“When the going gets tough, the tough eat gummy bears,” said NCA President and CEO John Downs during the association’s virtual State of the Industry Conference in March.

As much as nonchocolate sales dominated the candy category in c-stores in 2020, the gummies subsegment was the real hero, growing 7% for the year, according to IRI. Expect that to continue, says Mendelson of Promotion In Motion, which makes Welch’s Fruit Snacks.

“Welch’s Fruit Snacks was one of the brands that shoppers leaned on,” he says, “recognizing consistent growth in the c-store channel, and even achieving double-digit growth in the last quarter.”

Mars Wrigley is betting on that horse, too: It introduced Starburst Gummies in 2017, and is rolling out Skittles Gummies this month.

Ferrara is embracing a secondary consumer trend: sustainability. In March, its Black Forest brand of gummies and fruit snacks made a 10-year commitment to fully sustainable packaging, ingredients, colors and flavors. The brand has also set a long-range goal to plant 10 million trees by 2030.