Confectionery, Gum Sales Reach $34B With Strong Dollar Gains


Washington — Confectionery dollar sales in traditional channels have surpassed the $34 billion mark, according to Circana data for the 52 weeks ending August 13, 2023. The data also show that confectionery continues to be one of the strongest growth leaders across the store.

Overall, total food and beverage dollar sales growth has fallen to 7.3 percent as subdued demand coupled with low inflation and even some deflation is slowing dollar gains, points out Anne-Marie Roerink, 210 Analytics, LLC. 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 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, Roerink notes gains have started to slow significantly in the shorter term. For the four weeks ending August 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 explains.

A few areas within chocolate are still experiencing double-digit growth in the full-year view — seasonal candy, snack size and bags/boxes/bars smaller than 3.5 ounces. Gains for sugarfree chocolate, however, have dropped to single-digits, at 7.2 percent. 

Non-chocolate candy continues to outperform chocolate in both dollars and units. For the 52-week period, non-chocolate dollar gains increased 15.6 percent. Units were mostly flat, dropping 0.5 percent. However, much like chocolate, non-chocolate sales gains are showing signs of slowing down, with the latest four weeks experiencing a unit decline of 1.9 percent.

Chewy candy represents 50 percent of all dollars and grew 14.6 percent during the past year. Several other areas experienced double-digit growth, including sugarfree candy, seasonal, mints, novelty, caramel and breath fresheners. Roerink notes that novelty non-chocolate had the highest growth, at 43.7 percent and also experienced unit growth of 25.7 percent.

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 sugarfree gum, which also led all growth, at 20.4 percent.