Don’t be fooled by healthy eating campaigns and talk of sugar taxes, when it comes to the festive season we all have a sweet tooth that will only be satisfied with a range of delicious Christmas sweets.
And while ‘new’ and ‘exciting’ may be the bywords for the rest of the year, believe me, your customers will be looking for confectionery that is ‘classic’ and ‘traditional’ over the busy festive period.
What Makes a Classic Festive Confectionery
While everyone enjoys indulging in sweet treats at this time of year, what they are looking for tends to be quite specific. Many people want to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas, usually based on a nostalgic view of past festivities. For that reason, they’re looking for Christmas sweets that are ‘traditional’, maybe even something they remember from their childhood.
This is definitely something to consider when you’re thinking about what to stock for the winter season. Think of confectioneries that have been around a long time, and especially ones that have some kind of cultural link to the festive season.
Fudge is one of those confectioneries which carries with it connotations from the past. Most of us remember it from our childhood, or remember reading about it in childhood stories, and this makes it an ideal festive classic.
Despite the fact that fudge was first created in the United States in the 19th century, it is now closely associated with the cream of Devon and Cornwall which has helped make it such a popular confection in the UK.
Made by heating butter, milk and sugar, this creamy treat comes in a selection of traditional flavours like clotted cream, vanilla and chocolate, or can be given a contemporary twist with new, exciting additions.
Confectionery maker Sweet Boutique has added to its delicious range of traditional fudge flavours with some more modern alternatives in recent years which have proved very popular. New ingredients like ginger, butter and honey, and sea salt and caramel have brought the brand, and the fudge, bang up to date without loosing any of its traditional value.
Traditional Candy Canes
Often featured on Christmas cards or hanging from festive trees, perhaps one of the most famous Christmas sweets is the red and white candy cane. It is said that the distinctive cane shape was first created in Cologne, Germany in 1670.
According to legend, the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral ordered the sweets to be made to keep the infants from crying or making noise on Christmas Eve. It is said that he requested the sweets be made into the shape of shepherd’s crooks to remind the children of the shepherds who first saw the star proclaiming Jesus’ birth.
Still sold today during the festive season, candy canes (or candy crooks as they should probably be called) make a delightful tree decoration.
Sweet Turkish Delight
While adults have always loved the sweet, sticky indulgence of Turkish Delight at this time of year, it is its association with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and the magical, snowy land of Narnia which has made it a popular winter staple amongst children. In the story, Edmund is tempted to betray his brother and sisters and spy for the White Witch for an enchanted box of Turkish Delight, and even today, children are intrigued to try the sweet to see what all the fuss was about.
The traditional Turkish Delight, with its aromas of bergamot, rosewater and lemon and its sweet dusting of icing sugar remains just as enchanting as when Edmund tried it. Family-run confectioners Koska, have created delicious Turkish Delight for four generations.
The company revels in the eastern ‘magic’ associated with the confectionery and builds the enchantment with traditional packaging including a hexagonal wooden box or round tin featuring traditional designs. Their range of flavours include pistachio, hazelnut and coconut but, luckily, no bewitching potions!
Whether you choose to stock traditional sweets like fudge or candy canes or prefer to take a modern twist on classics like Brussels sprouts and Satsumas made of chocolate, one thing’s for sure, your classic Christmas sweets range will enchant children this winter.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established Christmas sweets suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.