Candy has had a few soft years in the c-store channel. But a combination of manufacturer consolidation and good ol’ trend chasing promise better things for candy in 2018.
1. Functional chew.
Breath freshening may be one reason to chew gum, but manufacturers are testing the category’s capability to deliver much more. Think caffeine, guarana, vitamins and other functional ingredients that could encourage consumers to reconsider the category’s possibilities. And what does not work for gum has potential for gummy candy, thanks to the foothold of gummy vitamins in the HBC category.
2017 C-Store Candy Sales
Source: The Hershey Co. | * Percent change from a year ago
2. Consolidating power.
The Ferrero Group’s acquisition of Ferrera Candy Co. and Nestle’s confection business means innovation will be more intense in 2018, especially in gummy and seasonal candy. Meanwhile, Hershey’s purchase of Amplify Snack Brands and Mars’ partnership with Kind should provide more opportunities for sweet snack collaborations.
3. Simpler sweets.
Clean labels are filtering into the candy aisle after transforming the snack set. Products sweetened with organic raw cane sugar, enhanced with natural flavors and colors, and made without gluten and gelatin are attempting to win consumers committed to better-for-you eating.