NCA Releases Wide Ranging Study Highlighting Consumers’ Mindsets, Trends

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Boca Raton, FL — NCA’s recently released State of Treating 2020 report found that only 20 percent of consumers view shopping the candy aisle similar to that of the bread section, a more than 20 percent drop compared to sentiments shared just five years ago. 

The study, which is a first of its kind, offers a holistic view of the confectionery shopper and trends impacting the industry’s purchasing patterns, the Association reports. 

“Consumers are looking for experiences, and we know that chocolate, candy, gum and mints provide that special and unique quality for our retail partners,” says John Downs, NCA president and CEO. “Retailers are working with us to make sure that we are delighting their shoppers’ everyday — on the shelves or virtual shelves in every place they shop —  the State of Treating report proves that.”

The study also uncovered that shoppers are putting more weight in emotional well-being, with 80 percent of consumers saying they value emotional well-being and physical well-being equally. The category plays a strong role in this as 72 percent of shoppers agree that treating is important for their emotional well-being. 

“Whether it’s a moment of celebration with loved ones or a sweet moment to yourself, we have found that the confectionery category can and will continue to play an important role in people’s emotional well-being,” Downs says. “I am proud of our industry’s commitment to meeting consumers where they want to be met and provide them with information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats.” 

The report also reveals the industry continues to be a bright spot for the U.S. economy, with sales hitting $37.5 billion in 2019, representing 2.4 percent year-on-year growth. 

The State of Treating 2020 report was based on a survey of more than 1,500 adults on what products they buy and why, resulting in clear confirmation that chocolate, candy, gum and mints are an essential part of their lives and emotional well-being. The study was conducted by NCA and 210 Analytics. 

It was released against the backdrop of a newly approved strategic plan for the Association, titled Thrive in 2025, which will set the direction of NCA for the coming five years and outlines a bold new vision and mission. The plan strengthens the organization’s advocacy and communications capabilities, identifies future disruptive trends and charges NCA with further developing positive and meaningful thought leadership.