name stuck.

Modern-Day Favourites

There’s no doubt the marshmallow has come a long way since the ancient Egyptian era, though it’s still enjoyed every bit as much. Tap into the appeal of this classic sweet with a few selections from our extensive catalogue. From Barú’s luscious chocolate-covered sea salt caramel marshmallow bar to Sweet Boutique’s playful pastel hearts and flowers, we’ve got plenty to help you give your customers the sweet fix they so desire..

August 2016

Proper Old Fashioned Sweets: The World of Charles Butler

Why mess with perfection? Charles Butler continues its tradition of honest, old-fashioned sweets handmade in Sheffield since 1848.

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As confectionery wholesalers with years of experience in the business, we’ve seen sweet trends come and go. Splashy products and fashionable flavours go in and out of style in the blink of an eye, making it difficult at times for vendors to keep up. On the flip side, however, there are some classic favourites that have real staying power. These trusty standbys, many of which became popular in decades gone by, are the kinds of sweets that will never go out of favour. No one’s products exemplify this better than Charles Butler’s sweets. He is a manufacturer who brings classic charm and old-world whimsy to traditional sweets.

Charles Butler: Where It All Began

In 1837, Charles Butler was a young man working as an apprentice to a local manufacturer of boiled sweets in his native Sheffield. There, he mastered the art of handcrafting sweets over eleven years. In 1848, he set out on his own, establishing himself as ‘Charles Butler, master confectioner and mint rock manufacturer’. Over the next few decades, Butler set himself apart with his mint rock, barley sugars, and chocolate limes, all handcrafted with the finest ingredients.

Today, Charles Butler sweets are still made by hand in Sheffield, and Butler’s spirit lives on in the products and their branding. Each package of Charles Butler sweets proudly displays the ‘proper old-fashioned’ slogan, while the sweets themselves are a delightful and authentic throwback to the era of the classic sweet shop.

The voice of Charles himself is still strong on the manufacturer’s website, where visitors are welcomed by a photo of the old-fashioned dandy and an “explanation of how I came to be a world famous maker and purveyor of such uncommonly good viands’. There’s even a ‘Dictionary of Charlesism’, where you can learn some of Butler’s choice words such as ‘afternoonified’, ‘gigglemug’, and ‘sauce box’.

Classic Favourites

Whimsicality aside, Charles Butler confections do live up to the hype. While other manufacturers are racing to find the next big thing, this humble sweets company has patiently perfected confections whose popularity has stood the test of time. Young and old alike will love the brightly-striped liquorice and blackcurrant sweets, the refreshing barley sugars, and jam-filled fruit drops. For more mature audiences, the sweets are a nostalgic look back into a simpler time, while for the young they’re just plain good!

August 2016

Healthy Sweets for an Active Lifestyle

A healthy sweet – is it an oxymoron or the real thing? Frésh active mints prove that you can get your vitamins and enjoy them, too.

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At hf Chocolates, we’re working to change that perception. Over our many years in the confectionery business, we’ve carefully selected a whole range of products that deliver a sublime taste sensation without the guilt or the sugar hangover. That’s why we’re thrilled to welcome frésh active mints to our catalogue. If you’re a vendor looking to attract health-conscious consumers with on-the-go lifestyles, this is one product you should always have in stock.

Naturally Fresh

Owned by German mint-making giant Powermints, frésh active mint lozenges are a flavour-packed experience in a small, portable tin. They are sugar-free, aspartame-free, and flavoured with 100% essential oils. Not only do these bite-sized delights freshen your breath, they also protect your teeth with xylitol. Additionally, each flavour of frésh active mints also adds a powerful kick of vitamins and antioxidants.

Fun Flavours

Frésh active mints are available in four different flavours, each of which is certain to appeal to health-conscious consumers who ask a lot of their sweets as they have been created to actively contribute to well-being. Each flavour is selective for their positive health benefits.

Açai berry – Berries are known as nutritional powerhouses, and açai berries are some of the healthiest ones out there. Native to the Amazon rainforest, this deep purplish-red berry is reputed to support the body’s cells as it may boost the immune system and reduce irritation.

Aronia berry – Another berry superstar, the aronia has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit. (Antioxidants protect the body against the damaging effects of oxidation and also combat free radicals in the bloodstream). The aronia berry may also promote urinary tract health, improve circulation, and protect the eyes because of the carotene content.

Eucalyptus honey – This powerful pairing makes for a lozenge that is as nutritious as it is refreshing. Eucalyptus oil fights inflammation, relieves congestion, and also has antibacterial properties. Honey is another nutritive superstar, capable of soothing throat irritation and fighting bacteria.

Acerola cherry – Also known as Barbados cherries or West Indian cherries, this bright red fruit contains a high level of vitamin C which helps strengthen the immune system and cell vitality. What’s more, acerola cherries have a tart flavour that lends itself well to a bite-sized sweet.

Intrigued by the potential of sweets that are both delicious and nutritious? Get in touch with a member of our team and ask about frésh active mints and other health-conscious products.

July 2016

Popcorn Goes Gourmet

Popcorn isn’t just for the movies anymore. One of our newest manufacturers, Joe & Seph’s is taking the humble popped kernel and transforming it into an irresistible sweet treat.

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For many people, popcorn is a buttery treat to snack on at the movies. But one of the newest additions to our product catalogue is pushing the envelope. If you’re ready to see popcorn in a whole new light, check out our newest offerings from Joe & Seph’s.

About the Brand

Joe & Seph’s began when the founder, Joe, visited the USA and became enchanted with flavoured popcorn, often bringing back bags of it as gifts for his friends in the UK. Noting that there was nothing similar to these popcorn products at home, Joe began to think about making his own – but even better. He began by experimenting with air-popped corn (rather than oil-popped) smothered in buttery caramel. He struck gold, and by 2010 Joe & Seph’s was born.

Today, the company makes over 40 flavours, from classic caramel to Camembert cheese, and from toffee to Thai peanut satay. Recently, the brand has even added Marmite popcorn to its flavour ranks!

Though it’s only been operating for a handful of years, Joe & Seph’s has already racked up quite an impressive list of awards. In fact, a whopping 22 of their popcorn products have won Great Taste Awards. The brand has also won a gold award from The Grocer, as well as several other accolades.

Philosophy

Joe & Seph’s popcorn is a step apart from the rest. First off, all of the company’s products are made by hand with all-natural ingredients by a small team of pastry chefs right here in the UK. Second, Joe & Seph’s light air-popped kernels aren’t weighed down by oil-popping methods, cutting fat while also letting the popcorn shine on its own. Last, Joe & Seph’s uses a unique ‘flavour sequencing process’ to make different flavours develop on your palate the longer you’re crunching and munching. And with such interesting flavours as orange marmalade and margarita, there’s a lot to entertain your palate here!

In recent years Joe & Seph’s has added a line of caramel and chocolate sauces to its offerings, all of which are delicious drizzled over ice cream. (Although if you decide to just go at it with a spoon, we won’t tell.)

If these sound like the types of products your customers would go wild over, get in touch with us to find out how you can stock Joe & Seph’s.

July 2016

Crunchy, Airy Honeycomb Candy

Crispy, crunchy honeycomb is raised to an art form with one of our newest brands. Check out the story behind this unusual sweet!

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For vendors and shop owners, it pays to maintain a wide variety of tastes and textures on the shelves to keep customers interested. From hard sweets you can suck on for hours, to chewy jellies and liquorice that sticks to your teeth, confectionery is a world full of different textures to discover. But when was the last time you had a sweet with a big, hearty crunch?

Honeycomb, a caramel-like sweet speckled with tiny air holes, lends a satisfying crackle with each and every bite. One of our newest brands, Mighty Fine, has taken this unusual sweet and elevated it to an art form.

A Sweet Like No Other

Truly an unusual confection, honeycomb is most closely related to caramel and toffee. Like those classic favourites, honeycomb consists mainly of cooked sugar, sometimes with the addition of honey or corn syrup. When the sugar reaches the perfect deep amber shade, the key ingredient is added. The introduction of baking soda or a similar leavening agent to the boiling sugar makes the mixture froth and bubble furiously, creating countless tiny airy pockets. As the concoction cools, those air pockets harden to form an intricate structure not unlike the inside of a beehive in appearance – hence the name.

Honeycomb is sweet and caramel-like in flavour, but is crunchy and crackly rather than stretchy and sticky. All those air pockets make for a light, delicate confection that nevertheless emits quite a loud crunch as you bite into it.

Honeycomb Candy, All Grown Up

Many Brits are somewhat familiar with honeycomb through the Crunchie bar, a milk chocolate-covered toffee bar that’s a common sight at the newsagent. Mighty Fine Honeycomb takes it several steps further, elevating this sweetly crunchy candy to an art form. Mighty Fine’s deep golden, airy confections are generously coated with a thick layer of 65% dark Peruvian chocolate. Fruity dark chocolate plus rich toffee notes equal pure perfection.

What’s more, Mighty Fine is honeycomb with a mission. A percentage of every sale goes to the Friends of the Honey Bee Campaign, a national initiative organised by the British Beekeepers Association. The campaign aims to provide a more stable future for Britain’s honey bees by planting more pollen-rich environments. A stronger bee population is better for farmers and consumers alike, and not just those who are fond of honey!

If you’re interested in learning more about Mighty Fine’s products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team. We’re excited to welcome this fantastic brand to our catalogue, and we hope you’ll agree.

February 2016

Sweets on a Stick: The Invention of the Lollipop

When it comes to confections, none can beat the convenience of the lollipop. But how did this popular sweet come to be mounted on a stick.

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Whether spiral-shaped, striped, or bubble-gum flavoured, the lollipop is one of the great success stories of modern confectionery. But the history behind lollipops goes further back than you might think.

Origins

The real innovation in the case of the lollipop is the stick, which makes the sweet easier to eat. This method of eating has most likely been around for thousands of years. Archaeologists believe that ancient Egyptians, Arabs and Chinese made treats containing fruit and nuts, which they candied in honey and speared on sticks for ease of consumption.

Thousands of years later, the increasing availability of sugar made soft boiled sweets popular in 18th century England. Vendors inserted sticks into these sweets to make them easier to eat, too. It is believed these same vendors coined the term “lollipop”, which derived from Northern English slang for “tongue” (lolly) and “slap” (pop). Other informal terms include “sucker” and “lolly”.

George Smith and the Modern Lollipop

When it comes to the invention of the hard sweet we know today as the lollipop, most sources point to George Smith, owner of the Bradley Smith confectionery company. Smith took credit for inventing the modern sweet in 1908, which he reportedly named after a popular racing horse, Lolly Pop. Smith was granted a trademark on “Lolly Pop”, despite the fact that the spelling we often see today, “lollipop”, was first recorded by an English lexicographer in 1796.

Lollipops Today

Today, lollipops are one of the most popular and best-selling sweets on the market. They are available in different shapes, sizes, colours, and flavours. We stock a wide variety of these sweets on a stick, from Original Gourmet’s towering counter display of American style gourmet lollipops to YumEarth’s delicious organic lollipops with natural ingredients. Our newest collection features beautiful handmade, almost translucent lollies. For more information on our range of these classic favourites, get in touch with one of our representatives, who will be happy to assist you.

April 2016

Why Chocolate isn't a Sweet

How many times have you or someone you know called chocolate a ‘sweet’? When it comes to categories, purveyors of wholesale sweets and chocolates are adamant about the difference!

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When it comes to terminology in the confectionery world, the debates can get fierce. One of the most common disagreements involves how to categorise chocolate. While many a layperson may include chocolate in the same group as sweets, no professional manufacturer or supplier of wholesale sweets and chocolates would ever make this error! At hf chocolates, we see an essential difference between these two categories.

Drawing a Line

The boundary between chocolate and sweets is fairly clear – at least in theory. Chocolate contains ingredients derived from the cacao tree, and sweets quite simply do not. A lollipop is a sweet; a truffle is not (even if it may be ‘sweet’ in flavour).

Things get a little more complicated when we consider the newer generation of chocolate-like products. These products – such as the coating on bars you may see for sale in the checkout aisle of the supermarket – are made mostly from vegetable oils and sugar, with a little bit of cocoa powder mixed in for that ‘chocolate’ flavour. Are these products ‘chocolate’? Well…not really. They contain mostly boiled sugar (the primary ingredient in any sweet), so we would not consider them to be true chocolate.

Chocolate: A Luxury Good

True chocolate contains both cocoa liquor (made from ground cacao nibs) and cocoa butter, that luscious ingredient that gives chocolate its velvety melt-in-your-mouth texture. Chocolate has always commanded a premium price, given the labour required to convert cacao beans into finished chocolate. Therefore, chocolate is something of a luxury good, and the more pure cocoa it contains, the more its price is likely to rise. Sweets, on the other hand, are made mostly from sugar, a commodity that has become extremely affordable over the centuries.

It’s important to remember, too, that chocolate production and consumption are governed by a completely different set of rules than sweets. In chocolate making, manufacturers must consider differences in bean quality, origin, and a complex system of flavour profiles. When it comes to sweets like gumdrops and jelly beans, there’s just no comparison!

Plenty of Everything

Whether it’s chocolate or wholesale sweets you’re looking for, we can supply everything your customers require. We always recommend keeping some higher-quality chocolate bars in stock (such as Dolfin, Willie’s Cacao, and Meybona) for the cocoa purist. However, don’t forget a touch of the whimsical with our array of colourful fruit-flavoured sweets. Despite the divide between them, chocolate and sweets will get along well in your inventory.

April 2016

The Elegant Dragée

The crunchy, colourful morsels known as dragées always make an elegant addition to any dessert course. With their shiny coating and delicious flavours, these bite-size delights are sure to please.

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With a name like dragée, you know it simply has to be good. A popular choice for candy dishes or decorative bowls of sweets, the bite-size dragée is as delicious as it is attractive.

What is a Dragée?

The term ‘dragée’ refers to a sweet – perhaps consisting of a nut or dried fruit – coated with a hard sugar icing. Jordan almonds, a popular and deeply symbolic wedding favour in Italy and Greece, are a prime example.

Dragées are thought to have originated as honey-covered almonds in ancient Rome. But it was only after sugar became widely available during the 15th century that the sweet began to develop as we know it today. During the Middle Ages, ‘dragée’ referred to all sugar-coated fruits, nuts, and even bits of ginger and coriander mixed into a general Renaissance mélange called ‘épices de chambre’.

Dragées also have something of a medicinal history. During the 19th century, medicated sweets or sugar-coated pills were commonly used to disguise bitter-tasting medications. As Mary Poppins said, a spoonful of sugar truly does help the medicine go down.

Our Favourites

Today, nut dragées are among the most popular forms of this delicious treat. As you bite into the confection, the sugar coating cracks gently under your teeth, revealing the rich, meaty nut beneath it. Often dyed in a rainbow of colours, dragées make a beautiful presentation in a glass bowl or dish.

Of course, nut dragées aren’t the only type of this sweet. Chocolate dragées have also proven popular. In our inventory of wholesale sweets, you’ll find shiny chocolate-covered almonds, brazils, coffee beans, dried cherries, ginger, and much more.

Ideal for a quick sweets fix, a gift, or simply delicious decoration, dragées prove to be a versatile and elegant sweet. If you’d like advice on stocking these or any other wholesale sweets, don’t hesitate to get in touch with member of our service team.

February 2016

The Chemistry of Peppermint

From after-dinner mints to shampoo, tea to toothpaste, peppermint is the superstar of the herb garden. But what’s behind its broad appeal?

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Is there anything more refreshing than a peppermint sweet after supper? Or a cup of peppermint tea in the evening? What about a generous bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream? From confectionery to cosmetics, the humble Mentha piperita is everywhere. But why is the world so taken with peppermint?

A Multipurpose Plant

A hybrid between spearmint and water mint, peppermint is a fast-growing plant common in many English gardens. The leaves and flowering tops can be used for a variety of products. Tea, ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste have all benefited from the addition of peppermint, with its clean smell and taste. It is also a common ingredient in skin care products, soaps, and shampoos.

Peppermint’s Cool Factor

If you’ve ever noticed the cool rush that comes from an after-dinner mint or your favourite brand of chewing gum, you’ve experienced menthol at work. Menthol is an organic compound found in many types of mint. It activates cold-sensitive receptors on your skin and mucosal tissues, which is why you feel a cooling sensation after applying peppermint lip balm or sucking on a peppermint sweet.

A Confectionery Mainstay

Peppermint’s cooling sensation has made it popular in palate cleansing sweets and sorbets, as well as in products like chewing gum and toothpaste, which claim to leave your mouth refreshed.

But peppermint is also just plain tasty. It pairs especially well with chocolate, the coolness of one cutting through the warm richness of the other. When it comes to chocolate-peppermint combinations, we love Divine’s mint crisp chocolate bar, which pairs smooth 70% dark chocolates with crunchy mint pieces and peppermint oil. If drinking chocolate is more your style, try Beck’s Before Midnight mint blend, a sumptuous treat before bed.

Of course, if you’re a peppermint purist, we’ve got you covered. Leone peppermint pastilles are just the thing for after dinner – or any time!

January 2016

Salty and Sweet: The Classic Pairing

From salted caramels to chocolate-dipped pretzels, the confectionery world has long had a craving for salty-sweet combinations. But what’s behind this pairing’s perennial allure?

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One of the most popular trends in the sweets world isn’t sweet at all: it’s salty. For nearly ten years, this particular trend has shaken up the industry, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

The Appeal of Salty and Sweet

First, what is it about this unlikely pairing that makes our mouths water? It turns out there’s a scientific explanation for our craving.

Humans have five primary tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami – each of which has evolved to serve a function. The taste of something sweet indicates the presence of carbohydrates we need to fuel our bodies. Salty tastes indicate the presence of sodium, an essential nutrient. Salt, however, also happens to be a flavour enhancer – which explains why your table probably has a salt shaker on it! When you mix salt and sugar, the former enhances the latter, producing an effect called flavour layering. Complex and satisfying, the salty-sweet blend delivers two delicious, essential things – carbohydrates and sodium – in one fantastic bite.

Origins

The salt and sweet fad is not a new one, but it is enduring. The wildly popular sea-salt caramel flavour, which can be found in everything from ice cream to coffee – probably came from the French. In Brittany, heavily salted caramels are a local specialty. The popularity of caramel and sea salt thrived in the late 1990s among food professionals, but only went mainstream in the 2000s. Today, sea salt caramels are one of the most beloved treats in the sweet and salty trend.br/>

Our Favourites

Among our stock, you’ll find plenty to satisfy your customers’ cravings for salty and sweet confections. A number of our manufacturers produce excellent sea salt caramels, including Prestat, Limar, and Lessiter. If it’s salted chocolate bars you’re after, the choice is overwhelming. We love the milk chocolate and sea flakes bar from Willie’s Cacao, as well as the interesting lime and salt bar offered by Montezuma’s. If you’re looking to join the salty-sweet revolution, get in touch to discuss how we best assist you.

December 2015

Pâte de Fruits: Confectionery Jewels

With their vivid colours, sparkling sugar crystals, and range of shapes, pâtes de fruits are an eye-catching addition to any wholesale sweet range.

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Colourful, elegant pâtes de fruit are like your childhood jelly sweets all grown up. Covered with shimmering sugar crystals and available in flavours like quince, apricot, and plum, this French fruit jelly is an exquisite jewel of a confection, as good to look at as it is to eat!

Origins

Pȃtes de fruits are sweet-and-tart morsels of concentrated fruit flavour. Translated literally from the French as “fruit paste,” these confections are a traditional French treat, often found in upscale patisseries. The origins of the sweet are murky, but a popular legend holds that pâtes de fruits were invented by accident. According to the legend, a mother was once cooking jam on the hob, when she was called away to tend to her children, thus forgetting about the boiling pot. When she returned to the jam, she found it had boiled down to a congealed substance. Not to be deterred, this enterprising mother simply rolled pieces of the overcooked jam in sugar and fed them to her children as sweets.

Production

Pâtes de fruits consist of three key ingredients: fruit, sugar, and pectin. Orchard fruits like quince, apricot, and plums are traditional, but apples, strawberries, raspberries, and citrus fruits can also be used. Pectin, a thickening agent, occurs naturally in the cell walls of most fruits, but can also be found in powdered form to aid the setting of jams, jellies, and sweets. To make pâtes de fruits, the mixture of fruit, sugar, and pectin is boiled together until it reaches 120C degrees. At that point, the hot mixture is poured onto a greased sheet pan. Once cool, it can be cut into square bite-sized pieces, which are then coated in sanding sugar. The fruit mixture can also be poured into moulds to produce fun shapes. In our wholesale sweet range we carry a beautiful selection of pâtes de fruits, which are shaped like strawberries, quinces, and other fruits (and flavoured correspondingly) Elegant and shimmering, these fruity bites make a lovely addition to any display

December 2015

Prepare your Stock for Valentine's Day

In the dark winter days of the post-Christmas retail slump, there is always a glimmer of light for the wholesale confectionery industry on the horizon as Valentine’s Day rolls around.

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In 2015, Britons spent no less than £40.2m on Valentine’s cards alone. Tesco sold no fewer than one million bouquets of flowers for the event. Confectionery retailers would be foolish indeed to miss out on the golden goose that Valentine’s Day offers.

We have been adding some tempting treats for the season to our Wholesale Confectionery Selection so that those who are sensible enough to make their plans as early as the New Year have some irresistible products with which to woo the lovers of the United Kingdom.

Novelties

For the couples who like to exchange cute or eccentric tokens of love at Valentine’s Day you might want to consider stocking some of the appealing products from Sweet Boutique, whose hearts made of marshmallows or jelly give shelving or table displays a unique and tempting charm of their own.

Luxuries

We have also put together a range of wholesale confectionery that appeals to a more serious-minded market, and luxury retailers usually make a beeline for the Ko-Koa Valentine’s Day products. From boxes full of English truffles, Marc de Champagne truffles and pralines to Gianduja hearts, you can offer the sophisticated shopper a perfect gift to express the quality of his or her love.

Something New

Some business analysts suggest that Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for consumers to experiment. So if you want to experiment with exposing your customers to something a little different with a Valentine theme, then we recommend the Limar red marbled praline flower or the Montezuma lime and vanilla chocolate heart gift box.

Retailers must plan well in advance, but don’t expect your customers to imitate your behaviour. In 2014 45% of shoppers bought their gifts on the day or the day before. And in 2013 the second busiest shopping day of the year was 13 February.

So, we strongly encourage you to make sure your wholesale confectionery order for Valentine’s Day is sufficient to cater to these last minute shoppers.

December 2015

Sugar Free Wholesale Sweets & Chocolates: Our Recommendations

Sugar does not have to be a dirty word. In light of public health campaigns against this sweetness loved by us all, we offer some alternatives for your shelves this year.

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As suppliers of wholesale sweets we often find ourselves being asked if the war being waged on sugar has a negative impact on our sales and the public’s perception of the confectionery industry.

Sugar Tastes Good

In reality, sweet foods can play a positive role in our wellbeing. Sugar is an essential chemical to fuel our muscles and chocolate has been proved to have many physical and mental benefits.

The problem of sugar lies in its excessive consumption, which causes the body to have to draw on other nutrients in our system to process the added sugar that we have consumed. This creates knock-on problems for general health.

We have found several suppliers who have found successful ways for retailers to order wholesale sweets and chocolates that will offer their consumers some ways to ‘have their cake and eat it too’.

Stevia and Malitol

Two Belgian companies whom we stock, Klingele Chocolade and Cavalier, have been pioneering chocolate products that both taste great and contain no added sugars. Using the natural plant based Stevia and plant based Malitol, they have both produced superb tasting Belgian chocolates in a range of sophisticated flavours.

Both the Stevia and Malitol has a sufficient intensity which is combined with the right texture and taste to produce a chocolate that is rich in fibre, magnesium and zinc. Not only are the negative effects of glucose, granulated sugar and fructose sidestepped, but the consumer of their bars is actually making a positive contribution to his or her health.

A Range of Sugar Free Wholesale Sweets

It’s not just chocolate that can be produced without added sugar. We have been promoting some amazing liquorice from Amarelli.

The beauty of this confection is that there is no need to add anything to it to create a taste of sweetness. The root grows with a high content of glycyrrhizin, which is considered to be 30-50 times sweeter than sugar. Renowned for its medicinal properties, liquorice is also a way to get that sweet buzz on your taste buds not only without compromising your health, but indeed, in some cases, even improving it.

Stocking Healthy Shelves

If 2016, like the last few years, sees another skirmish against industries related to sugar, you might consider including some of these somewhat healthier alternatives in your wholesale sweets and chocolate orders.

August 2015

Weddings

If you need advice on which wholesale sweets and chocolates to stock for weddings then you should read this post. We have many products and ideas that you can market to the industry.

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There are many occasions that retailers of confectionery can harness as perfect opportunities to sell their products. Weddings are a prime example, and we have several ranges of wholesale sweets that we recommend to retailers to market to those organising weddings.

Most of the weddings that you supply will require a fairly standard repertoire of sweets and chocolates so it's not too difficult to put in an order of wholesale sweets that you can have in stock for these events.

Wedding favours frequently include loose and small boxes of chocolates as well as other confectionery. Some obvious products would be the heart-shaped chocolates that are wrapped in coloured foil. We have a variety of colours you can choose from and you can even commission individual designs for the foil wrapping to make the favours personalised for the couple. We offer this service for lower volume orders too so that it is a feasible proposition for individual weddings.

Sugared almonds or sugar-coated chocolates in the shape of pebbles make lovely arrangements when piled up in glass bowls to decorate place settings or just to scatter over the Reception tables.

Over the years we have often been asked to supply wholesale sweets to retailers who have been hired to help out with themed weddings. Recently a caterer came to us to source chocolate novelties in the shape of a cow for a customer's cow-themed wedding.

Less bizarre requests have included supplying chocolate casino chips and dice for wedding receptions where gambling tables were set up to entertain the guests.

Whether you are a wedding planner, caterer or local retailer commissioned to supply weddings in your area, you should give us a call to talk about what you need. We have many ideas and many products that will inspire you.

July 2015

Therapeutic Sweets

Some of our wholesale sweets are not only a treat to the taste buds, but have healing qualities as well. Find out which here.

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While in mainland Europe the general public's interest in the health benefits of sweets is considerable and growing, the UK market in general is not quite aware yet that some confectionery can satisfy one's sweet tooth and promote one's health at the same time.

For many retailers this opens up a whole range of sales opportunities which we are more than happy to help you seize. But in order to promote sales by making your customers aware of the medicinal properties of certain sweets, you will first have to educate yourself in this field.

Here's an introduction to our range of wholesale sweets with some unique health benefits

What Can't Liquorice Cure?

One of the favourites in our range of wholesale sweets is liquorice. This treat contains glycyrrhizin, which is the component that gives liquorice its sweet taste and which is also said to have some wide ranging positive health effects.

If your customers have a taste for liquorice, they might be happy to know that these sweets also can help reduce digestive-related complaints, a sore throat, bronchitis, a cough and many other bacterial or viral symptoms. Liquorice is even a recommended sweet for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and liver problems.

We work with Amarelli whose liquorice is grown in the Calabrian soil of Italy. This region has unusually high levels of glycyrrhizin which enhances the health benefits and gives their product a natural sweetness that precludes the use of any artificial sweeteners. We rather prefer the purer, mellow flavours of this hard liquorice over the more commonly known soft form that comes from Scandinavia.

In other words: liquorice is quite the miracle drug, and while like marmite you either love it or hate it, it's certainly an ideal candidate to help the medicine go down.

Great Gummy Sweets

I know this is going to sound really strange, and it might be best recommended to your more experimental and adventurous customers who are looking for that something a little different, but we are really taken with Leone's Gummy Sweet tin selection. Besides the traditional liquorice and menthol flavours, they also include propolis.

Believe it or not but propolis is "bee glue". The bee produces it from pollen to hold the hives together and Man has discovered that not only does it have a lovely flavour, it also can help ward off the common cold and is a deliciously soothing product for a sore throat.

The Calming Qualities of Anise Pastilles

For those who select anise flavoured products from our selection of wholesale sweets, you can enlighten your customers about how the aniseed ingredient does more than simply delight their taste buds.

For many centuries health workers have recommended aniseed to help those who are suffering from respiratory problems, flatulence, sleeplessness or anxiety.

The Options are Endless

This is just a taster of what can be found in our range of wholesale sweets if you are considering a promotion of health benefits to your customers by raising their awareness of some spectacular medicinal properties in some of their favourite confections.

We have products containing cinnamon, lemon sage, alpine herbs and ginger, to name just a few, and if you have been inspired to sell the health benefits of your sweets to your customers then we would enjoy talking you through our brochure to point out which of our wholesale sweets would suit your customers best.

July 2015

Italian Nougat Legends & Tradition

Of the many wholesale sweets that we supply, nougat is one of our favourites and is one of our top sellers. Many don't realise that its history is as colourful and tasty as the sweet itself.

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Nougat is a very particular sweet delicacy that is usually made with sugar and honey, roasted nuts (frequently these are almonds but other nuts are used too) and whipped egg whites. The texture can range from chewy and soft to hard and crunchy. While there are three traditional forms, we are going to focus on the white nougat which is made in Italy and is also known as "torrone".

Italian Legend

The delight of nougat goes beyond its flavour for those who know the colourful stories surrounding its invention. In northern Italy it is told that nougat was invented as a dish served for the wedding feast of the lovely Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza in Cremona during the Renaissance.

The nougat was prepared as a cake in the shape of Cremona's bell tower or Torazzo. It is said that the word "torrone" derives from this creation.

Other Italian tales about the origins of nougat include that it was a recipe invented to make a cake in the shape of a bell tower to symbolise the strength of an Italian city that was under siege during one of the many feudal wars. Some claim an even more ancient past for this delicacy and identify nougat as the "cupedia" dish that Livy and Martial mention in their writings.

Italian Reality

The historical facts about the origins of nougat in Italy are hard to establish. The first documented mention of torrone is found, not in Italy, but in early Renaissance Spain. This sweet was probably based on some form of nougat that was already known in North Africa and Egypt. From Spain the recipe may have migrated to Sicily where historians have identified ancient recipes in Sardinia, Calabria and the Abruzzo regions.

It arrived in northern Italy relatively late - by the 16th century the Sforza legend above appeared and Cardinal Hipolito d'Este, a member of another powerful Italian family, recorded that it was served as one of 100 dishes in a banquet in 1529.

A parallel evolution of this sweet developed in France where the Provencal Nougat de Montelimar began its journey to become the nougat type that many people are familiar with today.

Italian Nougat Today

We sample many nougats in the course of our work as wholesale sweets suppliers and we have fallen in love with the products of Quaranta. Based in Caravaggio, not far from Milan and the renowned Cremona, this family produces an amazing variation on the traditional white nougat.

Inspired by their background in baking, they have pioneered a method of running ribbons of pasticceria crème through their nougat. This filling is both delicious and visually attractive - it has the eye-catching effect of marbling.

They add fruits to the traditional recipe, producing a range of flavoured nougat that is much lighter than most and that stays moist and soft, with an exceptionally long shelf life.

The torrone that Quaranta produces seems to epitomise the colourful history and mythology of this special confection and we are really thrilled to be able to supply their high quality nougat.