Washington —In an op-ed that ran in the Morning Consult, NCA president and CEO John Downs highlighted the important role the confectionery industry plays in the U.S. as well as its place in the lives of consumers across the country. The opinion piece hit as candymakers prepare to descend on DC for the Association’s annual Washington Forum.
“From the small, multigenerational, family-owned operations to multinational companies with strong global brands, confectioners are vital to the American economy,” Downs wrote. “With nearly 1,300 facilities in all 50 states, our industry is a classic American manufacturing success story.”
In fact, a new report shows the business of making chocolate, candy, gum and mints has a $44.6 billion economic impact, creating more nearly 54,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Further, Downs highlighted the industry’s multiplier effect, as for every one job created in confectionery manufacturing, another 10 jobs are supported in other industries, meaning candy production supports more than 550,000 Americans working in sectors as diverse as retail and agriculture to transportation.
In conjunction with the report, NCA has updated their dedicated economic impact digital hub, PowerOfSweet.com. This online resource provides more information about the industry’s impact at the national, state and community levels, including an interactive map that provides a deep dive into the data behind the economic impact. The research for NCA’s report was conducted by John Dunham & Associates, a New York-based economic research firm.
Overall, confectionery retail sales total $35 billion, which includes $1.8 billion in U.S. exports, and the industry pays some $13 billion annually in taxes, according to Downs.
He went on to explain that in addition to supporting the U.S. labor force, candymakers and their fun and nostalgic treats are also helping consumers on their journey to emotional well-being, which Americans rank as being just as important as physical well-being.
“Consumers understand that chocolate, candy, gum and mints can play a unique role in a happy, balanced lifestyle,” Downs wrote. “In fact, most people in the United States enjoy chocolate and candy two to three times per week.”
In addition to the industry’s economic impact and place it holds in consumers’ lives, Downs touched on the important community support candymakers across the country take part in, noting: “The industry as a whole has taken proactive measures to support their communities and communities around the world, with individual companies leading specific charges within their hometowns.”
This work in being good corporate citizens includes responsible marketing, commitments to sustainable ingredient sourcing and helping consumers make informed choices.
“The company representatives who are in Washington this week will bring that narrative to life, sharing stories from the people who work in their manufacturing facilities and the community members they support,” Downs wrote. “We’re proud to make American products with American workers in towns and cities across America, and we’re proud to represent the companies that have employed these American workers for decades.”