Snacks & Candy

Consumers Embrace Mints and Gum for COVID-19 Mask Relief

Trend suggests opportunity to turn around candy segments
mints and masks
Image courtesy of the National Confectioners Association

WASHINGTON — Here's an unexpected opportunity for retailers: 40% of Americans report they use mints to freshen their breath under their COVID-19 masks, according to a new survey from the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Additionally, 38% reported that they enjoy gum under their masks, while 22% reported they prefer hard candy.

The data suggests an opportunity to turn around these categories, which were challenged over the past year. In 2019, mint units sales slipped 7.5% in convenience stores, while gum unit sales were down 6.8%. according to yearend data from IRI.

The data is part of a survey that shows 80% of people say they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season, including enjoying chocolate and candy this month. To help, the NCA has developed the website to serve as a source of inspiration for celebrating a socially distanced but not socially awkward Halloween season.

Additional Halloween insights:

  • 79% of parents indicate they have taken candy from their children after a night of trick-or-treating, according to a Morning Consult report.
  • 74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever, according to a Harris Poll.
  • The same poll also shows 80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms and young parents say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable.
  • The Halloween season accounts for $4.6 billion in confectionery sales each year, according to NCA’s State of Treating report.

The National Confectioners Association, based in Washington, D.C., is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes the unique role of chocolate, candy, gum and mints in a balanced lifestyle and the companies that make these treats.

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