NCA Unveils Annual State of Treating Report for 2021

NCA Unveils Annual State of Treating Report for 2021

Confectionery category shows resiliency during pandemic with $36.7 billion in sales

WASHINGTON – The National Confectioners Association released its annual State of Treating report at its virtual State of the Industry Conference. Made possible by Blommer Chocolate Company, the 2021 report offers a full picture of the strength of the confectionery category – even during an unprecedented year.

The report combines shopper insights and sales results to provide a dynamic and comprehensive look at the confectionery industry and the special connection that consumers have with chocolate, candy, gum and mints. Presented annually, the State of Treating report offers an integrated look at the confectionery shopper and the trends impacting purchasing patterns.

“When we debuted the 2020 State of Treating report at the beginning of March last year, we never could have imagined the tectonic shift in consumer behaviors and the retail landscape that was about to occur,” John Downs, president & CEO of NCA, said. “This year’s report offers an important insight: people turn to chocolate and candy as a special way of bringing us together and play a critical role in finding safe and creative ways to stay connected to those we care about.”

Key trends from the report include:

  • Sales of chocolate grew 4.2 percent and non-chocolate grew by 2.9 percent.
  • 77 percent of consumers feel that good emotional well-being leads to better physical health and makes it possible to enjoy life and be happier.
  • 61 percent of shoppers changed up their confectionery purchasing patterns during the pandemic.
  • 41 percent of people bought more value packs with individually-wrapped treats.
  • Households purchasing chocolate and candy online at least twice in 2020 increased 76 percent, and the annual online dollars per buyer increased by 14.3 percent.

“Amidst the uncertainty this year, the confectionery category has remained resilient –which is a true testament to how chocolate and candy remain an important aspect of our collective emotional well-being,” Downs said. “Whether it’s a quick escape for parents from the chaos of balancing work from home with virtual school, a celebration of a milestone moment or simply sending a treat to a friend from afar, chocolate and candy have helped Americans stay connected even when we couldn’t be together.”

The release of the 2021 State of Treating report was made possible by Blommer Chocolate Company, and it coincides with the second year of NCA’s “Thrive in 2025” five-year strategic plan. The plan outlines NCA’s goals, such as strengthening its advocacy and communications capabilities, identifying the disruptive trends of the future, and developing positive and meaningful thought leadership for the industry.

For a bite-sized taste of the Sweet Insights: State of Treating 2021 report, please click here.

NCA member companies looking for the full Sweet Insights: State of Treating 2021 report can click here.


About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the $48 billion U.S. confectionery industry. NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and works to ensure that chocolate, candy, gum and mints are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy. The industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states and supports an additional 635,000 jobs in related fields. The U.S. confectionery industry has made a commitment to increasing transparency, providing more portion guidance options and educating consumers about the role of confectionery in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Learn more at or follow NCA on Facebook, X and Instagram.