LAS VEGAS — The dominant trend in candy right now isn't a single flavor, but rather a flavor style. According to candy suppliers on the 2015 NACS Show expo floor, today's consumers still enjoy their sweets but with a sour twist, and this is prompting the introduction of both new product lines and sour variants of existing brands. For instance, Wrigley featured several sour variants of its brands, including Skittles and Starburst.
Seasonal is another strong trend for the category. While suppliers acknowledge seasonal candy sales at c-stores are not yet as strong as they could be, sales continue to grow as retailers learn they do not cannibalize regular candy purchases. Candy companies recommend consistency in the placement of seasonal offerings and suggest retailers add boxes of individual seasonal candy pieces near the cash register to increase impulse purchases.
Shareable and take-home candy packaging innovation also continues to grow as consumers increasingly purchase a treat without the intention to eat it all at once.
Some of the new candy products debuting at the show included Mars Chocolate North America’s Snickers Crisper bar, following in the footsteps of its recently returned M&M'S Crispy. The Hershey Co. displayed new varieties of old favorites, such as the Reese's Snack Mix bag and the oversized Kit Kat Big Kat bar, along with high-quality Allan gummy candy it plans to bring to the United States from Canada's Allan Candy Co., which it acquired in late 2014.
For more insights gained from the 2015 NACS Show expo floor, look in the November issue of Convenience Store News.