Sweet Insights

2021 State
of Treating

A tumultuous 2020 shook up the food retail space with the coronavirus in firm control of where and how people engaged with confectionery. The pandemic prompted many shopping changes, including fewer trips, larger baskets, store switching and record online shopping. Amid all the changes, confectionery remained a strong and important category, with annual sales of $36.7 billion across all channels.

2020 Category Sales Performance

$21.9B

Chocolate
Total Sales

+

$11.5B

Non-Chocolate
Total Sales

+

$3.9B

Gum & Mints
Total Sales

=

$36.7B

Confectionery
Total Sales

4.2%

Chocolate

2020 Sales Growth

2.9%

Non-Chocolate

2020 Sales Growth

Gum & mints had a tough year as consumers spent more time at home.

Sources: Euromonitor & NCA Projections (rounded)
IRI, MULO + C, 52 weeks ending 12/27/2020

Channel Choices

Grocery had strong gains for chocolate (+10.5%) and non-chocolate (+9.9%) alike.

Online confectionery sales skyrocketed (+76%).

Convenience had its strongest performance in non-chocolate (+4.4%).

Drug had an off-year due to declines in household penetration and trips.

Source: IRI, 52 weeks ending 12/27/2020

Changes in Behavior

6in10

shoppers changed up their candy purchases in 2020:

Buying different pack sizes

Buying different brands

Buying other items or shopping at different stores

36%

of Americans sent or dropped off confectionery gift baskets in lieu of visiting people during the pandemic.

Emotional Well-Being

77%

of consumers feel physical health and emotional well-being are connected.

81%

of consumers feel agree that it is completely fine to occasionally treat yourself with some chocolate or candy.

Parents and
Confectionery

3in4

parents discuss balance in everyday and seasonal candy consumption with their children.

78%

of parents feel empowered to make informed choices.

5in6

parents monitor their children’s consumption.

16%

of parents frequently purchase chocolate or candy at checkout.

Social Responsibility
and Sustainability

4in10

shoppers value environmental sustainability when making purchase decisions.

5in10

shoppers also like to buy from companies that give back to the community or charities.

Product claims that resonate with consumers include:

46%

All-Natural

38%

No Artificial Colors, Flavors, Sweeteners

28%

Non-GMO

28%

No High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Produced by:

 

Made possible by:

Methodology

This report is based on consumer studies by NCA and 210 Analytics conducted in September and December 2020 among 1,500+ qualified shoppers ages 18-75 in each study.

Data Overlay

The attitudinal survey data is complemented by retail measurement and household panel data provided by insights firm IRI for the 52 weeks ending December 27, 2020.

Unless otherwise attributed, data throughout this report are provided by NCA and 210 Analytics.

NCA President & CEO John Downs speaks at the 2021 State of the Industry Conference about the State of Treating.