Forecast 2019: The Prognosis for Candy
NATIONAL REPORT — Consumers have been asking for healthier food, beverage and snack options, but that doesn't mean they've lost their taste for occasional indulgences — which is encouraging news for the candy category at convenience stores.
This year, the number of c-store retailers expecting a decrease in candy sales fell to zero, compared to the 7.5 percent who expected their average dollar sales per store to decline in 2018 and the 11.8 percent who expected their unit volume per store to decline, according to the results of the 2019 Convenience Store News Forecast Study.
Still, the majority of c-store operators expect status quo in 2019: 65 percent forecast their dollar sales will stay the same, while 63.2 percent anticipate no change in unit volume.
The overall expected net change in the candy category is a 2.4-percent increase in dollar sales and a 1.5-percent increase in unit volume.
Retailers note that while the desire for healthy products is a factor in sales staying at their current levels, "people are willing to pay up for fancy and quality items."
Loyalty programs, two-for-one pricing, impulse merchandising and introduction of new candy products are expected to drive sales this year.
Gum, which has struggled in recent years, is starting to bounce back and can be helped along with proper promotion and marketing, as one retailer commented.
The 17th annual CSNews Forecast Study includes a Retailer Forecast and Supplier Forecast, both based on the results of a survey fielded in November 2018. Participants were asked to predict 2019 sales per store for a variety of product categories, as well as to share their opinions on overall business, economic and consumer trends. The Forecast Study also provides dollar and unit volume projections in key c-store product categories.