The past year has brought major changes across all retail sectors, with candy in particular experiencing a wild ride. After a dip in sales during 2020, chocolate candy dollar sales are up over 6%, and other candy sales are up over 5% year over year, according to data from Chicago-based IRI.
Recent data shows that chocolate candy consumption continues to improve, and that’s fueling optimism among researchers, who expect the candy industry to hit $39.5 billion in sales by 2025.
“Confectionery has remained a resilient category, with chocolate and candy providing some much-needed normalcy and joy to many Americans throughout an unusual year,” said Carly Schildhaus, Public Affairs Manager for the National Confectioners Association (NCA), in Washington, D.C. “As we get back to the things we love, Americans report that they’ll be bringing chocolate and candy along as they pursue their favorite activities, especially as most consumers agree that physical health and emotional well-being are connected.”
New research from Packaged Facts reveals that candy sales may be extra tasty this year. With customers craving more time with family and friends after cancellations in 2020, extended seasonal holidays and celebrations are expected. What does that mean for candy? Experts say Halloween candy sales this year may be bigger than ever.
“Amidst the uncertainty this year, the confectionery category has remained a true testament to how chocolate and candy are an important aspect of our collective emotional well-being,” said John Downs, President and CEO of NCA. “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.”
Consumers are seeing that play out in 2021 in the form of extensions of many popular labels. One major brand is even reinventing a couple fan favorites. Hershey recently added Kit Kat Thins to their roster, a twist on the original that contains one fewer layer of wafers. And Reese’s remixed their traditional peanut butter and chocolate combo, adding Reese’s Stuffed with Pretzels and Reece’s Snack Cake.
Healthier snacks have become more popular in recent years, and while many megabrands are leveraging their successful labels with extensions, other chocolate companies are tapping into the better-for-you food trends. Clean labels, vegan products, organic and low-carb and low-sugar varieties are entering the marketplace and appealing to those more health-conscious customers.
As candy and chocolate sales continue to sweeten up, grocers should take another look at their center store displays. A disorganized and untidy candy aisle will often turn customers away frustrated. On the other hand, having an attractive candy display can draw customers in and encourage them to purchase.
When it comes to candy sales, visibility is crucial. Shoppers spend only 31 seconds in a store’s primary candy aisle, VideoMining found. To fully deliver on their high-profit potential, bagged candy must be easy for customers to find and purchase.
Grocers know all too well the challenge of keeping center-store displays organized and stocked. Retail Space Solutions offers a complete line of pusher display systems for center store aisles, designed to keep products front and center – ultimately driving more sales and higher profits.
For more information on center store pusher display systems from Retail Space Solutions, visit www.retailspacesolutions.com or call 1-800-279-5291.