The day that sweet rationing ended in UK
With shelves stacked to the gunnels with sweets and treats of every colour, flavour and description sweet lovers today are perhaps a little bit spoilt for choice. But 70 years ago today our grandparents could only have dreamt of the choice we all enjoy today. On Wednesday 5 February 1953 the Food Minister stood up in Parliament and announced to the Commons that ration and price control on chocolate and sweets had officially come to an end across the United Kingdom.
Sweet rationing began during the dark days of World War Two on 26 July 1942 when people had a weekly ration of just 2 ounces of sweets or chocolate. A month later the ration was doubled for eight weeks and then cut back to 3 ounces a week.
Sweets were taken off the ration on 24 April 1949, but this caused panic buying in the shops and led to many shops across the country running out or introducing unofficial rationing. It wasn’t uncommon to see people queuing up at sweet shops to try and buy sweets and chocolates only to find that demand had outstripped supply.
The situation was taken so seriously by government that they reintroduced the official rationing to protect supplies on 14 August 1949. But after another four years of sweet and chocolate rationing the nation’s sweet tooth’s could finally enjoy a plentiful supply of the sweet stuff.
Incidentally, during the rationing period there were very few cases of children being overweight.