Increase in global confectionery variety sparks consumer demand

A new international survey has found that one in four global consumers are buying more confectionery due to a greater variety and novelty of items available on the market.
The study from Innova Market Insights asserted that the sector is responding in terms of developing ever-more ambitious ranges of sweets.

According to the research group, there is a 15 percent average annual growth in global confectionery launches with a “discovery” claim (CAGR 2013-2017).

Consequently, consumer curiosity to discover something new and different is leading to more unusual and often bolder flavours and blends, surprise textures and a greater focus on visual appeal in the sweets and snacks arena.
Heightened sensory delivery is also being increasingly combined with an element of the unexpected.

As such, we are seeing activity in areas such as unusual colours, popping candy, hot and spicy options, cooling effects and more interactive, personalised packaging.

Amid this dynamic environment, a 17 percent average annual growth in confectionery and snacks launches over the past five years (Global, CAGR 2014-2018) has been reported.

Snacking is no longer the optional extra, but the definitive occasion. Companies are focusing their new product development on trends such as bite-site formats and on-the-go options. There is a 20 percent growth in new snack launches with “bite-site” claim (Global, 2018 vs. 2017).

The three leading drivers of choice in snacks and confectionery remain flavour, cost and indulgence, with health considerations lower down the pecking order in this segment. “In the light of rising health awareness, consumers are not necessarily reducing confectionery consumption levels,”

Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights notes. Confectionery remains an affordable everyday treat that is successfully building on opportunities around premiumisation, sharing and gifting.

Even the move to plant-based eating has been seen in confectionery as well as snacks as brands “green up” their portfolios to attract the mainstream consumers who want to add more plant based options to their  diets.

Both categories are seeing more plant-based ingredients and flavours, with vegan-friendly positionings also increasingly in evidence.

The use of vegan-friendly claims for global confectionery and snacks NPD rose an average of 27 percent annually over the 2014 to 2018 period, according to Innova Market Insights data.

These launches now account for 6.6 percent of new launches in 2018, which is slightly higher than the 6.2 percent penetration level for food and drinks launches as a whole.

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