New NCA Report: Seasonal Confectionery Is Key Driver of the Category and Business

New NCA Report: Seasonal Confectionery Is Key Driver of the Category and Business

Seasonal treats enhance occasions, create opportunities for growth.

WASHINGTON – Seasonal chocolate and candy drive confectionery sales as consumers view these treats as a key part of their celebrations, according to the National Confectioners Association in a new report out today. The report found that 64% of total chocolate and candy sales are attributed to the big four seasons – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and the winter holidays – which allows for merchandising opportunities that ensure that confectionery products continue to enhance special occasions and that the category remains strong year-round.

NCA’s new report, Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers, offers an in-depth look at the trends, attitudes and behaviors related to confectionery treating during the four main seasonal moments, as well as secondary seasons and micro-occasions like Mother’s Day and back-to-school. The report also explores innovation and merchandising opportunities for manufacturers and retailers related to introducing new seasonal products to shoppers – especially important since 88% of consumers report that they like to see new items when browsing for seasonal chocolate and candy.

“Seasonal treating is deeply rooted in tradition and elicits memories of happy times, sharing with loved ones and an unmatched feeling of nostalgia,” John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “Given the important role that chocolate and candy play in the seasons, it’s no surprise that the category enjoys a high rate of permissibility, with 96% of U.S. consumers in agreement that it is perfectly fine to enjoy some treats during the holidays. Even in challenging economic times, consumers are celebrating and making room in their budgets for the affordable luxury of chocolate and candy.”

94% of Americans say that seasonal treats help to create memories, which means that the time-honored tradition of sharing a little bit of confectionery is an important consideration for consumers when they purchase chocolate and candy. Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers shares key insights for confectionery manufacturers and retailers as they consider the future of seasonal treating, including identifying the opportunities to ensure that Gen Z and Millennials build the same emotional connections to chocolate and candy as older generations.

The full Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers report is available to NCA member companies and retailers at CandyUSA.com/SeasonalConsumers, and key insights from the research can be found in the report’s executive summary.

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Survey Methodology: NCA’s Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers was conducted in August 2023 by 210 Analytics, LLC with sales data overlay by Circana (formerly IRI). The sample of 1,604 individuals mirrors the U.S. population in terms of key demographics, including age, income, ethnicity and region.

About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates $42 billion in retail sales each year. 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 CandyUSA.com or follow NCA on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.