Global confectionery growth forecast offers industry encouragement

With such a wide variety of developments within the confectionery sector over the past year, it is encouraging to learn of a fresh study suggesting continued growth for the industry.

Analysis from the Research and Markets group found that despite existing challenges, compound annual sales increases of around 3% within the chocolate segment have been forecast.

The company notes a marked trend for heightened interest within the premium area of confectionery, which has been a considerable factor over the past few years. Significantly, consumers have become increasingly used to an ever-larger array of luxury products, which perhaps holds to the philosophy that quality often triumphs over quantity.

As the latest industry study also observes, there has been a pattern of growth within the organic, gluten-free and functional-ingredient enhanced product segments – which was very much reflected at ISM in Cologne this year.

The increase in vegetarians product ranges is also attracting plenty of interest – with national UK newspapers suggesting changes to a recipe for the British-made Percy Pig sweets to make them friendly to non-meat eaters has caused something of a stir.

Clearly, catering for dietary requirements and maintaining the pace of progress on reformulating chocolate and confectionery which has been widely promised over the past couple of years appears to still be very much on manufacturers’ agenda.

However, it remains to be seen just how many viable products will emerge with significantly reduced sugar credentials, given the complexity and expense of such operations. But companies such as Plamil, Moo Free with sugar-free series, and organic offerings from fellow British business Seed and Bean, have certainly been shaking the market up.

Anyone who might suggest that invention and passion are lacking within the sector in terms of product development has clearly not been keeping their eyes peeled.  While there are undoubtedly challenges ahead in terms of rising ingredients prices and delivering on wider healthier product promises, there’s a good deal of optimism out there that continues to offer encouragement across the industry.

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