Washington — Total candy, gum and mints sales increased 11.5 percent for the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2022, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). The shorter four- and 12-week periods ending April 17 also show double-digit increases of 11.8 percent and 10.0 percent, respectively.
However, much of the increase is inflation boosted, according to Ann-Marie Roerink, of 210 Analytics, LLC. Total CMG pounds were up 6.1 percent and while units increased 3.1 percent during the latest 52 weeks, illustrating that Americans are moving to value packs to save money and address the many more at-home consumption occasions, Roerink says. In the latest 13 weeks, units have fallen slightly behind 2021 levels, down 0.7 percent, but volume (pounds) have remained ahead of year ago, up 3.3 percent.
Chocolate: Chocolate had the strongest performance in the first pandemic year, making the road to continued growth more difficult. Yet, total chocolate increased 7.8 percent in the latest 12 weeks, attesting to a strong Easter performance. Chocolate contributions were made by snack-size packaging, large value bags of 3.5 ounces or more, Easter chocolate and sugarfree items. For most chocolate areas, dollar gains are inflation driven. Units are down 3.4 percent during the latest 12 weeks and 2.7 percent in the latest four.
Non-Chocolate: Non-chocolate confectionery had the highest growth rate in the latest four, 12 and 52 weeks, based on IRI data. With gains in all areas, non-chocolate sales were up 15 percent in the latest 52 weeks, with especially strong contributions in hard sugar candy, chewy, novelty and seasonal sectors The top performance in dollars went hand-in-hand with strong unit sales, whether looking at the latest 52 weeks (up 6.8 percent), latest 12 weeks (up 2.3 percent) or latest four weeks (up 4.9 percent).
Gum & Mints: Gum and breath fresheners continued to work on getting back to pre-pandemic levels. Both regular and sugarless gum are back in positive territory with gains in dollars and units when compared to 2021 levels. During the latest 52 weeks, gum sales were up 13.7 percent and gains are accelerating.
Channels: Grocery/food channel sales reached $7.8 billion in the latest 52 weeks, up 8.8 percent versus a year ago. Drug store sales were in positive territory throughout the latter half of 2021 and early 2022, but fell behind 2021 in the latest four weeks, which are the core Easter weeks, with total CMG sales dropping 0.7 percent. Convenience stores experienced the fastest growth. Total CMG increased 13.5 percent during the latest 52 weeks and growth rates are holding at around 13 percent for the latest four and 12 weeks as well.