Sales of chocolate have remained stable as the nation's sweet-toothed consumers have preferred to spend their money in the sugar confectionery market. Sugar is up by over 6% versus the same time last year and is now worth about £1bn. Chocolate still outsells sugar by a considerable amount but it is the sugar confectionery suppliers that are driving innovation. Leading brands Kit Kat, Mars and Cadbury's Dairy Milk remain in pole positions but the Nestlé mainstay has suffered a fall in sales for the first time in years. However, any disappointment at this news will have been offset by the success of Kit Kat Chunky, which in just over a year has become an established brand with annual sales of around £60m. New products this year have been mainly brand extensions. In this way, the new variants can build on the success of the established brand name with less chance of it disappearing without trace. Wispa Bite began well with TV support from Ant and Dec, while M&M's Minis launched as a direct competitor to Mini Smarties, and Cadbury brought out Snowflake. Celebrations from Mars Confectionery has been growing steadily since its launch in October 1996 and is now a regular in the top 10 brand rankings with sales peaking before Christmas. While Cadbury's Roses, Nestlé Quality Street and Cadbury's Milk Tray have all been hit by Celebrations, Cadbury can be pleased with the performance of Miniature Heroes, with first year sales of nearly £35m. Trebor Bassett dominates sugar confectionery. It holds a 26% value share, an increase of 2% in sales year on year. Growth within sugar has come mainly from large bags with this sector up 30% year on year. Bassett's Fundays are accounting for a large proportion of Trebor's growth. Meanwhile, sales of Haribo jellies are now worth nearly £45m. Mars has also begun to broaden its sugar confectionery range with a number of Starburst variants. After the launch of Joosters in July 1998, this year has seen the arrival of Smilers and X Factor. The boiled sweet sector saw the launch of Campino from Bendicks, and Nestlé responded with a similar product under the Polo brand. Polo Smoothies was launched in September and it will be interesting to see whether the established brand name will outmuscle the innovator. Old favourites such as Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles and Maynard's Wine Gums both showed healthy double digit growth in the last year. But it is Wrigley's Extra that is the top selling sugar confectionery brand. This is the first year we have included gum in the table. Gum has a 22.4% share of the sugar confectionery market and Wrigley's accounts for 88.6% of gum. {{MARKETING }}