Sweet Potential in Confectionery Trends
Consumers Turned to Confectionery Treats for Comfort During the Pandemic, but the Need for Indulgence Is Waning
Increased snacking during the pandemic spurred increased consumption in the confectionery category with 20% of consumers reporting they snacked to relieve stress . But now that life is returning to some normalcy, confections will have to give consumers a reason to choose candy over healthier options. Unique flavors and low-sugar formulations present as key opportunities to retain interest.
Click to explore the reasons consumers are eating more confections
of US households consume chocolate
of US consumers report shopping more online
Reasons for eating more confectionery
Snacking more often
Better variety of flavors
Top Global Trends
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Holiday Themed & Inspired Flavors
Consumers Cut Back on Sugar
The pandemic has made health a top priority to consumers, with 87% saying they are limiting their sugar consumption to improve their health . While consumers do not expect confections to be a health food, they do want better-for-you options that taste good, as taste remains the most important purchasing factor when it comes to candy. In fact, many consumers prefer to cut down candy intake altogether instead of switching to sugar-free versions which are perceived as less tasty. Opportunies include gradually reducing the sugar content to minimize taste impact or to mask the lack of sweetness with new and interesting flavors . Flavors with health conotations, such as herbal and floral flavors, show the most promise .
Reducing Sugar Intake
Snacking Less Often
Reducing Calorie Intake
Replace With Other Foods
Bored With Flavors
Click on the characters to see their reponses. Click on the response to close.
"I am reducing my sugar intake"
"I am snacking less often"
"I am reducing the calories I eat"
"I am buying less to save money"
"I am replacing sweets with other foods"
"I am bored of current flavors"
Holiday-Themed Candies Remain Popular
Holiday and themed candies remain reliable drivers as they are well rooted in holiday traditions and allow for celebratory permissibilty.
While there are traditional favorites, there is also room for unique limited-time flavors and decorative additives that will spark interest for consumers looking to try new things. Potential exists to explore flashy new looks and seasonal cocktail flavors tailored towards creating a social experience to share with friends and family.
To improve my digestive health
consumers report purchasing holiday confectionery products in the past year
Click the holiday icon for innovative ideas featuring EdiSparklz edible glitter
Chocolate dipped marshmallow featuring red, blue and silver stars featuring EdiSparklz
Candy coated chocolate eggs wtih daisy glitter
Clear lollipop with red heart shaped glitter
Chocolates sprinkled with gold glitter
Gummies with carnival glitter
61% of US consumers would like to see resealable candy and chocolate packaging in order to provide portion control and hygienic storage . While convenience packaging is prevalent in gums, jellies and chews, only 37% of launches for these products featured this claim and is not widespread in other confectionery categories leaving lots of opportunity for packaging innovation.
Top 3 Desired Features in Confectionery Packaging, 2020
of US confectionery consumers would like to see candy in resealable packaging .
of US confectionery consumers would like to see candy with easy to open packaging .
of US consumers would like candy with easy to dispense packaging for hygienic sharing .
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The use of bright or unexpected colors to attract consumer’s attention online has created a market for colorful food and drinks that can “go viral”. EdiSparklz are pure sparkle and magic; a colorful, “better-for-you” enhancement that proves that healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
We Make Nutrition Sparkle
Want to make your product shine? Learn more about EdiSparklz .
Sources: 1) Mintel, Chocolate Confectionery: Incl Impact of COVID-19, US, May 2020; 2) Mintel, Non-Chocolate Confectionery: Inlc Impact of
COVID-19, US, June 2020; 3) Mintel, The Future of Chocolate, Sugar & Gum Confectionery: 2021, March 2021;. 4) Mintel, A Year Of Innovation In Sugar & Gum Confectionery, 2021, March 2021; 5) Mintel, A Year Of Innovation In Chocolate Confectionery, 2021, March 2021; 6) Mintel, Push Hard Candy Beyond Current Flavors And Textures, January 2022.
Reinventing Kids-Focused Products
Opportunity lies in broadening confectionery appeal to all household members. Kids focused products tend to feature oversweet flavors and high sugar contents that are only narrowly appealing. For example, only 11% of consumers believe confectionery is mainly for kids, and are more likely purchasing the item for themselves . Confectionery should focus on more responsible offerings with lower sugar in order to appeal to adults as well as train the future palates of young consumers .
of consumers purchased chocolate confectionery aimed at kids
of consumers purchased sugar confectionery aimed at kids
Top Reasons For Reducing Confection Consumption
6 out of 10
Click the icons to learn more about kid-focused trends
To improve my bone/joint health
To help lose weight
To help build lean muscle
To improve my heart health
To boost my immunity
To boost my energy levels
Offers functional benefits in addition to energy
Energy drink trial motivators, among non-category consumers, by gender and age, 2022¹
"Which of the following would motivate you to try an energy drink? Please select all that apply."
None of these
% of respondents