Washington — Confectionery sales surpassed $30 billion for the 52 weeks ending June 12, according to MULO data from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).
Up 11.7 percent versus year-ago data, total candy, mints and gum (CMG) sales reached $30.2 billion during the 52 week period in multi-outlet stores, including convenience stores. CMG sales were equally strong in the latest 12-week period ending June 12, with growth of 11.4 percent.
Sales gains were strongest for convenience stores as road trip season has arrived along with a greater level of mobility with many offices opening back up across the country, notes Anne-Marie Roerink, founder of 210 Analytics, LLC. CMG sales were up 12.8 percent for the latest 52 weeks, with particular strength in non-chocolate, which was up 17.1 percent.
The increased consumer mobility is also driving more sales at drug stores, with sales up 10.1 percent for the latest 52 weeks.
Chocolate had a strong first pandemic year and sales continued to grow in 2021 and into the first six months of 2022. Total chocolate sales increased 9.7 percent for the latest 52 weeks, with the biggest contributions coming from larger value packs, which were up 11.2 percent and sugarfree chocolate sales that jumped 30.2 percent. Sugarfree chocolate has been a growth leader for several years albeit from a small base.
Returning to pre-pandemic patterns, non-chocolate is once more delivering the fastest growth percentages, Roerink reports. For the latest 52 weeks, non-chocolate sales grew 14.6 percent, with double-digit contributions by breath fresheners (+13.0 percent), hard candy (+19.8 percent), chewy (+12.8 percent), novelty (+26.0 percent) and sugarfree non-chocolate (+15.3 percent).
All the seasons have been tremendous growth drivers as well, she says. “Non-chocolate typically does well during the summer months and the double-digit growth performance for chewy is particularly impressive given that segment represents nearly half of all non-chocolate candy sales,” Roerink explains.
The smallest of the three areas, gum and mints, continued their strong comeback with 52-week gains of 13.8 percent. Both regular and sugarless gum grew, but the majority of sales and growth is coming from sugarless.