NCA study reveals seasonal confectionery online sales boost

The US-based National Confectioners Association has unveiled the final entry of a three-part report series on coronavirus pandemic consumer trends, revealing a major increase in online sales, reports Neill Barston.

The report charts key market developments over the past three quarters and showed that demand for sweets and snacks ranges remained resilient.

According to the study, seasonal confectionery enjoys high engagement as 84 percent see it as a fun part of special celebrations and 78 percent say sharing and gifting at such confectionery at such points including Easter remains a great American tradition.

Consequently, 82 percent of Americans agreeing that it is okay to enjoy seasonal confectionery during holidays and special occasions, with the US market worth around $36 billion a year.

Supermarkets are the most commonly shopped channel for seasonal confectionery, followed by supercentres.

But it is e-commerce that leaped years ahead in engagement, with online candy sales up 100.3 percent during the 26 weeks ending September 6, 2020. Online ordering with the local grocery store for delivery or pickup overtook online retailers as the biggest online channel for confectionery.

However, the pandemic has resulted in financial pressure for many Americans and more are prioritising promotions and price in their decisions. Seasonal confectionery already enjoyed very high promotional efficiencies prepandemic.

In terms of other findings from the study of 1,566 shoppers, seasonal aisles remain fun and inspiring to 77 percent of shoppers and 76 percent like browsing for new items when buying seasonal confectionery. Notably, they like to celebrate the seasons in style; 87 percent prefer confectionery in the segment featuring packaging, shapes, colours, flavours or characters that reflect the season.

“Seasonal and holiday celebrations have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, reshaping shoppers’ engagement with seasonal confectionery,” NCA President & CEO John Downs said. “The insights unveiled in this report will help the confectionery industry address new holiday celebrations and traditions through merchandising and marketing that reflects these unusual times.”

The report, which is available in full to NCA members, combines shopper survey data and recent sales data to investigate shoppers’ new approaches to purchasing seasonal confectionery products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to providing the latest shopper insights, the report highlights new confectionery purchasing patterns and usage occasions, including the rise of e-commerce for seasonal confectionery sales and seasonal confectionery’s heightened role as a source of holiday fun. for more details


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