Remaining on trend is vital for the confectionery trade

Keeping ahead of the pack as a manufacturer in terms of market trends is something that provides our industry with a constant challenge.

So one of the most revealing elements of this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo was the trends session from Mintel, which offered plenty of food for thought.

As Marcia Mogelonsky revealed, there are plenty of key factors that are at play when consumers consider their perfect confectionery treat.

According to the sector research expert, one of the most intriguing trend developments to watch is the use of (legally produced) cannabis oil in confectionery and snacks ranges during 2019.

She explained the phenomenon is based on the fact that two thirds of cannabis users reportedly prefer food-based items as a means of ingestion, so manufacturers are presently at the ready for this major potential- should a green light be given to its wider international use. This could well be an ingredient that’s about to skyrocket in value if its popularity is to be confirmed in the coming months.

As an example, within the UK, confectionery consultant Andy Baxendale has already launched a brand of legal CBD oil-infused confectionery, which he says is attracting plenty of early interest from consumers.

Returning to the issue of wider trends, according to Mogelonsky, quality of taste and texture are high on the agenda for confectionery shoppers, as is the traceability of any one piece of produce. If it has a key story of its heritage, then it seems this adds considerable appeal.

Similarly, it seems there’s an increasing desire for personalised confectionery that tells our own story – it’s perhaps inevitable in a selfie-obsessed age that highly individual treats are making waves.

There’s also a demand for balancing snacks out, with consumers seemingly enjoying a mix of products that are part ‘unhealthy’ and ones that are considered more of a healthy option, so offering greater choice is seemingly the evergreen byword for the industry.

As Rick Brindle, of Mondelez admitted at this year’s Sweets and Snacks, “you never stop being a student in this industry” and so it appears from the dizzying array of confectionery that emerged from that show and will lie ahead early next year at the ISM show in Germany.

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