Miami — The confectionery category grew 2.5 percent during 2013, totaling a little more than $33 billion in sales, according to Larry Wilson, NCA vice-president of trade relations.
He noted that both dollars and units were up, explaining that volume is starting to lap price elasticity.
Chocolate had the biggest gains, growing 3.6 percent compared with the year prior, with white chocolate items seeing the largest growth at 14 percent. Non-chocolate increased sales 2.7 percent, with chewy candy leading the segment with 5.6 percent gains compared with 2012. In addition, new products added $890 million in sales.
“Business is big, growing and profitable,” Wilson said during a State of the Industry Conference briefing. “A Willard Bishop study finds that the category is 11th overall in terms of profitability.”
During the past year, the category added 18 million trips across channels, he said, noting that 24 percent of consumers bought online in 2013, up from 21 percent the year prior.
“Fifty-four percent buy from specialty online retailers and they are buying things that they can't find anywhere else,” Wilson said, explaining this puts more emphasis on satisfying consumers through variety as specialty products were among the slowest selling items at brick-and-mortar retailers.