Lancashire sweet expert reveals new innovations set to change the confectionery industry

A Lancashire confectionery expert has predicted sweet lovers are to be offered the change to slash their intake of sugar and e numbers and get healthy whilst chomping on their favourite snacks, thanks to new innovations in the industry.

National sweet expert Andy Baxendale, based at his own sweet factory in Wigan, has revealed the trends following ISM, the world’s largest trade fair for sweets and snacks, which has just been held in Cologne, Germany.

Known throughout the industry as The Sweet Consultant Andy’s career has seen him work for many of the biggest names in UK confectionery production. Recently he has been one of the stars of the hit TV confectionery show The Sweet Makers on BBC 2.

He said that the international confectionery industry was focusing on three key areas in a bid to combat negativity around high sugar content and the increased focus on healthy living.

And he said that the industry was concentrating on achieving The Holy Grail of sweet manufacture – producing snacks containing no e numbers.

Here is Andy’s rundown on the big three new trends:

1.    No added sugar

“This is one of the major goals for confectionery in the current climate of ‘sugar is evil and must be punished.’

“Not to be confused with “Sugar Free”, “No Added Sugar” products can have sugar present but it must be present in the product as the result of being in one of the components – for example fruit or milk, and not added as “sugar”.

2.    High protein

“Adding protein to chocolate / confectionery is very popular at the moment as more and more people focus on going to the gym and building muscle – and there are numerous products becoming available across many candy sectors.

“In order to claim that the product is a source of protein, EU law states that the product must contain a minimum of 12% of the energy (calorific) value from protein. If the claim is that the product contains high protein, then this value must be 20%.

“An important factor in the manufacture of chocolate with added protein is the final texture of the product. Chocolate needs to have an average particle size of less than 25microns for it to be smooth on the tongue – if particles are over 25microns then chocolate is perceived as gritty.

3.    Clean label (no e numbers)

“The Holy Grail for product labelling is clean label – ideally no “e” numbers, as the general public tend to perceive all “e” numbers as signifying the inclusion of ingredients which can be harmful, when in actual fact it means that these products are approved for use in food products in the European Union.

“Alternatives to these are “fruit and vegetable concentrates” – these are colouring foodstuffs which do not attract “e” numbers because of the method of processing.”

Andy has 23 years’ experience in the confectionery industry and is a former product development manager for Chewits with a Master’s of Science in Advanced Food Manufacture.

He is a respected national consultant in every aspect of confectionery production, with extensive knowledge of regulation and legislation in the industry, advising companies on everything from recipes to staff training and enhanced production techniques.

He is currently working to set up a National Academy of sweets to teach a new generation the art of confectionery production and development.

Andy can be contacted on 07786 624681, email  or through his website