?"The major issue is that there is increasing interest from consumers and retailers as to the integrity of ingredients. We are seeing consumers becoming really interested ?in what they are eating."

Mark Palmer Marketing director,

Green & Black's

?"The three megatrends are convenience, wellbeing and pleasure. We are looking at five years of these trends so if you are producing products that meet one of these criteria that's great. A product that can tick all three is where manufacturers want to be."

Sarah Petts Channel and communications manager, Kraft Foods

?"The category has been a game of two halves. Chocolate is showing some growth and will become more of a focus in the second half of the year in the run-up to Christmas, but on the sugar side it is more challenging. Whether this is because the health issue has moved from fat to sugar and diabetes, or whether consumers are making a more direct correlation with sugar products and are reappraising the category, I don't know."

George McLearie Trade marketing manager, Bendicks

?"The big three are there and they have got to be respected, but they are very much chocolate-oriented. We belong to the sugar category, which has traditionally been very diverse with regard to the number of companies. I remember forecasting the demise of certain companies but 30 years later they are still knocking around. We believe that more consolidation will take place for another four or five years. The market will have a different complexion, although many of the famous brand names will remain."

Chris Marshall Chairman, Tangerine

?"There needs to be an element of moderation in the ongoing debate about the diet of children. I certainly don't believe

that confectionery should be demonised for its role. We take this issue very seriously and have taken steps to address the concerns of parents about the impact of confectionery on their kids' diets. Healthy eating will remain in the spotlight."

Per Henérius MD, Haribo

?"It goes without saying that the multiples will once again be a strong force, but with a carefully planned range and a good understanding of consumers, independents too can make a good profit at Christmas time."

Richard Brittle Purchasing director, Hancocks