NCA confectionery report series reveals Covid-19 impact on US consumer behaviour

The US-based National Confectioners Association has unveiled the first of a three-part series of industry insights that examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumer behaviour, reports Neill Barston.

As the trade organisation explained to Confectionery Production, the publications examine seasonal and everyday sales trends, with the initial release, titled  “Celebrating Confectionery Seasons: 2020.”

Among its key findings, the first report notes that within America, 9 out of 10 households buy sweets and snacks at traditional holiday times surrounding Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and the Christmas season.

However, its findings noted that the ongoing pandemic affected the performance of all spring and summer holidays, starting with Easter. Its studies found that around two in 10 Americans who normally celebrate Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the summer holidays with confectionery gifting, did not do so this year
due to coronavirus.

There was more encouraging news for the upcoming Halloween season, with four in five Americans believing that people will find creative and safe ways to enjoy the spooky season this year, though not everyone, particularly older generations — is comfortable with trick-or-treating this year.

NCA President & CEO John Downs welcomed the studies, which he felt showed valuable insights into how the market is responding to challenging conditions amid the pandemic.

He said:   “Over the last several months, consumers have been eating more meals at home, visiting fewer stores and increasing their level of comfort with online purchasing,”

“These actions have changed nearly every facet of retail for the confectionery industry. In developing this robust series of reports, we hope to provide actionable insights to our member companies and retail partners so they can feel informed and prepared when making decisions for their businesses throughout and after this pandemic.”

The three-part series pulls from sales performance data, insights from industry leaders and independent research conducted by 210 Analytics, which surveyed more than 1,500 shoppers from across the country, including more than 700 parents.

These reports are part of the NCA Sweet Insights education series that also includes NCA’s annual State of Treating report, annual and seasonal performance webinars and the Sweets & Snacks Expo’s Unwrapped digital education.

The first report, available now to NCA member companies and retail customers, examines seasonal confectionery purchases and trends, including insights on the upcoming Halloween confectionery sales season and an outlook on consumers’ opinions of the 2020 winter holiday season. The report also touches on 2020 Valentine’s Day and Easter confectionery sales, which occurred just as the Covid-19 pandemic began to reshape American consumer behaviour.

The second and third installments of the series, which will cover everyday confectionery sales and consumer behavioural shifts during Covid-19, will be available to NCA member companies and retail customers by late November 2020. NCA member companies and retail customers can view the first installment of the report at CandyUSA.com/COVIDReports 

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