In this article:
Each December, a tub of Quality Street can be found close to my Christmas tree. Quality Street tubs (alongside tubs of Cadbury Roses, Cadbury Heroes, and Mars Celebrations) have been a firm fixture of my Christmas traditions for as long as I can remember.
Machines control the average distribution of chocolates by weight against the secret Nestlé ratio. The result is that each tub will be mostly similar, but may well have slight differences here and there.
My curiosity about the secret ratio, and Tesco's £3.50-a-tub deal, got the better of me. So, I have to now admit I started my Christmas food shopping in September. This year, I'm part of the reason why supermarkets put out their Christmas goodies as soon as the kids went back to school. For that, I'm truly sorry.
But, equipped with a randomly selected Quality Street tub, I can now answer the question I've had for a long time - how many tubs would I need to create a tub exclusively filled with just Green Triangles? (Why Green Triangles? Everyone knows they're the best ones...)
New: Chocolate Caramel Brownie
Buying a tub gave me the opportunity to try the new Chocolate Caramel Brownie sweet. This cyan-wrapped circular chocolate replaces the brown-wrapped Toffee Deluxe.
The domed chocolate shell decorated with a swirl on the top is made from typical Quality Street chocolate, but with a much thicker base. Together with the ultra sweet chocolate flavoured caramel, it does exhibit a cake-like quality overall. Sort of.
I wasn't a fan of Toffee Deluxe (nor toffees in general), so I feel it's an improvement. But the overly-sweet Chocolate Caramel Brownie isn't distinctive enough to rival any of my favourites.
What's in the tub?
My box weighed in at 648g including wrappers, so just two grams less than the average weight of 650g. I received 66 chocolates in my tub, so each chocolate, on average, weighed 9.81 grams.
Here's the breakdown by sweet:
|Chocolate Caramel Brownie||5||7.58%|
|Milk Choc Block||3||4.55%|
|Orange Chocolate Crunch||5||7.58%|
And here it is again but in a funky chart:
It's undeniable that the dominant sweets in my tub are the orange and strawberry cremes, as well as fudge. I expected to find the Green Triangle propping up the bottom of the table but in fact it was the Milk Choc Block, closely followed, surprisingly, by the Toffee Finger.
To get a better understanding of what types of sweet were in my tub, I grouped them up into the broad categories of caramels, chocolates, toffees and fudges, plus fruit cremes.
|Toffees & Fudges||16||24.24%|
Again, here's another beautiful chart:
The split here is incredibly close, clocking in at around a quarter of the tub for each category. So while I felt my assortment was geared towards fruit cremes, this was not the case in reality.
This is the point of this exercise. Our perception of proportions are skewed based on what's usually left at the bottom of the tub, or the fact there's never enough of our favourites. The reality, however, is that you're likely to get as many toffees as fruit cremes, and as many caramels as chocolates in your tub.
What about the Green Triangles?
My favourite Quality Street for a long time has been the green-foiled hazelnut noisette, better known as the Green Triangle. It's closely followed by the Purple One (a milk chocolate shell filled with caramel and a hazelnut) and the Strawberry Creme.
Like countless others, I live in the hope of one day unboxing a Quality Street tub to discover the robots went haywire, inadvertently filling a tub full of just green triangles. The reality is that this is incredibly unlikely, but I have wondered how many tubs I'd need to buy in order to make my very own 'Quality Street Green Triangles' tub.
In my tub, the Green Triangles clocked in at an average 7.75 grams a pop. To fill a 650g tub based on my selection above, I'd need 84 Green Triangles. Therefore, I'd need 21 tubs of Quality Street to realise my dream. At the RRP of £5 a tub, that's £105 in the quest of confection perfection.
What about the other sweets?
Are you daring to suggest the Green Triangle isn't the best? Outrageous! Still, here's a handy table showing the average weight of each sweet in my box and the amount of tubs needed to make a 650g single-flavour tub, based on the distribution I found in my tub:
|Sweet||Average Weight||Tubs Required|
|Chocolate Caramel Brownie||9.67g||14|
|Milk Choc Block||9.33g||24|
|Orange Chocolate Crunch||9.20g||15|
Understandably, it'd be much easier - and cheaper - to make a single-flavour 650g tub based on strawberry cremes, orange cremes, or fudges. You'd need deep pockets to achieve the same using the milk chocolate blocks, Green Triangles, or Toffee Pennies.
So there you go. When the question comes up in a pub quiz, you'll now know you need to spend in the region of £40 and £120 to buy the tubs you need to put together your very own DIY single-flavour Quality Street tub. You're welcome.
Having got my geek on, I now need to reel off a disclaimer. My geekiness was fuelled by the results of a single, randomly selected tub of Quality Street. The statistics above are just for fun, and are by no means precise due to the small sample size and the lack of scientific measuring instruments. But I found the data fascinating to research nevertheless.
Perhaps we can crowdsource data? If you fancy getting involved, post your Quality Street tub weights and sweet counts in the comments below, and together we can see how accurate my tub reflects the general population, and if there are any major differences.