October 28, 2011
According to SymphonyIRI, food, drug and mass outlet candy and gum sales for the latest 52 weeks are up 4.2 percent. However, during the same period, unit sales grew just 1.6 percent, the result of 3 percent annual inflation in retail pricing. Over the latest 12 weeks ending Oct. 2, retail price increases of 6 percent are having an impact as sales remain up 3.6 percent while unit sales are off 2.9 percent versus a year ago.
Chocolate sales continue to lead the way at food, drug and mass outlets for the year with sales up 6.1 percent and units up 3.8 percent. Non-chocolate sales are up 2.7 percent with units flat compared to a year ago. Dollar sales and units for gum remain flat while volume is up slightly at 1.3 percent versus a year ago.
The drug channel leads all channels with candy and gum sales up 6 percent and units up about half that rate. In the drug channel, chocolate is again the leader in driving category dollar sales growth at 8.4 percent with units also up 6 percent. While dollar sales at supermarkets are growing at 3.5 percent, unit growth has stalled from recent retail price hikes of 6.6 percent for the overall candy and gum category, 8.5 percent for chocolate, 5.4 percent for non-chocolate, and 2.3 percent for gum.
Despite the challenges of pricing, early merchandising volume for seasonal Halloween items is up 2 percent for category, 4 percent for chocolate, and 3 percent for gum.
Members and trade customers: