US Candy Consumption Trends
The key trends in candy consumption in the United States have been; increased consumption and demand for healthy ingredients in candies, rise in the consumption and sale of chocolate candies, increased demand by consumers for producers to use sustainable and transparent methods of production and rise in demand for premium and novelty candies. To curate this report we sourced industry reports, reputable blogs, and news reports. Below we will take you through a deep dive into our findings.
DEMAND FOR HEALTHIER AND MORE FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS IN CANDY
Candy brands are increasingly promoting clean eating in the production of their candies. Consumers in 2018 were noted to be attracted to products with fewer ingredients, fewer chemicals, and artificial flavorings. Candy manufacturers are using these factors to advertise their candy brands to consumers of today. Mintel also noted that parents are more prone to buying healthier candy for their children. It noted that parents are looking for confectionery that is sweetened with fruit and have natural formulations.
In line with clean eating, veganism as a food trend has grown by 60% since 2012. 6% of the American population state that they follow a strictly vegan diet and the number is increasing. Candy manufacturers are noting this trend and having plant-based options for this target market. Studies have shown that veganism and vegetarianism is not just a passing trend and may be here to stay.
Brands that have vegan candy options are; Twizzlers, Hubba Bubba, Cracker Jacks, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Skittles, Dots, Bottle Cap, and Charms(Blow Lollipops).
ATTRACTION TO MORE ECO-CONSCIOUS OPTIONS
With growing concern for the environment and manufacturing processes that may result in its degradation, candy companies are now looking at sustainable options. Consumers and the public are looking to candy manufacturers to ensure they use sustainable and transparent methods of production. Major candy companies have adapted to this trend and they include;
Mars, the producers of Twix, Snickers, M&Ms and Mars bars have invested $1 billion towards creating renewable energy options, renewable food sourcing and renewable farming options as a way to be accountable to their consumers.
Hershey also intends to invest $500 million towards creating a sustainable program for cocoa farming. They rely on cocoa for their candy manufacturing, therefore, the Cocoa for Good program encourages sustainable farming methods. Mondelez has also embraced a similar program known as Cocoa Life for cocoa growing farmers in Ghana, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Brazil, and India.
CHOCOLATE CONSUMPTION ON THE RISE
Chocolate confectioneries have noticed an increased growth in sales and revenue over the years. Studies have noted that 81.7% of American adults will have consumed chocolate in 2018. This is due to the fact that chocolate is dynamic and can be packaged and made into many forms. Chocolate confectionery sales were set to grow by 15% since 2012 reaching $18.5 billion in 2018. Consumers are also said to be loyal to chocolate as their preferable candy option further positively driving sales.
Consumers in 2018 noted a preference for fun-sized packaged chocolate. This was seen as a way of limiting their consumption and this is in line with their healthier lifestyle food choices. Mini-sized portions are also more shareable and manufacturers note that this may even encourage consumers to purchase more. The consumption of these fun-sized packages has increased to 24.1% in 2018 as compared to 17.7% in 2008. Studies have also shown that consumers are more attracted to affordable candy options.
PREMIUM CANDY SALES ON THE RISE
Studies conducted by Mintel note that premium candy and innovative candy account for a large share of the confectionery market in the United States. 76% of candy buyers will lean more towards premium candy saying that the price is worth it.
Consumers are attracted to novelty experiences and consumers want fun and more flavorful types of candy. These fun candies are said to be a big hit, especially during Halloween. 4% of candy consumption in the United States takes place during Halloween. It has also been noted that children eat 4 hard and chewy candies for every one eaten by an adult. Adults are more attracted to chocolate candies as mentioned above.