Instant Commerce Analysis Predicts 2024 Candy Trends

Gopuff's "Ins and Outs Report" predicts consumers' preferences for the year ahead.
Danielle Romano
Managing Editor
Gopuff product assortment teaser

PHILADELPHIA  Out with the old and in with the new is consumers' mentality as the ring in 2024.

To celebrate the new year, instant commerce platform Gopuff released its "Ins and Outs Report," which analyzed orders from across the country in 2023 and predicts the biggest trends of 2024.

"As we reflect on the instant commerce landscape of 2023, our customer trends have unveiled an interest in adventurous flavor choices, a call for health-conscious substitutions and an unwavering love of long-standing classics," said Daniel Folkman, senior vice president of business at Gopuff. "We will continue to leverage our unique insights to drive assortment decisions and strategy in 2024, staying ahead of major trends to bring customers more of what they love."

2023 Breakdown 

From staples like bottled water and bananas to spicy cravings for hot fries, and the ongoing allure of ice cream, these Gopuff purchases defined 2023 instant commerce shopping trends. 

Nationwide Bag Staples

These were the top five products sold on Gopuff across the country:

  • Purified water 
  • Chester's Flamin' Hot Fries
  • Smucker's Frozen Uncrustables PB & Grape Jelly on Wheat
  • Simply Lemonade Raspberry
  • Bananas

People's Priorities From Coast to Coast

Party People

  • Miami: Vodka, tequila, and hard and spiked drinks
  • Los Angeles: Hard and spiked drinks, vodka and sparkling water
  • Denver: Soda, vodka and lager beer
  • Philadelphia: Chocolate, ice cream, and hard and spiked drinks

Grocery Getters

  • New York: Fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, frozen meat
  • Boston: Fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit and vegetables, fresh seafood
  • Chicago: Fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, frozen meat

Health Nuts

  • Rochester, N.Y.: Jerky, dried fruit, nut and seed mixes, electrolyte boosts 
  • Baltimore: Kombucha, immunity boosters, coconut water
  • Milwaukee: Dried fruit, nut and seed mixes, tonics, kombucha

Snacking Cities

  • Phoenix: Salty snacks, soda and sports drinks
  • Dallas, Texas: Salty snacks, ice cream and soda
  • Washington, D.C.: Salty snacks, candy and juice

The Gift of Giving

Gopuff's gifting service was used to deliver tens of thousands of thoughtful surprises to loved ones in minutes, the retailer reported.

[Read more: Three Snacking Trends to Watch in 2024]

Customers turned to Gopuff as a "get well soon" gift giver frequently delivering curated bags of ramen chicken noodle soup, Gatorade and PB&J Uncrustables. On Valentine's Day, customers tapped Gopuff as a cupid replacement sending roses and chocolates as two of the most popular gifted items in 2023.

2024 Ins & Outs

Customer Instant Commerce preferences from 2023 serve as a compass for the trends of 2024. By reviewing purchasing habits over the last year, Gopuff anticipates the evolving needs of customers this year and beyond. 


"Flamin' Hot" Pairings

What's hot, got even hotter in 2023 and will continue to heat up.

An impressive one in every 10 Gopuff customers added Chester's Flamin' Hot Fries to their bag in 2023. Common pairings with Hot Fries include Sour Patch Kid Candies, Twix Caramel Bars, Slim Jim Meat Sticks and Sprite. In 2024, customers will continue snacking on spicy favorites making unexpected flavor duos, Gopuff predicts.

Loud Budgeting

Customers are staying in their budget while adding to their bag.

Over the last year, tighter budgets drove consumers to shop online, where they could more easily compare prices and search for deals. In 2023, "sale" was a top search term on Gopuff indicating the ongoing focus on finding the best deals and discounts on everyday essentials. In 2024, these cost-conscious spending habits are expected to increase as value remains a key driving factor when making purchasing decisions. 

Spirits-Free Substitutions

The bullish trend continues to rise as customers look to healthier alternatives to alcoholic beverages.

Over the last few years, there has been an uptick in the popularity of nonalcoholic alternatives, and 2023 was no exception as the category saw a 57% increase in sales. The beverage industry has responded to growing customer interest with a wide variety of new, alcohol-free options. 

Ice Cream Cravings

Fan favorites continue to top the list of most popular ice cream flavors of the year. 

Ice cream was the No. 1 search term on Gopuff in 2023. When it comes to the most popular ice cream flavors, customers are sticking to go-to favorites with flavors like cookie dough, strawberry cheesecake and traditional cookie sandwiches topping the list. 

As Seen on TikTok

Social-driven commerce soars. 

In Gopuff's beauty category, acne patches were the No. 2 top-selling item, only topped by Q-tips. The instant commerce retailer saw an increased interest for trending and emerging brands, and expect social media to further influence purchasing habits on Gopuff and beyond into 2024. For customers who are influenced by social media trends, Gopuff created a Latest and Greatest category which is regularly updated to align with evolving customer cravings. 


Fruit-Flavored Candy Favorites

Customers are opting for sour over sweet. 

[Read more: Global Chocolate Consumption Holds Steady]

Recent data trends reveal a notable shift in consumer preferences toward sour flavors over traditional, fruit-flavored chewy candies. In 2023, there was an uptick in customer cravings for sour candies like sour Skittles, Trolli Brite Sour gummy candies and Sour Patch Kids, and a decrease in orders of classic fruit-flavored snacks. This shift indicates a growing appetite for tangy and acidic profiles as people gravitate towards a more nuanced and adventurous palate, Gopuff said.

Sipping on Sugar

Soda alternatives take the beverage industry by storm.

While many classics like Sprite, Diet Coke and Dr Pepper remain fan favorites, customers have also shown an increased interest in health-conscious sodas, tonics and kombuchas. In 2023, the unit volume for this subcategory increased by 54% compared to last year, featuring growing brands like Olipop, Poppi and Baloo. 

Bland Bites

When it comes to chip flavors, customers want bold options. 

Customers are saying goodbye to classic tortilla chips and salted potato chips, and instead saying hello to spicy, tangy and savory flavors. In the crunch category, there was a battle amongst the top 10 chip flavors with spicy flavors like sweet chili, hot fries and chili limon coming out on top. Coming in close second were savory flavors like Garden Salsa and barbecue, all followed by tangy classics like sour cream and onion. 

Founded in 2013, Gopuff is a leading instant commerce platform that brings thousands of everyday products to customers in minutes. The company stores its own inventory of about 4,000 products in hundreds of local micro-fulfillment centers.

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