Top of the chocs

June 28, 2011, 11:30 PM GMT+0

More than half of British people prefer milk chocolate to the white or dark varieties, our poll has discovered. Under a third selected dark chocolate as their favourite while white chocolate languished at the bottom of the poll with just over one in ten people naming it as their favourite. Interestingly, preference for milk chocolate declines with age, as a fondness of dark chocolate rises.

The poll also showed that more people prefer to eat their chocolate chilled than at room temperature. Nearly half professed they favour a refrigerated treat, while slightly fewer like their chocolate to be at room temperature.

  • 52% of Brits name milk chocolate as their favourite variety of the snack
  • While just 31% choose dark chocolate
  • And only 11% select white chocolate as the best of the three
  • 4% say none of the options took their fancy

Perhaps signalling dark chocolate is an acquired taste, preference for this variety increases with age.

  • While just 14% of 18-24 year olds select dark chocolate as their favourite kind, the figure steadily rises to 22% for those aged 25-39, 33% for 40-59 year olds and 43% for those aged 60 and over
  • Meanwhile the fondness for milk chocolate declines, beginning at 67% for 18-24 year olds and dropping to 58% for 25-39 year olds, 51% for those aged 40-59 and just 41% for the over 60s, making dark chocolate the most popular choice with this age group
  • And when it comes to serving suggestion, 48% of people like their chocolate to be chilled
  • While 46% prefer to eat their treat at room temperature

While it may be customary to be cautious with portions when it comes to chocolate, last summer research revealed that dark chocolate can be good for the health. According to our poll it’s a favourite with the older generation, and a US study has said that a small amount of dark chocolate once or twice a week can cut the risk of developing heart failure by a third.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, emphasises the importance of finding the right balance in our diets - of which chocolate can play a small part. She warned, ‘before you rip open those sweet treats, remember that while antioxidants in chocolate may be helpful to your heart, they can also be found in fruit and veg, which don't contain the same level of saturated fat and high calories that chocolate does.'