According to the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) latest State of Treating report, just last year confectionery category dollar sales grew 11.1% over 2021 and 22.1% over 2019, as consumers increasingly view chocolate and candy as a fun part of life (81%) and an affordable treat (74%), according to the report.
The total confectionery category achieved a whopping US$42.6 billion in sales, which was driving by inflation reaching a 40-year high in 2022. Growth projections take this total figure to $54.3 billion in 2027.
The 2023 State of Treating report, which was released at the NCA’s annual State of the Industry Conference, proves an invaluable resource on confectionery category performance data and offers understanding of evolving consumer attitudes and behaviours.
“With high marks for favourability and permissibility, along with the majority of consumers agreeing that confectionery is an affordable treat, chocolate and candy sales grew despite economic pressures,” explained John Downs, President and CEO of NCA. “Consumers continue to treat with chocolate and candy to enhance their emotional well-being, celebrate holidays and enjoy everyday moments.”
Key findings from the report include focus on supply chain disruption, the pandemic and portion sizes all shaped consumers’ views of chocolate and candy.
According to the report, 79% of consumers agree physical health and emotional wellbeing are interconnected, and 86% agree it is fine to occasional treat yourself with chocolate and candy. 74% agree confectionery remains an affordable treat, but 45% of consumers applied one or more money-saving measure in 2022, by switching between types, brands, pack sizes and stores.
Transparency is key to consumer trust, as 43% of consumers prefer to learn about a company’s ESG efforts from its label, and 61% of consumers are hunting for brands they have never bought before, meaning innovation and a means of standing out from the competition is important.
The report offers insight that fuse NCA consumer survey findings with category and channel performance data. The insights are intended to provide deeper understanding of consumer wants and needs, the NCA has said, along with corresponding shifts in the retail landscape and opportunities in the future to support continued category growth.
The report was made possible by the work of Blommer Chocolate Company, while consumer data is provided by IRI Worldwide and Euromonitor. Read the report here.
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