Willy Wonka would be proud. Innovation has been the lifeblood of sugar confectionery this year.

While no-one has yet brought three-course meal gum to market, products such as The Natural Confectionery Co’s Guzzle Puzzle and Haribo’s Hearts and Rings have helped revive what had been a virtually static category. But there have been other factors at work.

Suppliers that had been slow to adopt sharing bags finally upsized, while also bringing round-pound deals and other heavyweight promos to gondola ends. The timing couldn’t have been better, with many Brits deciding they preferred sharing a big bag of sweets at home with their loved ones over snatching a quick nibble in between emails at work. And it hasn’t done any harm that some consumers see fruity sweets as a healthier option than chocolate.

The result: sugar confectionery has turned around its lacklustre performance last year and is now growing faster than chocolate. That’s a performance that chocolatiers won’t take laying down expect serious cocoa-related NPD next year.

Something with snozzberries, perhaps?