Throughout the year, American consumers look forward to celebrating their favorite holidays and seasons with friends and family. Whether it’s exchanging heart-shaped chocolate boxes on Valentine’s Day or roasting s’mores around a summer bonfire, chocolate and candy play an important role in these special moments and seasonal celebrations.
Over the weekend, the Orange County Register published an op-ed about the proposed food additive ban in California penned by former FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannis. In the piece, Frank expressed an opinion very much aligned with positioning of NCA and the candy industry, writing, “It’s critical to rely on experts at the federal level, in close collaboration with state officials, to maintain consistency, uniformity, and consumer confidence in our nation’s food safety system.”
Without question, the rising cost of food has been dominating the news cycle and impacting how consumers make purchasing decisions.
The 2023 State of Treating report reinforced what we know: During this economic uncertainty, consumers are looking for small ways to bring a little sweetness to their lives and the lives of those around them.
With the new year fast approaching, the winter holidays are a time of both nostalgia and looking towards the future – and the confectionery industry is honored that chocolate and candy play such a key role in the celebrations for so many Americans.
Chocolate and candy are a centerpiece in so many Halloween traditions – making the season’s arrival the most exciting time of the year for the confectionery industry. I’m thrilled to share that this year, the Halloween season is even sweeter because America’s chocolate and candy companies delivered on their commitment to helping consumers manage their sugar intake by providing more transparency, choice and portion guidance options when it comes to our favorite treats.
In 2017, Mars Wrigley, Ferrero, Ferrara Candy Company, Lindt, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and Russell Stover Chocolates joined forces in a landmark agreement to help consumers manage their sugar intake. In a commitment to Partnership for a Healthier America, these companies set an ambitious goal to provide more transparency, create more portion guidance options in innovative packaging, and educate consumers about how unique products like chocolate and candy can play a role in a happy, balanced lifestyle.
At NCA, we have many conversations with our member companies, consumers, politicians and other stakeholders about what it means to treat as part of a happy, balanced lifestyle and how confectionery’s impact on emotional well-being is connected to physical well-being.
As summer comes to a close, confectioners and consumers alike are looking forward to our industry’s next big candy moment: Halloween! According to recent research from the National Confectioners Association, an overwhelming 93% of young parents say they have plans to celebrate Halloween this year.
After we’ve spent two years apart, this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo is going to be a big one for our industry, as thousands of industry experts and thought leaders convene in Indianapolis June 23-25 for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic will change how we celebrate the winter holidays, with many Americans opting to hold smaller celebrations or participate in safer, socially-distanced winter holiday traditions to celebrate the season.
However, that doesn’t mean that winter holiday celebrations are off the table.
As we approach the end of the Halloween season – our industry’s “Super Bowl” – I’ve noticed an encouraging trend in the way state and local governments, health departments, the media and consumers are viewing Halloween celebrations.