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Why are there fewer of the best Quality Street chocs? The mystery solved

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If you are partial to “purple one” caramels, fruitless rummaging among the orange cremes and toffee fingers can make you wonder if somene got to the Quality Street first?

Which? has saved you from another family argument this Christmas by analysing the contents of the most popular Christmas chocolate tubs, with one key finding: there are fewer of the most-prized sweets to start with.

The consumer group’s research answers key questions, such as the ratio of caramel swirls to green triangles in Nestlé’s Quality Street (it is two to one). Also, why are there so many Milky Ways yet I can’t get my hands on a Galaxy Caramel, and this box of Celebrations hasn’t been out of my sight?

Well, the short answer is there is very rarely an even spread of sweets in the traditional tubs of Quality Street, Roses, Celebrations and Heroes sold in huge quantities at Christmas.

If your household is in the Mars camp, you need to know there are twice as many Milky Ways and Snickers as Galaxy and Galaxy Caramel sweets, according to Which? experts.

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If you are team Cadbury, tubs of Heroes contain an average of nine eclairs and Fudges but only five Twirls or Wispas. Meanwhile, the Roses selection is biased towards Dairy Milk, with nine per tub, but only four fudges and truffles.

The researchers found Quality Street had the “most variety in its tub overall”, with 11 different types of chocolate, but it was not a level playing field. They found an average of nine fudge sweets, eight caramel swirls but a paltry five purple ones. Green triangles are practically gold dust, with only four to get your hands on.

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The snapshot was based on the contents of three 600g–650g tubs of each brand. Its researchers counted each type of sweet and then calculated the average amount per tub. Based on the price per gram, Which? recommends shoppers buy a 600g or 650g tub as they offer the best value for money this year.

While fans of green triangles might be feeling aggrieved, Nestlé explained that despite appearances, the three different types of sweets that make up the selection – chocolate-based, fruit cremes and toffees – are there in roughly the same quantities.

“Each of those different sweet types is produced on a different line in the factory,” a spokesman said. “Because there are more varieties of chocolate-based sweets the amount of time each individual sweet is being manufactured is lower but the distribution of chocolates versus toffees versus cremes remains broadly steady.”