The report from GlobalData claimed that more than a third of consumers would buy less confectionery and dessert products, while one in 10 would buy none at all if a tax was introduced.

Kent retailer Adam Hogwood of Budgens Broadstairs in Kent, said: “Shoppers are very often idealistic when they answer these surveys. It’s like when people plan to save half of a chocolate bar for later – it never happens.”

Susan Connolly of Connolly Spars in Wiltshire, said that she believed some of her shoppers would buy less confectionery, but many will not.

“It’s similar to the drinks category. Some people swapped to less sugary drinks and some people stayed the same,” she said.

Trudy Davies of Woosnam & Davies in Powys also agreed. “We always think we make healthier choices than we actually do,” she said.