The big four chocolate makers in the UK have announced that they will no longer be including caramels in their chocolate selection tins.
"They're just not popular," said Heather Feather, head of Nèsbury's product range. "Marketing campaign after marketing campaign has shown that toffee pennies toffee sticks and sticky toffees are always left in the tin on Boxing day. The rest of the chocolates vanish really quickly, but not the toffees."
Research has shown that the nutty varieties vanish fastest, shortly followed by coffee and strawberry cremès. Turkish delight is not as popular, but there is invariably one person in the house who either hasn't eaten one before, can not remember what the wrapper looks like or, god forbid, actually likes them. Even the caramels are eaten ahead of the toffees.
"We would have got rid of them much sooner," said Feather. "However, Mr Nesbury liked toffees and insisted that there was demand for them, contrary to what our research was telling us."
Mr Nesbury, who named himself after the company he took over, retired in July, opening the door to a more progressive management.
"Mr Nesbury Junior is more receptive to marketing results," Feather said. "Basically, we put a standard selection tin in reception for an hour with a note saying '10pence a chocolate, all proceeds to Children in Need'. After an hour, there was only toffee pennies left."
Mr Nesbury Junior decided that if his own staff wouldn't eat toffees even for charity, that the research was correct. Nèsbury's will be replacing the toffee pennies with hazelnut twirls instead, which will please a lot of people, as they'll often hunt for them in the packs, before eating anything else.