ROCKVILLE, Md. – Just because chocolate candy is surging in convenience stores doesn’t mean nonchocolate has fallen behind. The category’s c-store sales increased nearly 5% from August 2017 to August 2018, according to Chicago-based research firm IRI. Moreover, total retail dollar sales of the U.S. nonchocolate candy market is expected to hit $11 billion by the end of the year, with sales having increased 3% from 2013 to 2018, according to the report Non-Chocolate Candy: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities, by research firm Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md.
It’s no surprise that alongside the increased profits came a slew of fresh nonchocolate candy products. Sour worms, jelly beans, gummy bears and two-in-one fruit chews were among the mass of nonchocolate candies showcased at the recent 2018 NACS Show in Las Vegas.
And although nonchocolate candy primarily appeals to children and young adults, there’s plenty of opportunity to reel in older consumers as demands for natural, reduced-sugar options rise, said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
“[Older] consumers are increasingly looking for healthier, more nutritious indulgences and better-for-you candies and snacks that still taste good,” Sprinkle said. “As a result, we're seeing greater focus placed on the creation of healthier candies that feature nutritious ingredients or inclusions such at nuts, seeds, botanicals and fruit."
Specifically, consumer demand for clean labels and transparency is on the upswing. Consumers increasingly seek products that are natural and organic, free of artificial additives and GMOs and sustainably sourced.
However, demand for indulgence remains unharmed despite the call for healthfulness, according to the report. Major candy brands continue to deliver the bulk of sales in the nonchocolate category while tactically implementing clean-label and transparent product attributes where feasible, said Sprinkle.
Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts publishes market intelligence on consumer demographics, shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, pet products and more.