"The UK confectionery market is both mature and sophisticated and, in such an environment, developing truly innovative ideas is a challenge. It requires companies to invest in both time and resources to do so. Making a success of innovation is not just about a great consumer insight, but also about making it stick. In today's retail environment this requires an increasing level of investment to cut through the crowded marketplace. However, this, overall, has led to few truly innovative brands sticking."

Stefan Kerridge Customer marketing controller, Ferrero UK

"The market for organic and premium chocolate is growing in line with the growth of general organic and fair trade foods. We have Green & Black's to thank for creating this market for posh chocolate. Consumers are far more aware of speciality chocolate bars and seek out top quality chocolate that carries badges of integrity, such as the Fairtrade Foundation and Soil Association marks, plus other standards, such as being gluten-free and GMO-free."

Mike Batten Founder, Venture Foods

"Children are always going to be an important audience for confectionery but, given the ageing population in the UK, manufacturers should not be ignoring the adult population. The recent emergence of retro sweets shows that manufacturers are beginning to understand this."

Lisa Gawthorne Trade marketing co-ordinator, Cedar Health

"The premium confectionery sector continues to grow each year, reflecting increasing consumer demand for high-quality products. Nowadays, consumers are more discerning about the products they choose, focusing less on the size and much more on the quality. This is due, in part, to the increasing consumer desire to follow a balanced diet. This is why the bitesize sector is exhibiting growth as consumers convert from king-size confectionery products."

Kevin Toms MD, Guylian

"People have noticed that certain sweets have gradually disappeared from the marketplace and they want them back. Everyone loves sweets that take them back to their childhood with all its associated happy memories. However, until recently, the buying opportunities were limited. We hope our new products give the customers what they are looking for and, if they do, we'll search for more."

Ian Tidmarsh Buying director, Julian Graves