Opportunities for non-chocolate candy shown in report

Non-chocolate candy proves a consumer favourite during prosperous, inflationery and pandemic times, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) can reveal in a new, recent report.

As the second-largest selling confectionery category, non-chocolate candy currently represents 32% of all US confectionery sales with growth outpacing that of all other sectors, according to its data partner IRI. The products defined as non-chocolate candy include gummies, chewies, hard candies, liquorice, lollipops, novelty and marshmallows.

In an effort to explore how shifting demographics, consumer preferences and shopping habits have affected this growing market segment, the NCA recently shared the new report ‘Getting to Know Candy Consumers 2022’.

Conducted by 210 Analytics, the report offers analysis of the non-chocolate candy market with insights in particular into consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. It based its findings on a survey of 1519 consumers taken in October 2022. According to Euromonitor, non-chocolate candy is expected to reach US$20 billion in US sales by 2027 – demonstrating its strength as a market segment.

“Innovation has always been at the heart of the confectionery industry, and it’s never been a more exciting time to innovate candy,” explained John Downs, President and CEO of NCA. “There is tremendous opportunity for continued growth in the non-chocolate candy category, which is largely driven by Gen Z and Millennial consumers who are seeking out new experiences in the candy aisle. Because of its unique flavours, shapes and colors, and the incredible variety within the category, it is clear that candy is special for everyone.”

The report also highlights areas for opportunities within the future of the non-chocolate category. Sharing confectionery is a time-honoured tradition and an important consideration for consumers when they purchase chocolate and candy; the report reflects that non-chocolate candy has the potential to become more of a gifting option. The four big candy holidays represent 61.2% of total category sales, and aside from sharing during these holidays, seven in 10 consumers gift non-chocolate for special occasions, although only 35% do this frequently. The survey showed providing more non-chocolate gifting options would prompt 64% of consumers to explore gifting candy.

Flavour and type variety are factors considered in consumer purchasing behaviours, but the report also shows consumers appreciate having package size options. The consumers surveyed said they believe having resealable packaging (47%) and different pack size and portion options (36%) are very important.

Earlier this year, the NCA announced that American chocolate and candy companies were honouring commitments to providing more transparency with portion guidance and calorie labels.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920
Email: editor@in-confectionery.com

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