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Bigger & Better-for-You

The candy and snack categories had another good year at convenience stores in 2014, but the segments didn’t perform uniformly well. Certain product types did much better than others, carrying the load for the categories as a whole.

On the sweet side, candy saw average sales per store of $44,262, an increase of 1.6 percent from the prior year, or $695 more per store. Only bagged/repacked peg candy and novelties/seasonal candy saw growth, on both a per-store and industrywide basis. Non-chocolate bars/packs saw the largest decline, decreasing 4.9 percent in average sales per store.

The growth of bagged/repacked peg candy in particular helped to offset smaller declines in most other segments, leading to a positive growth year for the candy category overall. Bagged/repacked peg candy’s 3-percentage-point dollar share growth and 2.2-percentage-point unit share growth also helped it gain on perennial segment favorite chocolate bars/packs, which decreased by 1.9 points in dollar share and 1.7 points in unit share.

In regards to snacks, alternative snacks and salty snacks both turned in another big year in 2014. Natural ingredients are driving growth in order to meet the demand for snacks that are both tasty and healthier. At the same time, flavor innovation and branding is geared toward millennials.

Meat snacks and energy/health bars, segments of the alternative snacks category, grew more popular as consumers sought out sources of lean protein, with meat leading the way. In total, alternative snack sales per store increased by 8.2 percent last year.

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