WASHINGTON – John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, this week spoke at the annual CHOCOVISION conference in Davos, Switzerland. In his speech to senior leadership in the chocolate industry, Downs addressed the future of confectionery.
“For me, meetings like CHOCOVISION underscore the importance of private/public partnerships, for transparency in our deeds and actions, and for on-going dialogue as we address any number of issues that impact the chocolate category,” Downs said. “Since my arrival at NCA four years ago, I have maintained a comprehensive list of domestic and global topics that have the potential to disrupt – or fundamentally change – the confectionery business in the U.S. No matter how this list changes and shifts, we know our category will continue to be relevant and grow.”
Consumers understand that chocolate and candy are treats. In the U.S., people enjoy chocolate and candy 2 or 3 times a week, averaging about 40 calories per day. The fun and unique addition of treats to a happy, balanced lifestyle is especially relevant as 80 percent of Americans share the opinion that their emotional well-being is just as important as their physical well-being.
The U.S. confectionery industry also has strong ties to the economy, employing 55,000 Americans and supporting more than 400,000 additional U.S. workers whose jobs rely in part on confectionery manufacturing. For every one job that is created in the manufacturing of confectionery, another seven are supported in related industries. In all, the U.S. confectionery industry accounts for around $35 billion in annual sales.
“An overwhelming 90 percent of Americans have said that a world without chocolate and candy is no world at all. But, that does not shield us from the same disruptions that face other industries. We need to be radically open-minded about these challenges, while still being mindful of the opportunities they present,” Downs said.
Read more of John Downs’ CHOCOVISION speech here.
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About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes the unique role of chocolate, candy, gum and mints in a happy, balanced lifestyle and the companies that make these special treats. Through advocacy and regulatory guidance, communications, industry insights and retail and supply chain engagement, NCA helps foster an environment that enables candy makers to thrive. Confections are produced in all 50 states, creating jobs for approximately 54,000 workers in more than 1,300 manufacturing facilities across the country. Learn more at AlwaysATreat.com or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.