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Category Management Handbook

Candy: Chocolate 2016

Where the Gains Are

Chocolate candy dollar sales in c-stores rose more than 5% in the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2015, according to IRI figures, but units slipped 1.6%. One area of strength was packages greater than 3.5 ounces, which grew units more than 4%.

According to Nielsen figures, chocolate dollar sales rose 2.7% in the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, thanks to growth in king-size. Units fell more than 4%, however.

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2015

SegmentC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Total chocolate $2,770.85.2%1,775.8(1.6%)
– Less than 3.5-oz.$2,231.03.8%1481.6(2.6%)
– Greater than 3.5-oz. $382.512.0%172.64.1%
Nonchocolate**$2,118.58.6%1590.53.4%
Gum$1,112.61.3%809.1(1.0%)

Source: IRI  | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Includes breath fresheners and plain mints. (See p. 129 for more details.) | *** Average shipments per store per week


C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015

SegmentC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Chocolate$2,855.02.7%1,768.0(4.3%)
– King-size$1,658.43.9%910.0(1.9%)
– Standard$894.1(3.3%)754.9(8.8%)
Nonchocolate$1,722.86.0%1,243.90.7%
Gum$988.5 0.0%725.8(3.1%)
Breath fresheners$281.611.0%163.75.7%
Seasonal$138.45.4%100.2(1.3%)

Sources: The Nielsen Co., The Hershey Co. | * Percent change from a year ago


Distributor Data: Candy Shipments

Calendar year 2015

In 2015, average shipments of bagged candy per store per week from McLane Co. rose more than 21% in dollars. 

SegmentAPSW (in dollars)***APSW dollar growthPCYA*
Total chocolate$221.61$3.081.4%
– King$135.18$7.776.1%
– Standard$73.33($3.11)(4.1%)
– Hand to mouth$13.09($1.59)(10.8%)
Total bagged candy$102.29$17.7921.1%
Total gum$87.84$0.490.6%
Total nonchocolate$70.04$6.259.8%
Seasonal candy$13.50$1.5012.5%
Theater-pack candy$4.55($0.81)(15.1%)
Change makers/penny$4.04$0.010.3%
Premiums/large/giant bars$3.73$0.5316.5%
Novelty candy$2.67$0.5727.3%

Source: McLane Co. | * Percent change from a year ago |  *** Average shipments per store per week


"If I had these items in private label, do I still carry name brand? I'm a firm believer you do. I've seen success on both sides."
–Tim Young - Candy Category Manager of the Year Award winner


Market Share by Pack Size

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015 

King-size package sizes continued to pad their lead in share of c-store candy dollar and unit sales, according to Nielsen, while share of standard loose again eroded. Also up: peg bags and stand-up pouches.

Pack sizeShare of dollar salesPoint changeShare of unit salesPoint change
King-size33.2%0.627.2%0.5
Standard loose24.6%(1.7)34.4%(1.8)
Single gum (5-15 count)16.1%(0.6)18.2%(0.2)
Peg12.8%0.510.7%0.8
Breath freshener4.8%0.34.2%0.3
Stand-up pouch2.8%0.51.1%0.2
Theater box1.2%(0.2)1.1%(0.1)
XL/giant bars0.6%(0.0)0.4%(0.0)
Bottle pack/pouch gum0.5%0.00.2%(0.0)
All other3.4%0.42.4%0.3

Sources: The Nielsen Co., The Hershey Co.


Market Share by Candy Type

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015

Nonchocolate gained nearly 1 point in c-store unit share in 2015, taking it from chocolate, according to Nielsen. 

Sources: The Nielsen Co., The Hershey Co.

Continued: Chocolate

Latest Quarter: Chocolate UPCs

C-store sales, 13 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2015

C-store unit sales of chocolate did not budge in the final quarter of 2015, according to IRI, although the top four UPCs all posted growth.

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (2.8-oz.)$32.58.0%17.46.5%
Snickers (3.29-oz.)$28.53.4%15.61.8%
Snickers (1.86-oz.)$26.26.0%22.54.4%
M&M's Peanut (3.27-oz.)$22.27.1%12.04.9%
Kit Kat (3-oz.)$15.70.8%8.30.7%
Twix 4 to Go (3.02-oz.)$15.0(0.2%)7.9(5.2%)
M&M's Easter Peanut (1.74-oz.)$14.69.3%12.78.1%
Reese's Sticks (3-oz.)$13.50.2%7.2(0.8%)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (1.5-oz.)$13.4(1.8%)10.8(4.3%)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (2.8-oz.)$12.63.2%6.72.2%
Total**$663.03.8%420.60.0%

Source: IRI | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown | *** Includes supermarkets, drug stores, mass market, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail chains


Chocolate UPCs, Standard and King Size

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015 

King-size chocolate grew c-store dollar sales in 2015 but lost ground on unit sales, according to Nielsen. Standard units fell nearly 9%.

King-size

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales ($ millions)PCYA*
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (2.8-oz.)$163.25.0%89.2(0.0%)
Snickers (3.29-oz.)$125.31.6%70.4(5.1%)
M&M's Peanut (3.27-oz.)$104.28.8%58.01.5%
Kit Kat (3-oz.)$80.1(0.1%)43.4(5.4%)
Reese's Sticks (3-oz.)$69.19.2%37.23.7%
Twix Caramel (3.02-oz.)$65.7(2.8%)35.4(10.9%)
Reese's Big Cup (2.8-oz.)$60.7(0.9%)32.7(5.9%)
Reese's Fast Break (3.5-oz.)$53.56.3%28.70.3%
Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds (2.6-oz.)$50.54.0%27.3(1.4%)
Hershey's Milk Chocolate (2.6-oz.)$47.14.2%25.5(1.4%)
Total**$1,658.43.9%910.0(1.9%)

Source: IRI | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown | *** Includes supermarkets, drug stores, mass market, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail chains


Standard

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales ($ millions)PCYA*
Snickers (1.86-oz.)$89.90.4%72.76.3%
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (1.5-oz.)$55.1(7.6%)43.8(14.3%)
M&M's Peanut (1.74-oz.)$50.11.8%40.5(3.7%)
Kit Kat (1.5-oz.)$48.2(1.4%)38.1(7.7%)
Hershey's Milk Chocolate (1.55-oz.)$40.62.8%32.0(2.9%)
Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds (1.45-oz.)$36.36.2%28.60.6%
Hershey's Cookies 'n' Crème (1.55-oz.)$27.34.0%21.0(1.7%)
M&M's Milk Chocolate (1.69-oz.)$26.11.8%21.1(3.6%)
Twix Caramel (1.79-oz.)$25.1 (3.3%)20.0(9.8%)
Reese's White Peanut Butter Cup (1.5-oz.) $17.77.4%13.70.4%
Total**$894.1(3.3%)754.9(8.8%)

Sources: The Nielsen Co., The Hershey Co. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


Best Practice

Despite more modest growth in 2015, seasonal candy has plenty of room to move in the c-store channel, says Alan Tobin, senior manager of category strategy & insights, c-store/VCFr/specialty/foodservice, for The Hershey Co.

“With the four core seasonal selling windows—Halloween, Holiday, Valentine’s Day and Easter—covering up to 65% of the year, there is a lot of time to capture that seasonal shopper,” said Tobin, who recommends a designated area for seasonal products. Retailers who put in a dedicated seasonal space have grown up to six times the volume vs. when they placed the items randomly throughout the store.


Channel Comparison: Chocolate Candy**

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2015

None of the retail channels grew chocolate unit sales in 2015, according to IRI figures, although c-stores lost the least amount of volume.

ChannelDollar sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Multi-outlet***$10,792.82.3%4,895.5(3.9%)
Food$3,619.83.7%1700.4(2.4%)
C-stores$2,770.85.2%1775.8(1.6%)
Drug$1,880.91.6%951.9(6.3%)

Source: IRI | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown | *** Includes supermarkets, drug stores, mass market, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail chains

Continued: Seasonal & Pouches

Seasonal UPCs

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015

After strong sales gains in 2014, c-store seasonal candy sales moderated somewhat in 2015, according to Nielsen figures.

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Reese's Peanut Butter Egg (2.4-oz.)$16.9(1.4%)11.1(6.5%)
Reese's Peanut Butter Egg (1.2-oz.)$12.6(12.9%)12.7(18.6%)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Holiday (1-lb.)$10.57.0%0.81.7%
Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin (2.4-oz.)$9.95.3%6.1(1.4%)
Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin (1.2-oz.)$8.71.5%8.1(1.1%)
Cadbury Crème Egg (1.2-oz.)$8.2(2.2%)8.0(4.3%)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Holiday (2.4-oz.)$7.99.0%4.89.7%
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Holiday (1.2-oz.)$5.0(3.7%)4.8(7.3%)
Snickers Halloween (2.83-oz.)$3.3138.3%2.2122.7%
Cadbury Crème Egg (2.2-oz.)$2.8(13.3%)1.8(15.6%)
Total**$134.45.4%100.2(1.3%)

Sources: The Nielsen Co., The Hershey Co. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


Best Practice

Recent reasearch by Wrigley and Mars Chocolate on the emotional journey people make during shopping has identified one consistent element: Checkout is the emotional low point of the shopping journey, no matter where or how a customer pays. But retailers can improve his experience by surrounding customers with the right items in the right spots. 

"The shopper is looking for balanced choices at the front end that satisfy all of their needs—whether that is to be refreshed, rewarded or reminded at the end of their shopping journey," says Larry Lupo, vice president of sales for grocery, convenience and drug channels for Mars Chocolate North America. "Each front-end category plays a role in this. For example, gum and mints satisfy the shopper's need to refresh themselves. Nonchocolate confections and chocolate satisfy the shopper's need for a reward at the end of the trip."


Stand-Up-Pouch UPCs

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015

Double-digit gains in dollar and unit sales of stand-up pouches in c-stores made this package size one of the clear category winners of 2015. 

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Reese's Minis Peanut Butter Cups (8-oz.)$12.620.0%2.814.1%
Kit Kat Minis (8-oz.)$11.815.4%2.710.6%
M&M's Peanut (8-oz.)$7.929.3%1.820.9%
Nestlé Butterfinger (10-oz.)$6.037.7%1.434.0%
Twix Bites (7-oz.)$5.8188.7%1.3190.1%
Total**$163.628.7%44.319.8%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., The Hershey Co. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


19.8% – Increase in c-store unit sales of stand-up candy pouches in 2015, per Nielsen


 


Candy: What to Watch

Non-Chocolate

Mints/Gum/Breath Fresheners

CMOY Candy: Tim Young

View the full 2016 Category Management Handbook

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