WASHINGTON, D.C. — Confectionery continues to be one of the strongest growth leaders across the entire store, new analytics show.
Citing Circana research, for the 52 weeks ending Aug. 13, confectionery dollar sales in traditional channels surpassed $34 billion, Candy & Snack Today reported.
Additionally, total food and beverage dollar sales growth fell to 7.3 percent as subdued demand coupled with low inflation and even some deflation is slowing dollar gains, Anne-Marie Roerink, principal and founder of 210 Analytics LLC, shared. For the same time period, confectionery sales increased by double digits, rising 12.4 percent.
Convenience stores remained the fastest growing channel, reaching $8.3 billion in sales during the 52-week period, marking an increase of 14.5 percent over year-ago levels.
The chocolate sector accounted for about 55 percent of dollar sales during the 52-week period, hitting $19 billion. That represents growth of 9.5 percent; however, gains have started to slow significantly in the shorter term, according to Roerink. For the four weeks ending Aug. 13, dollar sales increased 5.6 percent while units were down 5.4 percent. This mirrors a trend seen in 2022, where dollar gains were strong but fully boosted by inflation, Roerink explained.
A few areas within chocolate are still experiencing double-digit growth in the full-year view, including:
Snack size; and
Bags/boxes/bars smaller than 3.5 ounces.
On the other hand, gains for sugar-free chocolate dropped to single-digits, at 7.2 percent.
Nonchocolate candy continues to outperform chocolate in both dollars and units. For the 52-week period, nonchocolate dollar gains increased 15.6 percent. Units were mostly flat, dropping 0.5 percent. However, much like chocolate, nonchocolate sales gains are showing signs of slowing down, with the last four weeks experiencing a unit decline of 1.9 percent, 210 Analytics found.
Chewy candy represents 50 percent of all dollars and grew 14.6 percent during the past year, while several other areas experienced double-digit growth, including sugar-free candy, seasonal, mints, novelty, caramel and breath fresheners. Novelty nonchocolate had the highest growth, at 43.7 percent and also experienced unit growth of 25.7 percent, Roerink reported.
Gum sales continued to recover in the 52 weeks ending August 2023. Dollar sales reached $3.3 billion, which was up 18.6 percent over year-ago levels. The majority of dollar sales, 87 percent, were generated by sugar-free gum, which also led all growth, at 20.4 percent.
Chicago-based Circana serves as an advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. Through advanced analytics, cross-industry data and subject matter expertise, Circana provides insights and research that helps clients unlock business growth.
210 Analytics is a market research firm headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.