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Emerging markets: shift noted in children's confectionery trends

By Jane Byrne , 07-Mar-2011

Sugar confectionery is giving way to chocolate in terms of the children’s confectionery category in Brazil but Euromonitor International reports impressive growth for jellies, gums and lollipops among Chinese children due, in no small part, to economic recovery.

Greater consumer purchasing power among lower-income groups in Brazil is favouring the purchase of chocolate products over the traditional sugar confectionery products such as lollipops, standard mints and boiled sweets, reports Francisco Redruello, senior food analyst at the group.

He cites factors such as lower unemployment, a positive outlook for Brazilian GDP, higher levels of industry activity, increased consumer confidence and the elections in October 2010 as adding to the positive scenario for the domestic economy and the indulgence food and drink categories.

Egg appeal

Research shows that Brazilian manufacturers have succeeded in growing the consumer base of Easter eggs by expanding the range of offerings with a toy inside, with sales of this type of confectionery set to grow by 12 per cent in retail volume terms.

And Redruello notes that Easter eggs have passed from being a chocolate product targeted at adults to products purchased as a treat for Brazilian children.

“The popularity of these products has been underpinned by the increasing number of licensed characters used as an efficient tool to promote local and international brands through the grocery channel,” notes the confectionery market expert.

Nestlé leads the chocolate egg category, accounting for around a 40 per cent share of total retail value sales in 2009, according to Euromonitor International estimates.

And Redruello adds that Brazilian manufacturers are opting to produce a greater volume of smaller eggs to make them more affordable to less affluent consumers.

According to the analyst, trends noted elsewhere for consumers in middle socio-economic groups are being mimicked in Brazil with demand growing, among this base, for healthier impulse snacks, including snack bars and sugar-free gum.

Cost-effective treats perform well in China

Looking at Chinese trends, Redruello observes that boiled sweets remain very popular among Chinese children as they have a relatively low unit price and are therefore largely affordable. “However, research shows that boiled sweets are currently losing ground to pastilles, gums, jellies and chews,” he continues.

The Euromonitor specialist maintains that these products have benefited from sustained investment in innovation, with hundreds of changes in shapes and flavours being seen on a year to year basis. “Furthermore, pastilles, gums, jellies and chews have a higher unit price than boiled sweets and offer greater potential to add value,” comments Redruello.

The analysts said that as a result of numerous advertising campaigns and intensive promotions, lollipops are being increasingly accepted by Chinese youngsters. “Brands such as Chupa Chups, Alpenliebe Rich Milky Caramel Lollipop, Hsu-Fu-Chi and Pim Pom are all seeing impressive growth in their value sizes,” he added.

The analyst also cites Singapore as another key example of the positive impact of economic recovery on confectionery lines targeting children.

He claims that consumers are generally more at ease with spending their money on indulging their children, as disposable income increases. Product categories such as pastilles, gums, jellies and chews and lollipops, which saw lacklustre current value growth in 2009, recorded stronger demand last year, according to Euromonitor.

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