For the most part, confectioners have continued to innovate in known areas like flavor, product size and packaging rather than innovating for health, says Euromonitor International.
Speaking to ConfectioneryNews at Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago last week, Euromonitor market analyst Matthew Hudak said manufacturers had continued to down-size products.
“They’re definitely bringing out a lot of these really small, single pouch, grab and go things and it’s really bite-sized now,” he said.
Asked what had prompted continued miniaturization, Hudak said it was a combination of creating convenient products for busy consumers but also portion-control.
In terms of flavor innovation, he said industry had started to pull berries and dark chocolate together, which had an air of health to it. “That seems to be something that’s catching on pretty well.”
Reformulation to reduce sugar and fat?
Asked if candy makers had started to react to anti-sugar, anti-obesity lobbyists, Hudak said that smaller portions addressed that, but beyond down-sizing there was little being done, so far.
“For the most part, they seem to be sticking to what they know, either with indulgent flavor innovation, miniaturization, new pack types. So, so far not so much, we’ll see what happens in the next few years.”
He said the US FDA’s nutrition label proposals could spur action because calorie and sugar content could soon be more prominent on pack.
Power mints the gum alternative
Hudak pointed out clear innovation in the mint/gum category. Hershey’s Ice Breakers were mints that chewed like a gum but melted on the tongue – something very new to the category. Altoids had also launched extremely powerful mints.
“They are definitely going more towards being more effective (…) or to give you this new texture profile. Also part of what Hershey is doing that product is trying to please gum people who don’t want to spit out the gum,” he said.
This innovation in the mint category, he said, would make life even tougher in the gum sector.