29 Nov 2019


Fudge has been crowned the nations most fancied sweet, with 26 percent of respondents choosing the creamy confectionery as their top sweet, in a survey by The Children’s Society.

The poll by the charity also found 22 percent of people surveyed craved a fruit pastille as their most preferred, closely followed by 21 percent, who said jelly babies hit the sweet spot. 

It seems cravings have slightly deviated over the decades as the top three childhood treats were remembered as jelly babies, fruit pastilles and the classic fruit salad.

The survey was carried out to celebrate the launch of this year’s Christingle season and find out which sweets should top the iconic festive orange. The symbolic fruit is part of celebratory Christingle services - it is wrapped in a ribbon then topped with four sweet-filled cocktail sticks and a candle which is lit during the service.

The Christingle tradition was first introduced to the Church of England in 1968 as a way to fundraise for The Children’s Society - a national charity that helps the most vulnerable children and young people in Britain today. Christingles are usually held from the start of December and run into the New Year, with Christmas Eve a particularly popular time for services.

Mark Russell, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Christingle services are a fun way to help us support young people at Christmas - so far over one million vulnerable children and young people have been helped thanks to the special celebration.

“We know one of the favourite parts of the celebration is decorating and lighting the Christingle and then eating the sweets, so it’s helpful to know which ones we should start stocking up on!”

The survey also found that the top festive tradition people were most looking forward to is decorating the Christmas tree, with 49 percent of the vote, closely followed by watching classic Christmas movies (45 percent).

Mark added: “Hundreds of churches, schools and community groups are organising events across the country. The services are really enjoyable - they include hymns, messages of hope, readings and the chance to learn more about The Children’s Society. This year I hope many more people will see attending a Christingle as a tradition to look forward to.”

To find out more about Christingle and where your nearest service is head to Christingle.org.

To find out more please contact Charlie Neal on Charlie.neal@childrenssociety.org.uk or call the Media team on 020 7841 4422 

Notes to Editors

  • The Children’s Society is a national charity that helps the most vulnerable children and young people in Britain today. We run services and campaigns to make children’s lives better and change the systems that are placing them in danger. We listen. We support. We act. Together with our supporters we’re improving the lives of children today and building hope for a better future
  • The survey of 2,755 UK adults was carried out by Opinion Matters from 6th – 13th November 2019
  • Results were weighted to be nationally representative for age, gender and region.
  • Christingles began in the Moravian Church in Germany in 1747
  • In 1968 John Pensom adapted the service and introduced it to The Church of England to fundraise for The Children's Society
  • Each element of a Christingle has a special meaning and helps to tell the Christian story:
    • The orange represents the world
    • The red ribbon (or tape) symbolises the love and blood of Christ
    • The sweets and dried fruit represent all of God’s creations
    • The lit candle represents Jesus’s light in the world, bringing hope to people living in darkness.