Washington — According to data insights firm Circana, total candy, gum and mint dollar sales increased 12.4 percent for the past 52 weeks ending July 16. Growth is very stable, whether looking at the four, 12 or 52 weeks with above-average contributions by non-chocolate candy and gum, with chocolate experiencing a bit more pressure, according to Anne-Marie Roerink, of 210 Analytics LLC.
The dollar growth is boosted by inflation, with total confectionery units down 2.7 percent for the 52 weeks. This mirrors patterns seen across the total store, reflecting money-saving measures among consumers who look to balance their budgets by buying less, Roerink explains. There are very few categories bucking that trend.
On the retail side, convenience stores, a popular destination for younger shoppers, outperformed all other channels with below average unit declines and above-average dollar gains.
The chocolate sector had the strongest unit pressure, with 52-week performance down 5.1 percent. Virtually all segments experienced declines. Dollars, on the other hand, continued to increase. In the full-year period, dollar sales increased 9.6 percent with strong contributions from seasonal items.
In a May survey by 210 Analytics, consumers pointed to holidays and special celebrations as the number one reason to splurge a little — something confectionery has experienced season after season in the past two years. Growth is seen on both sides of the size spectrum, with small packages and bars up 10.4 percent and value packs up 8.4 percent.
Dropping 0.6 percent in the 52-week view, non-chocolate experienced some pressure as well, but far less than chocolate and total food and beverages. Some sectors continued to see unit growth including novelty, sugarfree and seasonal non-chocolate. This fueled above-average dollar gains for all time periods. In the 52-week look, non-chocolate sales increased 15.4 percent, with strong performances by novelty, seasonal, sugarfree, caramel and chewy. Chewy candy continued to represent roughly half of the total $11.9 billion non-chocolate market.
Gum and breath freshener sales reached $3.2 billion for the past 52 weeks, which reflects an increase of 18.2 percent year-on-year. The bulk of sales came from sugarless gum, at $2.8 billion, which was also the fastest growing sector. Additionally, sugarless gum was one of the few areas in the store that achieved positive unit growth, increasing 7.3 percent.