National Confectioners Association moves to create US national candy month

The US-based National Confectioners Association has revealed plans to created a ‘national candy month’ at its annual State of the Industry Conference, celebrating the significance of the sector.

Another key highlight of the event was the unveiling of a new research report, titled Sweet Insights: State of Treating 2020, exploring shopper insights and sales results to provide a dynamic and comprehensive look at the confectionery industry and the special nature of chocolate, candy, gum and mints.

The study is the first of its kind for the organisation, examining major consumer trends impacting confectionery industry purchasing patterns.

“Consumers are looking for experiences, and we know that chocolate, candy, gum and mints provide that special and unique quality for our retail partners,” John Downs, president & CEO of NCA, said. “Retailers are working with us to make sure that we are delighting their shoppers’ everyday – on the shelves or virtual shelves in every place they shop – and the State of Treating report proves just that.

Downs (pictured at the event in Florida, US, this week), enthused about the plans for the national candy month. Speaking in the insights report, he added: “We’re laying the groundwork to celebrate a fifth season beyond the “big four” candy seasons in a significant way: National Candy Month in June. This is a new moment to highlight candy’s unique role in maintaining emotional well-being, as well as the efforts of the purpose-driven companies in our industry to be more transparent about the ingredients in our products and where they come from, provide a variety of choices to meet consumers’ different expectations, and help consumers treat mindfully with tools to make informed choices.”

As the NCA noted, the industry continues to be a bright spot in the economy, generating $37.5 billion in retail sales in 2019 and making the confectionery category the fourth largest across food retail channels.

For the State of Treating, NCA and 210 Analytics surveyed more than 1,500 adults on what products they buy and why resulting in clear confirmation that chocolate, candy, gum and mints are an essential part of their lives and emotional well-being. Almost ninety percent of people agree that good emotional well-being leads to better physical well-being leading to a happy life.

“Whether it’s a moment of celebration with loved ones or a sweet moment to yourself, we have found that the confectionery category can and will continue to play an important role in people’s emotional well-being,” Downs said. “I am proud of our industry’s commitment to meeting consumers where they want to be met and providing them with information, options and support as they enjoy their favourite treats.”

The State of Treating report was released against the backdrop of a newly established strategic plan for the association. Titled Thrive in 2025, the new strategic plan sets the direction of the association over the next five years and outlines a new bold mission and vision. The plan sets new goals for NCA, including strengthening its advocacy and communications capabilities, identifying the disruptive trends of the future, and developing positive and meaningful thought leadership.

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