A DARK chocolate snack which is manufactured in York has been named the UK's favourite chocolate bar.

Nestlé Rowntree's KitKat Four Finger Fine Dark was voted as the top product by 12,000 consumers nationwide as Chocolate Confectionery Product Of The Year.

The company's Rowntree's Juicy Jellies scooped the Softchew Confectionery category.

Meanwhile, Scarborough-based manufacturer McCain took top prize in the Home Cooking category for its McCain Rustic Oven Chips.

The 35 best innovations in Drinks, Snacks, Household Cleaning, Men's Grooming, Make-Up and the newly-introduced Alcohol category were all rewarded with the title Product Of The Year following the independent survey by market researchers TNS.

The 2008 winning products will now be able to use the award scheme's red logo on pack and in their communication materials.

KitKat Four Finger Fine Dark beat off competition from Masterfoods biggest confectionery launch of 2007, Mars Planets, to win the coveted title. But Masterfood's hit back in the Luxury Chocolate category, winning with Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses.

Beth Lyon, brand manager for KitKat Fine Dark, said staff were "really pleased" that KitKat Fine Dark had been chosen by consumers to win the award, as they had always been confident that it was a high-quality bar.

"It is clear that there is a growing trend towards dark chocolate and KitKat Dark is perfect for those special breaks," she said.

A spokesman for the Nestlé plant in Wigginton Road said KitKat Fine Dark used "the finest cocoa beans to coat each crispy wafer and praline finger in an intensely rich, bittersweet dark chocolate".

He said it was made up of 52 per cent cocoa solids and was available nationwide at a recommended retail price of 40 pence. KitKat Fine Dark also features new Foil Fresh packaging to ensure the product is as fresh as can be - ensuring an even better break," he said. He said the Product Of The Year award scheme has been running in the UK since 2005 and plans are currently under way to follow the success the scheme has seen around the globe, launching the awards in 15 new countries.