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December 28, 2008 Retail Sales Summary and Christmas Sales Analysis (Information Resources, Inc.)

December 28, 2008

NCA reports a 3.1% decline in confectionery sales for the Christmas 2008 season based on information supplied by Information Resources, Inc. for Food, Drug and Mass outlets excluding Wal-Mart. Sales for the month of December actually posted growth however, the slow sales in the four week November time period were too much to overcome in December to post a sales increase for the entire Christmas season.

For the fifty-two week period ending December 28, 2008, IRI reports a two percent increase in dollar sales for the confectionery category led by gum sales with an increase of 6.1% and followed by chocolate candy with a 1.9% increase and non-chocolate candy with a 0.2% sales increase. Drug Stores posted a 3.7% sales increase while Supermarkets grew 1.6% and Mass Merchants other than Wal-Mart grew 0.1% in 2008.

For the four week period ending December 28, 2008, confectionery sales grew 3.2% in FDMxW outlets. Drug Stores led the way with a 4.9% increase followed by Supermarkets with a 3.2% increase and Mass Outlets with a 0.7% sales increase. Christmas confectionery sales grew 1.6% in the month of December. Convenience stores reported a strong fourth quarter with sales up 7.8% for the 12 week period.

Sugar Free Gum with an 11.0% sales increase; licorice, with a 9.4% sales increase; non-chocolate chewy candy, with a 7.6% increase and everyday chocolate candy, particularly bags and boxes greater than 3.5 oz. are leading the way to strong everyday sales.

December 28, 2008 Retail Sales Summary
$ Sales Percent Change vs. Year Ago (Food, Drug, Mass excluding Wal-Mart)

Candy and Gum Sales
4 Week $
12 Week $
52 Week $
Class of Trade
% Change
% Change
% Change
FDM Excluding Wal-Mart
Mass excluding Wal-Mart