USA — The US confectionery industry has achieved a record-breaking US$48 billion in sales in 2023, as per the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) latest State of Treating report released on March 14, 2024.

According to the report, which is the NCA’s fifth annual exploration into the nation’s confectionery trends, sales are projected to further increase to $61 billion by 2028. Notably, Inflationary pressures have led to price increases across both chocolate and non-chocolate candies.

“Our new research shows that, even when faced with unpredictable environmental shifts and changes, consumers feel a strong connection to chocolate and candy. They embrace classic favorites and innovative novelties with an emotional drive that keeps the category fresh and vibrant,” John Downs, President & CEO of NCA, commented on the findings.

Growth rates varied across segments, with chocolate growing at 5.8%, non-chocolate candy at an impressive 12.1%, and gum and mints leading with a 15.4% surge in sales.

Despite the economic squeeze, chocolate still retained the largest share of these confectionery sales, amounting to US$25.9 billion, while counterparts such as gum and mints reached $3.7 billion.

To add to that, the report found that 80% of consumers now perceive a connection between physical and mental health.

Consequently, companies started to devise ways to adapt to these market trends. For instance, Mars Inc. have rebranded their gum as an instant stress reliever rather than just a breath freshener, tapping into the growing awareness of emotional well-being.

Another notable trend highlighted in the report is the emergence of products tailored to specific “need states,” such as sleep, calmness, and energy.

Companies like Good Day Chocolate in the US are addressing mental well-being by offering products designed to promote relaxation and calmness.

The report’s findings also cemented holiday seasons as important periods for confectionery sales, with 64% of purchases occurring during celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.

Also, according to this report, consumers’ decision to purchase these confectionaries is increasingly influenced by the same factors across different generations: price considerations, mood, nutrition, brand loyalty, and sustainability.

Overall, the State of Treating report underscores the resilience and adaptability of the US confectionery industry amidst changing consumer preferences and economic conditions.

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