On This Day – The End of Sweet Rationing in the Aftermath of World War Two


On this day in 1953, Britain saw the end of sweet rationing, which originally came about in July 1942 when demand far outstripped supply. The Minister of Food, Major Gwilym Lloyd-George, told the House of Commons that he had no doubt that stocks were sufficient, having ordered a one-off allocation of extra sugar to manufacturers to help them meet the anticipated surge in demand.

Toffee apples were the biggest seller on this day, closely followed by sticks of nougat and liquorice. Despite these huge sales, however, there was no panic buying but experts believe this to be due to the fact that the price of confectionery doubled during the Second World War. The de-rationing of sweets had a dramatic effect on the confectionery market. Spending on sweets and chocolate jumped by about £100m in the first year to £250m.